Sunday, 2 February 2014



The Wretched Excess of Stupor Sunday


Jesus. Where to begin?


A football game will be played tonight in the great State of New Jersey. In excess of 110-million fans and curious viewers will tune into the broadcast. A single minute of commercial time equates to a $6-million hit to the advertiser. And here at the house there are 41 cigarettes, 31 tins of beer and an eight-layer Mexican dip all prepped for the football coin toss. Actually the dip may be a nine-layer monster mound in a Pyrex dish as the cats have been about most of the afternoon and they’re experts at shedding. Vomiting too - although it’s best not to think about that.


Today’s NFL finale has some resonance in Western Canada. Denver, Colorado is down the Rocky Mountain chain and the Broncos’ owner, Pat Bowlen, once practiced law here in Edmonton. No need to mention his ties to the oil and gas industry that drive this province’s boom and bust cycles. The Seattle Seahawks, whose sharply designed Haida inspired logo is one of the league’s best because of its evocative sense of place, are a regional phenomenon and therefore Canadian fans wanting to buy tickets must be residents of British Columbia or Alberta.


Advertising, when it’s done well, is a simple proposition: in exchange for your time you will be provided with some information that may prove useful to you. Advertisers know that the best way to fulfill this implicit contract is to tell a story. The Super Bowl is North America’s biggest stage, the perfect real time platform. And yet, Rolling Stone magazine’s digital site has already leaked most of the new spots. Tomorrow, maybe even now, the ads will be all over the ‘Net. Fabulous. The subtle suggestions are getting out, or are they? Everyone’s a critic and the short films promoting products are now being reviewed like Hollywood product. In this February instance has the medium become larger than the message?

Bruno Mars at the half. iTunes is probably going download mad now and he will move many CDs at Wal-Mart tomorrow. The James Brown suits and dance moves are good. The Chili Peppers belong in the eight-layer dip. The 48th Super Bowl seems to be shaking down as the previous 47 have, utter entertainment stiffs that never match the previous two weeks of hype. Still, there’s plenty of time to go: about 25 minutes of football and a good two hours of television time unless most viewers have already tuned out.

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