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Posted at 9:02 AM ET, 02/ 7/2011

Those Super Bowl commercials

By Stephen L. Carter

I am writing this post at halftime of the Super Bowl. Originally, I planned to do a short piece about the three former Redskins, each released in disgrace, now playing quite well up in Pittsburgh. You know, Ryan Clark, starting safety, Shaun Suisham, placekicker, and Antwaan Randle El, third wide receiver. Or I might have done a piece about how both the Packers and the Steelers value stability, keeping the same coaching team in place for years, and building gradually through the draft, rather than blowing up the team every few years.

Instead, I feel compelled to write about the commercials.

By tradition, big marketers release clever and even brilliant spots for that huge Super Bowl audience. And tonight so far, one ad – for the Kia Optima being chased through space and time by various villains and mystical creatures – has indeed been brilliant. But too many of the others were not simply bad. They were downright offensive.

Put aside the Chevy Cruze advertisement mocking the faculties of residents of a nursing home. Put aside the multiple spots involving violence. The runner-up for the most offensive was, I think, Doritos “fetish” ad is not even quite describable in a family newspaper. Worst of all was one of the Pepsi Max spots. As a black couple sits on a bench, a blond woman sits nearby. Seeing her man eying the blond, the black woman throws the soda can at his head. He ducks, and the can strikes the blond in the head. She falls to the ground, at which point the black woman grabs her man’s hand, and they both run off.

Okay, maybe as a black man I am biased. Nevertheless, I was horrified by the spot, and I sincerely hope that PepsiCo, whose products I often enjoy, will bury it in some vault, never to be seen again.

By Stephen L. Carter  | February 7, 2011; 9:02 AM ET
Categories:  Redskins, Stephen L. Carter  | Tags:  Redskins, Stephen L. Carter  
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Comments

I really don't see how the color of the people is relevant. Would you have been horrified if they were all white or all black? If not, why? If so, why? I didn't see the commercial, but if your description is accurate and complete, I really don't see your point in the slightest.

Posted by: kirbyknight | February 7, 2011 4:21 PM | Report abuse

This is a horrible, horrible article.. What a waste of our time to read this half-a55ed attempt..

Posted by: jredden | February 8, 2011 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Ryan Clark wasn't released, he signed with Pittsburgh as a free agent.

Posted by: jwalte04 | February 8, 2011 11:14 AM | Report abuse

I thought the Chevy Cruze commercial with the older folks was funny. When you get old, you lose your hearing. Sorry if done tastefully that's funny. I loved the Pepsi Max commercial because I feel like I've been that guy being chastised about the bad food choices I make. The guy looking at the white girl... i think it was done as a playful jab at the history of black men fawning over white women. It was a little controversial but not worth writing a letter to Pepsi over.

Posted by: RobAnthony | February 8, 2011 3:44 PM | Report abuse

HAVE WE NOT LEARNED ANYTHING
ABOUT “FAMILY VIOLENCE”
ON SUPER BOWL SUNDAY?

HAVE WE NOT LEARNED ANYTHING FROM
THE VIOLENT ACTS IN TUCSON JUST WEEKS AGO?

NOR DO THE ENABLERS CARE!

Seventy eight. That’s how many commercials I endured while viewing the 2011 Super Bowl. In my opinion, most were violent, including the use of guns. Only twelve received ‘honorable mentions.’ How disgusting is watching someone lick someone else’s dirty finger and then proceeding to smell his dirty pants? Year after year, statistics show that domestic violence escalates during Super Bowl Sunday. Why then, would someone approve a commercial wherein the product is thrown, hitting a bystander in the head, knocking them out and the perps run away? I know…marketing said it tested well and you have the data...but how about morality and respect? Total corporate irresponsibility is more like it… not only by the agency and the sponsor but also by the network. This network may be the overall winner for violence and moral decay. They even had to remind the viewing audience of the Steelers’ quarterback sex crime accusations on air. It also looks like we not only have to buy German for a good product, but also to get good German product commercials approved (VW, BMW, Mercedes). Christina Aguilera got ripped for her creative interpretation of the Star Spangled Banner... but the real criticism is that the Monday Morning critics have no talent themselves. On the other hand, I finally have to give the NFL an A+ for running the lead segment with Michael Douglas…the history of NFL. It was an inspiring positive start with real meaning for a nation on the decline.

Robert Talarczyk
CEO, Creative Director,
Darkhorse Design,
Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

Posted by: roberttalarczyk | February 10, 2011 1:11 AM | Report abuse

HAVE WE NOT LEARNED ANYTHING
ABOUT “FAMILY VIOLENCE”
ON SUPER BOWL SUNDAY?

HAVE WE NOT LEARNED ANYTHING FROM
THE VIOLENT ACTS IN TUCSON JUST WEEKS AGO?

NOR DO THE ENABLERS CARE!

Seventy eight. That’s how many commercials I endured while viewing the 2011 Super Bowl. In my opinion, most were violent, including the use of guns. Only twelve received ‘honorable mentions.’ How disgusting is watching someone lick someone else’s dirty finger and then proceeding to smell his dirty pants? Year after year, statistics show that domestic violence escalates during Super Bowl Sunday. Why then, would someone approve a commercial wherein the product is thrown, hitting a bystander in the head, knocking them out and the perps run away? I know…marketing said it tested well and you have the data...but how about morality and respect? Total corporate irresponsibility is more like it… not only by the agency and the sponsor but also by the network. This network may be the overall winner for violence and moral decay. They even had to remind the viewing audience of the Steelers’ quarterback sex crime accusations on air. It also looks like we not only have to buy German for a good product, but also to get good German product commercials approved (VW, BMW, Mercedes). Christina Aguilera got ripped for her creative interpretation of the Star Spangled Banner... but the real criticism is that the Monday Morning critics have no talent themselves. On the other hand, I finally have to give the NFL an A+ for running the lead segment with Michael Douglas…the history of NFL. It was an inspiring positive start with real meaning for a nation on the decline.

Robert Talarczyk
CEO, Creative Director,
Darkhorse Design,
Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

Posted by: roberttalarczyk | February 10, 2011 1:12 AM | Report abuse

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