Instilling values in our children
This year, I actually watched the Super Bowl for the game, and not the commercials or half time show. My home team, the Baltimore Ravens were playing, and were also fortunate enough to walk away with a victory. For many people, Super Bowl parties are a great time to get together with friends, enjoy varieties of football food and marvel at the amount of money put into producing the best commercial ever. This year, there were some doozies.
One of the most repulsive, to me, was the Go Daddy commercial.
When the commercial began, I didn’t think it would be that bad, as I really like Danica Patrick. But quickly, the commercial progressed into a full assault not only on the eyes, but the ears. As I was live-tweeting during the Super Bowl, I commented and received quite a bit of feedback. Many friends definitely shared my sentiment of getting slightly nauseous at the exchange. Go Daddy fared well, as it turned out to be the biggest sales day in the company’s history.
The company provided Mashable with the following stats that illustrate a big increase over the comparable day in 2012:
- Hosting sales jumped 45%
- Dot-com domain sales rose 40%
- New mobile customers increased by 35%
- The company added 10,000 customers in total
As the Super Bowl went on, we were treated to a pretty risqué Calvin Klein commercial, and an even more risqué halftime show. I read several comments and tweets from people who were still disappointed with Beyoncé’s lip-synced inauguration 2013 performance, so they had nothing nice to say. One comment in particular that I read expressed they felt Beyonce’s performance was “completely inappropriate.” As I reflected on this, I certainly agreed that it was nothing I’d want young children to watch, but was I disappointed? No, I can’t say that I was. Probably because it’s what I’ve come to expect from performers of today.
I learned my Super Bowl lesson in 2004 after Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction. At the time, I was a youth leader for my church, and while the kids were as excited as everyone else, we decided to have a Super Bowl party just for them. We had all the delicious and generally unhealthy football foods but none of the language and alcohol soaked rants that sometimes accompany such sporting events. We thought we were safe in our insulated environment, and we incorrectly thought we would be able to control whether the kids were exposed to anything that we deemed inappropriate. We were wrong.
As we were watching the halftime show, the kids were of course enjoying the performance by Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake, all of a sudden I heard, “Did I just see what I thought I saw?” We could only speculate at that point because we were two years out from the world of Twitter and live updates and reactions to everything happening in the universe. Later, we find out that the young man did indeed see what he thought he saw, as we saw a progression of FCC fines and a heated debate developing on the ability to censor such acts from occurring in the future.
It was clear to me then and even more abundantly clear to me now that we cannot expect cable television and the main stream media to adhere to the morals and values we uphold. Since the wardrobe malfunction incident, performances at such sporting events and awards shows have become increasingly sexual and striving to achieve the highest wow factor, which often translates into shock factor.
My point is this, I was not disappointed or even offended by the commercials and the performance because I expected nothing less. It is clear to me that if I want to watch material that I feel is appropriate for my children, I need the ability to preview it in advance. I am not one that advocates censorship, as we already have a rampant big government administration that wants to control as much of our lives as possible. As someone who values the principles of liberty and freedom, for me, it was simply easy enough to make sure I never put children under my supervision in an environment where I was not controlling what was being watched.
When one looks to mega stars and music personalities as role models, you’re going to have problems, because they will simply not measure up. I personally feel it is our job as parents to be those role models for our children and to actually parent, and be actively involved in what they are watching and listening to.
The television and the iPod were never meant to instill values in our children — we were.
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- Are Hashtags In Commercials Effective? [Infographic] (sysomos.com)
- Cringeworthy Make Out Ad Leads To Go Daddy’s Best Sales Day Ever (businessinsider.com)
- 10 Super Bowl Ad Campaigns That Rocked Social Media (adrants.com)
- Super Bowl XLVII Unifies Nation Over Social Media (annamariehoulis.wordpress.com)
- 10 things I took away from the Super Bowl (timesunion.com)
- Bar Refaeli and GoDaddy’s degradation of women (blogs.timesofisrael.com)
- Glenn Garvin: Super Bowl ads disturbingly delightful (miamiherald.com)
- 25 Million Social Media Mentions During Super Bowl XLVII (radian6.com)
- Super Bowl commercials lean toward the weird side (miamiherald.com)