Monday, February 05, 2007

Humor-impaired at the NYT

Some people have no friggin' sense of humor. From the Old Gray Hag:
Super Bowl Ads of Cartoonish Violence, Perhaps Reflecting Toll of War

No commercial that appeared last night during Super Bowl XLI directly addressed Iraq, unlike a patriotic spot for Budweiser beer that ran during the game two years ago. But the ongoing war seemed to linger just below the surface of many of this year’s commercials.

More than a dozen spots celebrated violence in an exaggerated, cartoonlike vein that was intended to be humorous, but often came across as cruel or callous.

For instance, in a commercial for Bud Light beer, sold by Anheuser-Busch, one man beat the other at a game of rock, paper, scissors by throwing a rock at his opponent’s head.

In another Bud Light spot, face-slapping replaced fist-bumping as the cool way for people to show affection for one another. In a FedEx commercial, set on the moon, an astronaut was wiped out by a meteor. In a spot for Snickers candy, sold by Mars, two co-workers sought to prove their masculinity by tearing off patches of chest hair.

There was also a bank robbery (E*Trade Financial), fierce battles among office workers trapped in a jungle (CareerBuilder), menacing hitchhikers (Bud Light again) and a clash between a monster and a superhero reminiscent of a horror movie (Garmin).
Then, too, there was the unfortunate homonym at the heart of a commercial from Prudential Financial, titled “What Can a Rock Do?”

The problem with the spot, created internally at Prudential, was that whenever the announcer said, “a rock” — invoking the Prudential logo, the rock of Gibraltar — it sounded as if he were saying, yes, “Iraq.”
Talk about making a mountain out of a molehill! If there is one event during the year that could help people momentarily forget about war, it would be the Super Bowl. Yet to the party-poopers at the Treason Times weren't having any of that!

I'm no ad exec, but I'd be willing to bet Ted Kennedy's stash of Maker's Mark that the LAST thing that the ad guys of these companies contemplated was how to inject Iraq into their million-dollar-plus commercials.

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