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Just as the Super Bowl pits championship teams against one another, advertisers use the screentime to spar for the game’s most memorable 30-second spot. It’s estimated that around 108million people watched this year, leading some companies to pay as much as $4 million forless than a minute of their viewers’ time. But the content of these Super Bowl ads has becomepainfully predictable: bikinis, near naked models and probably some combination of the twoand a slow motion car wash. This year, viewers took it took to twitter, using the hash tag“NotBuyingIt” to show their contempt for the oversexed and mostly offensive TV slots.
“Give it a rest @GoDaddy. Women are sexy AND smart. Glad I took my business elsewhere.#NotBuyingIt” tweeted one user in reference to an advertisement that described the web hostingcompany as a combination of brains and beauty. The ad featured a blonde supermodel and anoverweight geek sloppily making out. Guess which of the two was supposed to represent theintellect of that pairing?
The social media campaign, led by the activist nonprofit Miss Representation, generated anestimated 10,000 tweets and targeted such companies as GoDaddy.com, Carl’s Jr. and Fiat.
Sure Super Bowl ads shouldn’t be over-intellectualized, and some twitter users may haveharped excessively on companies merely trying to earn a laugh, but with 10,000 tweets, there’ssomething to be said for viewers’ criticism of the boringly predictable gender stereotypes.
In one commercial for fast food chain Carl’s Jr., Danish model Nina Agdal bucks around in thesand as she eats a fish sandwich, pausing only to pose suggestively. There might be more screentime of her backend, than the actual product advertised. And that’s to say nothing of the manybanned Super Bowl ads that are still viewable online.
The Super Bowl’s audience is estimated to be about 50 percent female. And having watched thegame with my cousins, aged 16, 14 and eight, I know it’s also seen by many young eyes.
As one twitter user commented: “The #superbowl commercials are a window into Americanculture and values.” In 2007 Janet Jackson’s infamous wardrobe malfunction created nationaluproar. Surely, we can hold our commercials to higher standards as well.