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Peter Fenzel and Matthew Wrather overthink the commercials of Super Bowl LV, which can’t talk about the problems we actdually have, so instead present problems we can actually talk about.
This podcast features a special appearance by Mark Lee in the Trader Joe’s Store Brand Beer Halftime Show!
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Great to hear special guest (spoiler!) Mark, again.
On the point of companies feeling out of touch, it definitely has felt like a lot of marketing people spent 2020–once they exhausted the sad piano music “in These Unprecedented Times(TM)” genre–reading that case study of the old-timey company that had trouble bringing in customers for their sale until they changed the ads to tell the story of their financial peril, and decided that it was time to just turn commercials into opportunities to unload their stress onto prospective customers.
It’s also worth pointing out how much advertising effort is going to pretending that the companies aren’t responsible for their problems. I skipped the actual Super Bowl, but I get the impression that, in the world of commercials, GM has not spent decades undermining support of electric vehicles, Oatly did not gladly take investment money from Blackrock, and all the “we should all just get along” messaging shouldn’t acknowledge Colin Kaepernick losing his career bringing that messaging to the NFL’s context. It reminds me of the fake commercials from the “Better off Ted” sitcom from a while back https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yF3of5VRcNA – especially the one near the end about mistakes.
What disturbing subtext to consider the center of America to be based on the land and not the people.
Every time I see advertisements from random megacorps trying to message their compassion, I’m reminded of the scenes from Mars Attacks in which the Martians are invading and destroying everything while the translation device keeps spouting off “we come in peace!”