It’s a week since the Super Bowl, and we’ve had time to develop a little perspective. On Super Bowl day I pointed out that 2009 had some of the most sexist commercials known to tv, and wondered what 2010 would mean for women viewers.
I suppose few were surprised that this year was even worse.
Some criticized the excessive violence so many ads displayed.
If you were not a thirty-something (or younger) chip-eating, beer-swilling, insensitive, immature, macho male, you probably noticed the distinctive misogynistic tone of many of the commercials.
Those commercials that weren’t stereotyping and insulting and doing violence to women, gays, dwarves, and the elderly, were over-the top, over-produced, dull, un-funny, illogical messes, most of which were embarrassed to show the name of their product until near the end of the commercial.
FunnyorDie even went as far as to create a “violence montage,” merging all the clips of commercial violence into one long and disturbing video.
The sexism and derision of women was so blatant in this years commercials that even people from other countries are talking about it.
In between the beer and auto adverts during last night’s Super Bowl, CBS television spared 30 seconds to address its female audience, with New York Jets’ quarterback Mark Sanchez urging female viewers to learn more about the symptoms of heart attacks.
“You’re important to me,” he said, as the prerecorded sound of his heart beat in the background. “Especially if you watch football. CBS cares.”
If CBS cares so much about women, an estimated 40% of the Super Bowl audience, why am I again writing about the blatant, juvenile sexism of the adverts that last year earned the network more than $200m in ad revenue? Instead of having a cute footballer tell women he doesn’t know how much he cares about them, perhaps Rupert Murdoch’s Fox network (airing the 2011 game) should screen out the mockery and derision of women that was again so explicit in the breaks between the on-field action. The theme this year: women are nags who don’t want you to have any fun, but through buying the right stuff, you can regain your manhood.
Speaking of regaining your manhood, perhaps the most talked about “Be a man” ad was this commercial for Dodge Charger, claiming that although women have been emasculating their men for years it was time for them to take a “last stand” and get a manly car. A new salvo in the Dodge “be a man” meme for selling cars, this one riled enough women to earn its own response from the feminist community.
Then, of course, there was the Tebow Ad. So much anticipation, so much media. In the end, it was the least watched ad of the entire production.
Will I be here again, next year, discussing how 2011 Super Bowl ads became the most sexist, violent ads ever to air. I really hope not.
But sadly, I can’t say I will be shocked if I am.