Saturday essay: Throat lumps
Madison Avenue usually is the purveyor of cheap gags and the overtly suggestive in its advertising. But it took the rare step to something resembling class in two Super Bowl ads. While this likely doesn't foretell a sea change, the pond ripple is welcome.
There were the expected silly and gross ads. The Doritos-eating goat comes to mind. So, too, does the GoDaddy.com ad featuring the supermodel and the plump nerd in a graphic kiss that surely made more than a few parents watching with their children say, “Hey, we forgot to check your homework!”
But there were two works of art.
The Budweiser ad featuring the trademark Clydesdale that remembered his trainer of three years past tugged heartstrings and squeezed tear ducts. And the Dodge Ram pickup truck commercial that featured a classic Paul Harvey ode to “the farmer” was a heartfelt tip of the hat to Americana's core. It was the stuff of throat lumps.
There was no “Buy! Buy! BUY!” in either. Neither were there any operators standing by. Rather, these commercials made us stop, pause, think, perhaps even cry.
Yes, television largely remains the “vast wasteland” that FCC Chairman Newton Minow characterized it as in his iconic 1961 speech. And its commercials, as he also put it then, largely remain “screaming, cajoling and offending” affairs. But for a brief few moments last Sunday night, television and Madison Avenue shined.
— Colin McNickle
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- The Export-Import Bank: The Senate’s shame
- Pittsburgh Tuesday takes
- Greensburg Tuesday takes
- Alle-Kiski Tuesday takes
- At the VA: The waiting dead
- Yes, the IRS targeted conservatives
- U.N. Watch: The ‘race’ is on
- Council fails again: Shoot straight, Ford City
- The wind ruse: A failed policy
- Sunday pops
- The Keystone XL pipeline: No surrender