Last night, 120 million Americans were treated to a nail-biting win by the Kansas City Chiefs over the San Francisco 49er’s. It was a hell of a game which went into that rarest of moments at this annual affair; overtime.
The final score was 25 – 22
That same audience was also treated to Usher performing at halftime, and Taylor Swift snogging her boyfriend Travis Kelce at fulltime.
Super Bowl has also become a marquee occasion for US marketers. Big name brands produce huge budget commercials just for a one-off airing. (At a cost of $7 million for 30 seconds, it’s not surprising they can only afford to show it once.)
This year, amongst some very funny and emotive advertising, was a hilarious TV spot showing a Tesla knocking over prams, ignoring pedestrian crossings, swerving all over the road, hitting babies at speed and changing direction slightly to ensure it connected with a person skiing (?) across the road.
The commercial was commissioned by The Dawn Project, a self-proclaimed watchdog for safer software systems. The protagonist, Dan O’Dowd, is not only founder of The Dawn Project but CEO of Californian company Green Hills Software.
The commercial ends with a big, bold question:
Why Does NHTSA Allow Tesla Full Self Driving?
It’s a pretty damning statement on the character of Elon Musk and the presumably bulging wallets of the good folk working at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This is not the first time Mr. O’Dowd has called Elon’s tactics and tech into question. He pulled the same stunt at last year’s Super Bowl but the ad wasn’t nearly as funny as this year’s effort.
We’ve praised and ridiculed Elon Musk a fair amount in our articles over the past year. I think we’ve had a go at the NHTSA, as well. So I’m not going to comment further on either party. But I do have a question about America in General.
This is a population whom Hollywood thinks is so stupid, they replaced the word Philosopher with the word Sorcerer in the first Harry Potter movie. They also, apparently, can’t differentiate between a hard s and a soft s, so they’ve changed the language to incorporate z. My laptop fights with me every day, changing every ‘…isation’ to ‘…ization’. I’ve given up now, and don’t fight back.
Oh yes, there’s also the dropping of the u in many words – except ‘through’. This has become ‘thru’.
My question is about the Super Bowl logo featured above. If marketers and linguists have such a low opinion of American intelligence, why would the logo designer apply Roman Numerals? Any American who doesn’t know what a philosopher is, is hardly likely to know that LVIII means 58.
For a country that adores simplifying everything to the point of idiocy, showing a logo that reads Super Bowl 58 in an ancient script when broadcasters only ever refer to it as Super Bowl 2023 is rather, err, charming. Don’t u think?
Anyway, this is what keeps me awake at night longer than Elon Musk’s ongoing shenanigans with Tesla.
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