Offensive Superbowl Ad (?)

As I sat and watched the Superbowl Sunday night, I was leaning towards writing a post about long, flowing manes of hair down the backs of many of the players on both teams. Have you ever been annoyed by something but you don’t know why? That’s me and long haired football players. It just bugs me. Don’t ask me why. It just does…

But then I saw the following commercial:

After which I immediately tweeted: “Loved that Groupon commercial with Timothy Hutton.”

Oops. Apparently I was in the minority. Many people were expressing their outrage at the offensive ad. Really? Okay, I’ll concede it wasn’t the most politically correct ad I’ve ever seen, but I thought it was very effective. Why?

Because it caught me completely off guard. I was expecting one thing and got something completely different. Before I saw the ad, I’d never heard of Groupon.com nor had the plight of the Tibetan people been on my mind. The advertising executives who made that commercial not only made Groupon a recognizable name, but they also reminded us of the people of Tibet, who are occupied militarily by China. Whether you loved or hated the commercial, Tibet will be talked about around the water cooler Monday morning, and I have to think people will be more inclined to try and do something to ease the suffering there. As a matter of fact, if you want donate to The Tibet Fund which helps develop a youth-employment-and-economic-development initiative in refugee exile communities, you can do so here. (Sponsored by Groupon.com–go figure.)

Based upon all the negative comments the commercial is receiving on Twitter and YouTube, I think my favorable opinion of the ad will be an unpopular one. But I still stand by my previous statement: The ad was effective.

In a sea of negative comments on YouTube, this dissenting opinion stood out. I tend to agree:

Its pretty obvious that the whole idea of this was to get people to start talking about the issue of Tibet . It worked in a sense that most people wouldn’t even have noticed just what the hell was going until they heard about this ad. The People who created this are not idiots .you dont get very far in advertisement coming up with offensive ideas. (posted by ekobrotherthriller)

So, what do you think? Were you offended by the ad? Do you think it was effective? Do you think the ad helps or hurts the people of Tibet? Do you think we’ve become a culture of hypersensitivity looking for things to be offended by?

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17 Responses to “Offensive Superbowl Ad (?)”

  1. Kyrstin S. February 6, 2011 at 11:58 pm #

    I think I’m more offended you don’t like long-haired football players. 😉 I’m kidding… but seriously. That guy up there. <3 him. He does so much philanthropy.

    I missed this ad. Just now watched it. I don't think it's offensive. I'd forgotten what happened it Tibet. I think it's a little funny. It's no worse than objectifying women or paying Black Eyed Peas a gajillion dollars to sing horribly. And now I'm definitely thinking about Tibet!! HIGHLY EFFECTIVE!

  2. katdish February 7, 2011 at 12:03 am #

    I don’t dislike long-haired football players, or long-haired men in general. But when I see all that hair hanging out of a helmet, i just want to run up to them and tell them to put it in a ponytail or something. Drive me nuts!

    • Tony Alicea February 7, 2011 at 7:22 am #

      I watched the game at my pastor’s house last night and he had a mullet in high school when he played football. I asked if the locks flowing out of the back of the helmet were a sign of intimidation.

  3. Jason February 7, 2011 at 12:06 am #

    “Do you think we’ve become a culture of hypersensitivity looking for things to be offended by?”

    The fact they refused to run an ad that showed a player with “John 3:16” on his eye black patches and had a man saying “I’ll look it up” along with a website for people to look it up shows we’ve reached that point.

    This ad was fine and accomplished it’s goal.

  4. Bradley J. Moore February 7, 2011 at 6:15 am #

    #1) I also am disgusted by the long hair sticking out of the helmets. It’s gross.

    #2) That ad definitely caught me off guard. I was like, hey, what just happened? Like they were being politically UNcorrect by blowing off Tibet to talk about getting great deals in Chicago (or wherever he was). I thought, “oh those Tibetans are going to be offended.”

    #3) But my favorite was the very first Bud Light ad with the “Wack-Job” kitchen rennovation show. I laughed good and hard at that one.

  5. Tony Alicea February 7, 2011 at 7:18 am #

    I agree with that YouTube comment for the most part. The exception would be those raunchy GoDaddy commercials. And I agree as well, I thought the commercial was clever. But then…I’m not easily offended either.

  6. karenzach February 7, 2011 at 9:50 am #

    My only thought was how much Timothy Hutton has aged. Does that make me shallow? Or just worried about aging?

  7. Missy@WonderFriend February 7, 2011 at 10:28 am #

    Can’t stand the long hair hanging out of the helmets, either. I actually mentioned it in my post today. I’m with you, sister.

  8. Helen February 7, 2011 at 12:02 pm #

    In a culture where we watch “The Simpsons” and “Family Guy” (I’m included here, sorry), I’m surprised that any find themselves offended by this commercial. “Family Guy” has moments that I find offensive all the time, yet I still watch it because of the funny moments. I don’t even consider myself to be desensitized.
    Anyway, I agree that the commercial was effected, even though with that warning you gave, I was all set to become offended…

  9. Hazel Moon February 7, 2011 at 1:00 pm #

    These players all need to make an appointment at the Barber Shop!
    They probably could get a group discount!!
    Also there is so much suffering going on in this world by those opposed to Christ. Churches burnt and Christians murdered in many lands. I feel for the people in Tibet also.

  10. seekingpastor February 7, 2011 at 1:40 pm #

    I had no problem with it, but I am not easily offended by anything. Sadly, this is not the case for most people. It seems we live in a culture where the majority are on the lookout for offenses instead of just living without taking all of the “stuff” too seriously.

  11. Beth February 7, 2011 at 3:13 pm #

    I just didn’t get it when I saw it last night. I was just left confused…but I was also half-awake most of the game, so that was probably a factor. Now that I watched it again, I kind of appreciate it. Yup, effective.

    Miss ya. 🙂 😉 🙂 😉 There’s some smileys for ya.

    • katdish February 7, 2011 at 3:15 pm #

      BETH!!!!! You’re alive! Miss you!

  12. Annie K February 7, 2011 at 3:32 pm #

    Frankly, I was more offended by having a scantily clad Joan Rivers flash on the screen. Although I’m amazed at what plastic surgery can do. Huh.

  13. eduClaytion February 7, 2011 at 4:36 pm #

    First off, the only appalling part of last night was how my Steelers played. They lost the game, sure. Of course, we usually get the miracle comeback from Ben. Didn’t happen.

    I missed the Groupon ad and only heard briefly that people were upset. I know about Tibet; I care about human suffering. I’m also not a reactionary politically correct twit. So, I see it the way you do.

    btw, you can see what I wrote about today below. Some may find it helpful or at least amusing.

  14. Jake February 7, 2011 at 11:45 pm #

    The ad is genius. You have to be memorable in advertising. That’s why the shock-rocker, Marilyn Manson did so well. It’s why Eminem is popular. Lady Gaga? (barf)

    Sometimes, talent isn’t enough. Sometimes, a good message doesn’t mean a whole lot. There are a TON of good messages. Make yourself memorable, and your message will last a little longer than the average American attention span.

  15. Marni February 8, 2011 at 8:53 am #

    I heart Groupon. I use it alot. And I didn’t see the Tibet commercial until you mentioned it here. However, I literally lol’d at the Groupon commercial featuring the Brazilian Rain Forest. Epic.

    And when did Timothy Hutton get so old???

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