There is no denying that the sorts of commercials that run during the Super Bowl are, not only incredibly expensive to program, but slotted to appeal to a sort of lowest common denominator of culture. While we have moved a bit further away from the requisite bikini-clad sirens luring us toward an icy beer, Super Bowl ads tend to be characterized by an irreverent sort of machismo – the sort of thing fueled by bodily humor, sexual arousal, and automotive lust.
If you really wanted to, you could gather the cultural mood of a large subsection of the population by just watching the commercials that air during such an event. Then again, you might not want to engage in such an anthropological exercise.
However if you were so bold, you would likely realize that, not only is fast food king, but stuff like vegetables are a surefire way to destroy the sort of festive mood that goes hand-in-hand with game day. To illustrate my point; the quasi-Mexican fast food chain Taco Bell recently produced a TV ad pushing their variety 12-pack of tacos. The ad ran during the college football’s Bowl Championship Series (BCS) last month and was in general rotation. In the ad we see someone show up to a game-day party with a plastic packaged array of cut vegetables (presumably purchased ready-made from a supermarket) they hand it off to the hostess, who looks as if she had just been handed a used tissue. The voiceover announcer says, “Veggies on game day is like punting on 4th and 1. It’s a cop out and secretly people kind of hate you for it.” Seemingly the more acceptable alternative is a 12-pack of tacos from Taco Bell.
The commercial seems to disparage the eating of vegetables in favor of eating tacos, which The Center for Science in the Public Interest didn’t like at all. They put a great deal of pressure on Taco Bell over the weekend, and the fast food chain ultimately decided to pull the ad. So you won’t be seeing it on TV anytime soon, but you could see the ad above.
While I personally dig eating vegetables of all kind, I would likely feel that it was sort of a “cop out” if someone showed up to my house with a sad array of dried-out veggies in a plastic clamshell. That said, I would probably be more offended if they showed up with a 12-pack of Taco Bell. But that is just me.
What are your thoughts on this Taco Bell ad? Does it send a poor message to consumers? Is it really anti-veggie or is it just making fun of game day etiquette?
(For the pro- veggie fans out there looking for something to bring to a party, here are 14 Super Bowl Snacks.)