Since I was a kid and had a hand-held football video game that taught me how to complete a down, I’ve enjoyed watching football. Is there anything better on a bitter New England day than planting yourself in front of the T.V. and watching A Game?
Watching football is awesome. Until the commercial breaks. And then I see that football games are apparently targeted toward morons. Whoops. Did I say morons? I meant to say men. Whoops! Did I pretend to confuse the word men with morons? HAVE YOU SEEN A FOOTBALL GAME COMMERCIAL BREAK?
It starts with a shot of the cheerleaders bouncing around. Now, I’m the kind of person who can’t believe cheerleaders still exist. The fans drive to a game, get wasted, and cheer wildly if their team runs a few yards toward a first down. I don’t really think they need much cheering on. Anyway, the good news is that during the winter, the cheerleaders are bundled up in jackets and pants so all you have to do is watch them shake their pom-poms. I can’t believe I just typed the word pom-poms.
Over the cheerleader shot comes the booming, bass-voiced announcer who says, “TODAY’S GAME BROUGHT TO YOU BY <insert manly product names>.” Are men the polar opposite of those teens, the ones who can hear high-pitched tones when adults can’t? But in the case of men, they can only hear tones so low that the sound would shake an entire neighborhood if played on a car stereo?
Accompanying the cheerleaders and baritone voice-over is a Transformer-like robot on the side of the screen doing some touchdown dance moves. For me, though, it looks like the robot is attempting a Just Dance 3 number while drunk. In other words, it’s funny if you know the robot and are also drunk, but embarrassing otherwise.
And then the actual ads come. I thought the days of the “Mad Men” style ads were a just a funny thing to laugh at from the past. Nope! It’s all still there on the NFL. My favorite is the boy pretending an Amazonian woman Barbie doll in a bikini is his mom. Hello fucked up male fantasy!
What the hell is going on, NFL? Don’t you know that many of your viewers are women? And not women looking for tampon ads or razor ads that imply the shaving of one’s bush (saw it with my own eyes). We don’t even want ads for douching, Saran wrap, hair color, weight loss products, wrinkle cream, plus size clothing, comfortable bras, or minivans.
We just want normal, clever ads. Ads that sell. Products. I don’t even care if they’re ads for pickup trucks (I drove one for over a decade). I just don’t want the ads to cater to worst of us.
At least when football season is over, I can start watching tennis matches and see all the ads targeted at really rich guys. It’s like I don’t. Even. Exist. Poof!