Time after time, there are certain topics other than spirituality that come into light that I like to talk about on the blog. If memory serves me right, the last major topic I discussed was the attack on Miss America‘s identity last year. Well, it has been a long time since I covered something, and what better topic than the Superbowl ads. I’m not even going to mention the game, because it has no relevance to the major points of this post. In case you were living under a rock in the United States, this year’s Superbowl was won by the Seattle Seahawks, after destroying the Denver Broncos left and right. As a Giants fan, the only relation to the game I care about was the venue as it took place in New Jersey. Other than that, Congratulations Seahawks on winning your first title! Back to the point, the premise of this post is about certain Superbowl ads that were deemed controversial. One would think that in 2014, there is truly not many things labeled controversial on prime-time television, but for some viewers out there, there is always something to judge, accuse, and berate.
Coca-Cola’s “America the Beautiful”
The United States is a diverse nation, no matter whether you like it or not. It has been a diverse nation since the start, when Europeans decided to colonize the Eastern seaboard. Granted, diversity didn’t mean life was fair for minorities, but it did exist. Today, this country has citizens off all colors and backgrounds, so why not acknowledge it with a simple, patriotic song, right? Right? Well, for some people, it was an attack on the English language. I have no idea how singing “America the Beautiful” in diverse languages is an attack on the English language or the United States, but the ignorant and misinformed sure do! As soon as the commercial ended, there was immediate backlash on social media. Wow, so you mean to tell me that America is just a one-color, one-language nation? Really? Because last time I checked, the original language and customs of this nation were that of Native Americans. Hatred, unfortunately, still runs rampant under different guises.
How can a little girl who is talking to her father about a new member in the family be such a big deal? Well, the fact that her father is African-American, and her mother, Caucasian, has caused another uproar on social media outlets. It even causes some issues in MSNBC after the company’s Twitter manager stated that the “…maybe the right wing will hate it.” Honestly, are we still living in the 1800s? I would even dare to say the 1960s? No, we live in the 21st century where interracial couples are quite the norm. I wonder how social media would react if the father happened to be Caucasian, and the mother, African-American. Would it be as equally judged and attacked? It amazes me that we live in a country where common scenarios such as this are ferociously attacked through computer screens and keyboards, but quietly ignored face-to-face. Unless you live in a very segregated town or city, there is no excuse for disliking this ad. Come on, Gracie’s having a brother! Stop with the hate, eat your Cheerios, and get on with your life.
Scientology’s “Spiritual Technology”
You thought I wouldn’t mention anything spiritual-related? Wrong! Of course I would; it is part of my daily life! Now, I’m not attacking the Church of Scientology nor any of its ideals, but this ad caught my attention. It is one of the Church’s newest ads aimed in combining modernity (technology) with religion. The commercial’s voice-over states, “Imagine science and religion, connecting. Imagine technology and spirituality, combining. Now imagine, that everything you ever imagined, is possible. Scientology. There are higher states of existence.” Imagine, much? Lastly, the ad combines the words ‘spiritual technology‘ into Scientology. With bright screen shots of Scientology centers, individuals pondering about life, and microchips and/or electronic imagery working, this powerful combination probably spiked interest in viewers. Talk about reaching the masses and making yourself look important! Be careful, just be careful.
Radio Shack’s “The 80s”
Is this one controversial? From a personal perspective, it is to me! Why? Because I love the 80s! As an 80s child, I am very attached to this decade. The music, the celebrities, culture, and society made the 1980s one of the best decades in modern times. Yes, I’m being very objective at the moment, but only those who lived it know what I mean. When I happened to see the new Radio Shack commercial featuring 80s pop icons, I was really excited to see what would happen. The store clerk stated “The 80s called. They want their store back.”, and that’s when it hit me. I soon realized that the pop icons were ransacking the store, while Loverboy’s “Working for the Weekend” played in the background. Dee Snider from Twisted Sister was there, so was Chucky the Doll, Alf, Hulk Hogan, Sergeant Slaughter, Mary Lou Retton, Kid n’ Play, the California Raisins, and others. The DeLorean from “Back to the Future” made a cameo as well! Unfortunately, they were shown as the antiquated bunch looking to get all the old technology Radio Shack was commonly known to carry. After the commercial ended, I also realized I was old. Not too old, but 2014 old. Yikes. Nonetheless, it was my favorite commercial of the night!
Which “controversial” ads did you react to? Any other ads worth listing? Did you even watch the Superbowl? Did the groundhog see his shadow? What’s a groundhog?