Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Ads and Lights of the Super Bowl

The Super Bowl always runs very expensive, funny, entertaining, and sometimes outrageous ads. The half-time show is a mixture of glitz, glamour, pyrotechnics and lights, plenty of lights, fanciful choreography, whimsical and skimpy costumes, loud music, beautiful dancers, and popular entertainers. Sunday’s Super Bowl XLVII exceeded all expectations.

The ad that drew rave reviews by most spectators was the Dodge Ram ad playing the Paul Harvey speech delivered at the 1978 Future Farmers of America Convention in 1978. I remember hearing it for the first time – “So God Made a Farmer,” – a masterful tribute to the wonderful men and women who toiled from dusk to dawn to nourish those urbanites who have no idea how much sweat, pride, pain, and love is in every bowl of food they consume.

Covered in dust, dirt, mud, fertilizer, manure, and perspiration, less than three percent of hard-working Americans feed not just the rest of America but many other nations.

It was joyful to hear the word God mentioned with reverence and love. I am sure atheists were severely annoyed and distressed but Christians felt renewed and many shed tears. Lost in the emotional moment was the stark realization, would Paul Harvey have directed people to believe that Dodge is an American company when Chrysler is majority owned by Fiat and the 2500 series shown are built in Mexico? The Case tractors used in the ad are also owned by a division of Fiat.

Paul Harvey saluted the American farmer in 1978 but I am not so sure he would have praised in 2013 a foreign-owned company pretending to be American. Yes, Chrysler/Fiat made a great ad – it pulled and tugged at our collective heart strings with personal nostalgia. It was symbolism over substance. Furthermore, how many farmers are left today like the ones Paul Harvey extoled in 1978? We lost one this week in our extended family - they are a dying group, literally and figuratively.

Another ad that struck a passionate chord with the audience was the Jeep commercial. Narrated by Oprah’s iconic voice, the video shows photographs of soldiers serving our country, their families, USO, and the notion that we are a whole and a united nation. Are we? A beautiful narrative and a legendary voice selling the Jeep – a vehicle no longer made in the U.S.A. and no longer as American as apple pie. Divided more than ever as a nation, we desperately need healing.

The Sunday’s game was publicized as the “greenest” in Super Bowl history. “The New Orleans Host Committee has partnered with fans and the community to offset energy use across the major Super Bowl venues. Eco-friendly fans and city leaders in New Orleans competed to maximize sustainability practices.” For those who do not recognize sustainability – it is code word for the Green Agenda. The exterior of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome was resplendent with 26,000 LED lights on 96 full-color graphic display panels. (http://energy.gov/articles/super-bowl-city-leads-energy-efficient-forefront#.UQ-4slXD0_I.mailto)

Shortly after the half-time show, most lights and A/C went out in the superdome. Twice during BeyoncĂ©’s rehearsal the lights went out as well and the officials were baffled. I am not an electrician but I wondered. Energy efficiency and renewable energy may be having a profound impact with environmentalist green growth proponents and perhaps it will become the energy of the future; however, for now, it appears that renewable energy is not all that is cracked up to be in terms of keeping the lights on when needed. Renewable energy still needs the solid backup of energy produced by the maligned coal. Re-inventing the wheel to save the planet from faux global warming does come with a huge price-tag.

Super Bowl XLVIII promises to be even more interesting in 2014, since the powers that be are making overtures to ban injurious football that destroys so many athletes who have no idea what they are doing to their bodies when they sign multi-million dollar contracts and  must be protected by the nanny government. And the blood thirsty fans should be banned as well – shamelessly cheering on their favorite players is unconscionable when they know players may get hurt.







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