We have reached that time of the year when news “leaks” out about the Super Bowl ads and what sorts of strategies advertisers will be using this year. Frankly, all of the pre-game analysis of advertisements gives them an importance far beyond reality and, so I pay little attention to them. However, this year, there is a wrinkle in the fabric of US culture that ought to make the advertisers and their creative counterparts in the agencies take note.
The adage has been that “Sex sells,” and indeed it has worked that way for at least a century. However, it has been almost 4 months since the “Harvey Weinstein Story” broke and the #MeToo movement began gathering momentum. That has been sufficient time for the ad agencies to adjust their pitches for this year because here are a couple of things I think we should not be seeing in Super Bowl ads in February 2018:
- If there is an ad with a scantily clad woman in it, the clothing had better be a bathing suit, the setting had better be a beach and the product had better be sunscreen.
- There should not be any ads of frat boys or construction workers ogling women – period.
Too bad we cannot return to the days of “Bud Bowl” and “Louie the Lizard” …
The LA Chargers played their games in a tiny venue this year while they await the finish of the extravagant stadium Stan Kroenke is building for the Rams and the Chargers. It was obvious that the Chargers would play to the smallest home crowds in the league this year, but I wondered just how small the crowds turned out to be.
- The Chargers drew 202,687 fans for their home games. Average = 25,335.
- The Bengals drew 426,207 fans for their home games. Average = 53,275
- The Raiders drew 462,201 fans for their home games. Average = 57,775
OK, the Chargers drew less than half the number of people than did the next two lowest drawing NFL teams. That average attendance is meager for many of the big-time college programs. So, I wondered how the Chargers average attendance stacked up with some “mid-major college football programs”. The answer is that some small-time school outdrew the Chargers:
- Chargers drew an average of 25,335
- Appalachian St. drew an average of 25,787
- UAB drew an average of 26,375.
- Air Force, Boise St., Colo. St., Fresno St. and San Diego St. outdrew the Chargers.
- The Birmingham Bowl – two days before Christmas – drew 28,623.
The NFL announced recently that there will be only 3 “London Games” in 2018 – down from 4 of those games in 2017. League officials quickly and pointedly said that this was not representative of cooling toward the London market; rather, the idea for this year is to have the three games take place on 3 successive weeks (Weeks 6-8) to see how that plays in the sporting world of the UK. The Seahawks, Eagles and Titans will make their “European debuts” next year leaving only 3 NFL teams that have never been made to cross the pond.
One of the games will take place in the new stadium built in London for the Tottenham Hotspurs of the English Premier League. This new stadium will have a feature that I have read about but would need to see it to understand it. Per ESPN.com:
“The new Tottenham stadium will feature the world’s first dividing, retractable soccer pitch — with an artificial surface underneath that will be used for NFL games and concerts — and a dedicated NFL entrance. There will also be NFL-sized dressing rooms and dedicated NFL medical and media facilities, and the stadium has been designed to ensure the sight lines are as good for NFL as for soccer.”
I do not understand how the “dividing, retractable soccer pitch” is going to work or why there is a need for a “dedicated NFL entrance”. The current plans call for the Raiders and Seahawks to play in the new stadium in Week 6 next year. It will be worth getting up early to see that game just to get an idea how the new stadium works.
In the coach-shuffling season that happens every January/February, fans are happy to see coaches and assistant coaches leave town based on their team failing to “reach its potential”. At the same time, the fans are happy to welcome the “new guy in town” who will surely “turn things around”. Well, consider this comment from Greg Cote in the Miami Herald about a recent move by the Dolphins:
“Problem solved! Fins hire new offensive coordinator: The disappointing 6-10 Dolphins and coach Adam Gase demoted offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen after averaging only 17.6 points per game to rank 28th in the NFL. They replaced him with Dowell Loggains, whom the Bears just dismissed after Chicago averaged 16.5 points, ranking 29th. Well alrighty then!”
Finally, here is a word from Brad Dickson in the Omaha World-Herald:
“LeBron James turned 33 and has been in the league for 14 years. This is typically the point in his career when an NBA player witnesses his first traveling call.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………