I didn’t bother making a list of Best and Worst Superbowl ads this year, mostly because I didn’t have enough “best” ads to bother. My favorite, though, was probably the Cheerios commercial.
I liked this one for a couple of reasons. One, that kid’s just adorable. The skeptical expression on her face is totally charming, and you’ve gotta like a little girl who knows how to bargain. Two, this particular ad features the same family from another Cheerio’s ad earlier in the year, a commercial that received a huge amount of backlash for featuring an interracial family.
Here is the original commercial that raised so much controversy:
My God. What horrifying, un-American content. I’m shocked by the sheer nerve of Cheerios. SHOCKED.
You know how people tell you not to look at the comments and then you do it anyway, just cause you’re really not all that bright? Yeah. I’m not always bright. Reading the comments section when I know it’s going to piss me off is like a disease I have. MSNBC interviewed the little girl and her parents back in June, and some of the comments on that particular video . . . you know, I’m not going to type them here because I don’t want that shit on my blog, but . . . for fuck’s sake, what’s wrong with people? I just don’t understand. I guess I don’t really want to. You think to yourself, Racism is a reality. It comes in many forms, and we still have a LOT of work to do to if we ever hope to eradicate it in other people and ourselves, but at least no one thinks like THIS anymore. And then of course you’re reminded that it doesn’t matter it’s 2014 — too many people still think like THIS; those people are everywhere, and it’s just . . . wholly depressing, is what it is. Depressing and infuriating and unacceptable.
And continuing with the controversy train . . .
Coca-Cola had this commercial:
If I’m being very honest, the commercial barely even registered with me one or the other — because the second you pair a patriotic song like “America the Beautiful” with images to invoke the modern day cowboy, I tune out. I’m not appalled or anything — it’s just that anything so inspirational with a capital ‘I’ doesn’t tend to capture my interest. It honestly did not occur to me that there was anything particularly shocking about this commercial, not until I went to Whatever and read all about it.
See, in the commercial, segments of “America the Beautiful” are translated into languages other than English — like Spanish and Arabic. Which is obviously unpatriotic because, clearly, we only speak English this country. I know this because I’m an American, and I only speak English, so that must mean that all people who identify as American must only speak English. Also, apparently: “Coke is the official soft drink of illegals crossing the border.” Such is the wisdom of Todd Starnes’s Twitter feed — because, again, only illegal immigrants and foreigners speak languages other than English. Starnes, you’re an asshole.
Some people were also displeased that the commercial “prominently features” a gay couple and their child, either. (In case you didn’t notice the prominent gay couple — because I didn’t at first — they appear in an ice rink, and their segment lasts a literal five seconds. I mean, Christ, it just keeps going.) And yes. That’s exactly what’s wrong with America today: a happy, loving couple spending quality time with their child. We need to shut that shit down.
. . . I wish I had some truly cutting response to all of this, something witty and poignant, something that could make a difference, but really . . . people just make me tired and sad right now, and I don’t know what I could possibly say to change their minds or make anything better.