Some Thoughts on the Superbowl

I’m a sports fan, and even though my sport of choice is Baseball, I watch the Superbowl with more regularity than I do the World Series. There are 2 reasons for this. First, the Superbowl is one single game on one night, so its easy to make the time to watch; while the World Series is a minimum of 4 games, and as many as 7, so watching all the games are time-consuming, especially if you couldn’t care less about the teams that are playing (although it’s totally worth it if your team is playing).

Second, when I was growing up the Superbowl was like a holiday, and was the official end of the winter holiday season. It was the last time for many months that we would cook up a bunch of junk food and make a meal out of it. Wings of various flavors, potato skins, Totino’s Pizza rolls, various chips and dips, countless deep-fried things… I could go on. As a kid (and a food lover) these items were the one of the best parts of winter, as meals consisting of them and all the soda we could drink (when I was young, we did not drink a lot of soda at my house. Not including the holidays, we only drank soda if we were having pizza or happy meals) only happened on Christmas, New Years Eve, and the Superbowl. So even when I didn’t understand anything that was happening on the screen (I finally started learning/understanding football around 10 years old), I ALWAYS looked forward to the Superbowl.

My Texans and my Seahawks both lost in the playoffs, as did my backup picks the Falcons and Patriots (all but the Patriots have been a home team for me). So this year was one of those years where I reverted to my young childhood and was watching more for the commercials, as I couldn’t have cared less about the game (and thus will not be writing anything about the players, coaches, the power outage, or the game itself)

As far as commercials go, there were some that I absolutely loved, some that were good, and some that REALLY sucked.

My two favorite commercials were these:

I loved the Tide commercial because it was clever, and this cleverness made it arguably the funniest commercial aired.

The Dodge one was meaningful to me. My dad comes from a family of farmers. He essentially grew up on his grandparent’s farm in North Dakota. Farmers, are, in my opinion, an oft unappreciated group and I think Dodge celebrated the farmer in the most appropriate way.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is my least favorite ad: this year’s GoDaddy commercial.

Now I’m not going to go off on a long rant about GoDaddy’s ads in general being inappropriate and the over-sexualized world we live in. But I do want to say a few things.

First, I realize sex sells, particularly at an event that is powered by testosterone and sweat (scantily clad cheerleaders have been a part of the NFL long before GoDaddy started airing their commercials). Yes, until my son is old enough to have a mature conversation about how women are to be treated and the over-sexualized of women I will be changing the channel when an overly sexual commercial or half-time show comes on, but I’m no prude. I’m not going boycott the Superbowl or companies because of questionable ads. But I do wonder why GoDaddy, with this years commercial being an exception, thinks it’s a good idea to take the idea of “sex sells” to the point where they don’t even bother to mention what the product actually is. It was even more baffling when GoDaddy started, before everyone knew they were a webhost. Soren Bowie said it best in his Cracked article “The Only 4 Super Bowl Ads Companies Know How to Make” (#1 on the list is the relevant, but the rest of the article is a good read)

“Advertisers want to remind you of all the things you like about women — big breasts, big butts, big vaginas, and so forth — but in doing so, they sometimes forget that they still have a product to sell. Go Daddy is the biggest culprit, running commercials…that might as well be for lady parts, because they never get around to explaining what they actually sell…

I know it’s no surprise that sex sells, but these ads are so far removed from the original point of the commercial that distant generations will think we were just really open about sex trafficking.”

So, that being said, at least for me, this year’s commercial was by far the most awkward commercial GoDaddy has ever aired.

I had several issues with it.

First that kiss was the most sloppy and disgusting…particularly when it got to the close up. We didn’t need to see that.

Second, the “Smart” side of GoDaddy was portrayed by your old school stereotypical geek. I guess this isn’t surprising. It actually causes me to imagine that the people who make the decisions about these commercials are all overly buff guys in letterman jackets, or your stereotypical jerk jocks. Which given what I’m about to say may be hypocritical of me, but I’m just being honest here, that is the image I have because of this commercial.

Now as a geek it saddens me that this is still how we are viewed in the eyes of some people. Geeks have worked very hard to become socially acceptable and to overcome this stereotype. No only do very few geeks in general fit this image anymore, very few computer geeks even fit this.

At the community college I attended before I went to my university, most of the friends I made during my first quarter were all majoring in something related to computers. This was due mostly to the fact that the little satellite campus all my classes were at was the home to that program and the nursing program, so most students on campus were majoring in either one or the other. But let me tell you, there quite a few of these guys were REALLY HOT. In fact, I’d go so far that there were more hot guys in the computer program than in the nursing program.

The perpetuation of this “awkward and unattractive nerd” stereotype has actually led to the biggest problem in geek culture, that of the supposed “fake geek girl.” I will plan on dedicating a full post to this commercial and the “fake geek girl” in the next day or two, so I won’t go into too much detail here.

A “fake geek girl” is one who supposedly is only into a fandom to get attention from guys. This label is most often applied to pretty girls within the culture (many of whom could easily be a GoDaddy Girl, or, at the very least be classified as “hot”), particularly those who are new to a fandom. And GoDaddy’s portrayal of a geek is not helping girls like myself overcome this.

What were your favorite and least favorite commercials this year? Do you have traditions for watching the game? Share them in the comments!

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4 thoughts on “Some Thoughts on the Superbowl

  1. Dianna S. February 4, 2013 at 3:57 PM

    I think I will have to disown you. How can you be a Atlanta fan, as a Saints fan I must strongly disapprove.

    I love your article. I think the two you listed were very good. I know these are not true commercials but I really liked them, 1) the OZ: the Great and Powerful trailer and 2) the CBS thank you. I also like Coke rush commercial, and the Big Bang Theory.

    • NaptimeBlogger February 4, 2013 at 4:14 PM

      I didn’t says I was and Atlanta FAN. I said I they were a former home team and my backup pick for the Superbowl when they beat the Seahawks. I’m a Texans and a Seahawks fan, and if neither of them are playing, my default is to root for a for a hometeam or the Patriots. I do really like the Saints, and unless they are playing Seattle or Houston, I tend to root for them as well.
      I also liked the CBS “Thank You” commercial, but that’s because CBS has most of my favorite TV shows. And I got a good giggle out of the Big Bang Theory promo too.
      I’m intrigued with Oz but I probably won’t spend the money to see it in theaters. Between EJ and finances, I’ll probably be lucky to see more than 1 movie in theaters this year. The two movies I most want to see did not have trailers air during the game (Much Ado About Nothing and The Great Gatsby), but if I had to pick the 2 movies I would see based on Super Bowl Trailers, they would be Star Trek and Iron Man 3.

  2. laurenenriquez February 5, 2013 at 9:22 PM

    Love your blog!
    I didn’t see all of the commercials but the Doritos commercial with the little girl and her dad’s friends was really funny!

    • NaptimeBlogger February 5, 2013 at 9:28 PM

      That one was probably one of the best commercials Doritos has made is several years (And that says something, because I really liked the one of the baby using his jumper like a slingshot from last year). I think part of why I liked it is because I remember convincing my dad to play princess dress up with me when I was little. The little girl getting her dad’s friends to join in made it awesome.

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