BPW Foundation's Women Misbehavin' Blog

Well behaved women never make history

Fabulous Game with Less Fabulous Ads

Posted by egehl on February 11, 2010

Oh what a game.  I am still basking in Super Bowl glory.

For the first time since I started watching the Super Bowl it was exciting to actually care about the outcome.  All night I was pacing, hoping, screaming, praying, hugging, and jumping with excitement as my beloved Saints won their first Super Bowl and beat the ESPN darlings, the Indianapolis Colts.  It was surreal and like the rest of the New Orleans I sat in disbelief still trying to grapple with how we even made it this far.   

As the commercials rolled on I watched to give myself a reprieve from the intensity of dreaming of a championship.  I was accompanied with other female diehard Saints fans and all of us commented, and were struck by, how slanted the commercials were towards a particular gender.  Granted yes it’s a sports game, but in this day in age a strong contingent of women watch the Super Bowl.  But the marketing world still loves to make sure the boys are happy (hello, Viagra).

It was hard not to think had these companies really paid almost $3 million to come up with this!?  Some were creative like the Volkswagen ad, but others were superficial and tried to be funny by portraying women degradingly.  As salon.com noted, “This year’s assortment provided a mix of familiar faces, expensive cars, a few laughs, and an all-time high of emasculated rage.” 

Ads are always trying to sell us something, but this year were they trying to tell us something too? 

While some ads were funny others were just unflattering toward women.  They were not only sexist but offensive as well.  A theme that continued to keep popping up was the level of hostility and anger towards women interfering with a man’s “dudeness”.  It’s hardly new comedic territory to laugh about women infringing upon a man’s masculinity and coming in between him and his sports.  But isn’t it time we evolved just a little bit and thought of other ways to make everyone laugh?

While the ads might have been a disappointment the game certainly wasn’t (well at least not for the Black and Gold Who Dat Nation)!  It’s an amazing experience to witness your team win its first Super Bowl. 

I savored every moment of the game but would have liked better entertainment in between nail biting, exciting plays.  Next year I hope companies get a little bit more creative and challenge themselves to appeal to more than just the old boy’s club.

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