Tag Archives: football

The Affirmation Industry

10 Feb

After watching the Super Bowl, I found that commercials broke down into easy categories–the local, the network, the humorous, and the affirmational. I may be too cynical, but who are the affirmational ads for?

Having heard interviews with advertising execs, the successful advertisement is the one that 1) grabs your attention, 2) you remember after it’s shown, and 3) you remember what the product was. For me, the humorous ads accomplish at least the first two… and usually I remember what the product is. But usually the second I see “There’s a lot of struggling people out there…”, my brain has already tuned out.

There is so much bad things in the world that I can’t do a blessed thing about that I frequently tune it out. Apathetic? Sure, but I’ve got enough things to worry about in my own life–why do I need to import more? Yet I know that some people get into that. Some people (and I’ve met them) seem to enjoy wallowing in the bad things that are happening in the world. After all, good news doesn’t generate clicks–disasters do.

But I guess that’s the appeal of the affirmational ad. Bad things are happening, but don’t worry, with us working together we’re able to have a happy ending. Yay!

That’s not to say that affirmational ads can’t work for me. In fact, there were actually two “affirmational” ads that caught my attention–the one where the girl whose legs had to be amputated (Hyundai?) and the one with the chapel in Lebanon, Kansas (Jeep). However, I remember the Jeep one better because although I thought the message was good (meeting in the middle), the presentation was terrible.

I guess the Super Bowl–which has a wider audience than the rest of the NFL games–feels they have to appeal to different demographics. Doritos–flavored tortilla chips–goes for humor because making people feel bad doesn’t get people to eat overly fattening foods. (Or maybe it would–who knows?!) The people who want to fight systemic racism feel better about buying… um, NFL games because “they share my values.”

Yes, we’re all against earthquakes. Earthquakes are bad. We should give money to people to fight earthquakes. Okay, I’ll turn off the snark, but I’m curious–what kind of commercial appeals to you? Regardless whether you actually buy it (I haven’t bought Doritos in years), what type of ad will actually make you watch it… and watch it again. Let me know in the comments below!

Touchdown… whoever!

12 Nov

I am the casual (American) football fan that all the analysts like to talk about, and yet, I’ve become more casual this year. I watched an hour of football this season; I only realized games were on Sunday when I flipped the TV on. When I think about, the reasons are not that surprising.

I started out as a Cincinnati Bengals fan–they haven’t done well since I started following them 14 years ago. At that point, I liked football, but I hadn’t watched it religiously since high school. However, all my new friends in Ohio were big into football and the Bengals in particular, so I joined the ongoing drama. I even won season tickets one year and was able to take my friends out to live games at Paul Brown Stadium–freezing my butt off in December one time during a crappy game.

I lost those friends, moved to Arizona, and watching Bengals games got harder and harder. A lot of the folks who were on the Bengals switched to the Cardinals, so I occasionally watched some of those games. But my limit was about one game a day; sometimes I would start looking at my phone after mid-game.

However, I kept watching because for my kids, it became an event. I would get chips, and the kids would pile up on the couch, and we’d watch the game together. But then the chips would be demolished by the end of the first quarter and the kids would wander off. After I moved, the Arizona Cardinals really sucked, and it got harder to catch Bengals games. They locked them behind firewalls, and even radio streams had to only be done on a computer, because listening on a phone was… bad?

When football got political, I had less and less reason to watch. I had no emotional connection with the Cardinals, and even if I caught the Bengals, I hadn’t followed the season, so it was like seeing your sister come from college. You have a history with them, but you’ve missed most of the last year, so there’s a disconnect. The sports radio I listened to because it allowed me to enjoy their antics since the topic matter didn’t matter… suddenly mattered, and it soured my enjoyment. Even the commercials–which were always top notch–got more “we’re here to save the world” preachy.

So… I caught a half-hour of the first game of the year, half-hour at the bar, and… that’s it. You lost me, NFL–why should this casual fan come back? I don’t watch TV on Saturdays, so even if I found a college to follow, I have less incentive. My own alma mater isn’t Division I, and just like pro sports, college sports makes it hard to follow a single team unless you want to crank out the cash to get past the firewalls.

What I wanted was the drama–and what I get are snippets–bookended with politics and flashy pictures. So I’m out. Are you a true fan of your team? What keeps you in? Or have you lost the faith like me… and what caused you to lose your grace? Tell me about it in the comments below!

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