Town Square

Too much flesh, too much smacking

Original post made by Dolores Ciardelli, editor of Danville Express, on Feb 11, 2010

I will never be able to eat a Dorito again. OK, if you hold out a bag to me, maybe I'll take one. To be polite. But I won't ever again be able to see one, eat one or even think about one without picturing that guy rolling out of the coffin surrounded by Doritos. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you must have been fortunate enough to miss the Super Bowl commercial. That Dorito ad was the most tasteless of all in a highly competitive field for the honor.

The Super Bowl commercials have taken on a life of their own so I sat in front of my TV this year trying to keep an open mind. Usually my husband and I mute commercials and talk to each other, or perhaps leave the room to do something else. But if companies were paying $2.6 million for a 30-second spot, I thought the least I could do was watch these works of art. I'll admit I didn't make it through all of them.

Now I'm not a prude and don't turn my head from the unclothed. I admit that I glance through the doorway at the posters hanging larger than life in the entrance to Abercrombie & Fitch. But the ad that showed "casual Friday" as a bunch of out-of-shape pasty people walking around in their underwear - yuck! Ditto the men who "wear no pants" walking across the fields. Next time, Dockers, please show the men who "wear pants." There's a reason most of us cover ourselves. Aesthetics. While the casual Fridays ad was kind of funny, it was high on the cringe scale.

But the most disturbing trend was all the hitting. A cute scenario had a little boy face to face with his mother's date and warning him to "keep your hands off my mama, keep your hands off my Doritos." But did the kid have to smack the guy on the face? Then there was car commercial that showed person after person punch their friend, date, grandfather. What the???

The two that I liked were the one that showed a gray-bearded Brett Favre being named Most Valuable Player 2020 - funny! - and the one that featured "Punxsutawney Polamalu." Not to sound like an old fogie, but in my day football players' hair fit inside their helmets. The horror of it all when Broadway Joe came on the scene. I still remember my father-in-law's disgust when curls began to show in back. Now, of course, NFL tresses come in all lengths and quantities. I worry about that long bushy hair getting yanked out when they're in one of those big player pile-ups.

Despite the commercials, the game was finally great for Super Bowl XLIV. And of course each year it's nice to get a refresher course in Roman numeralism. Now we would go through football withdrawal but here come the Winter Olympics! After talking to Maureen O'Toole, who was with the silver medal women's water polo in 2000, I have a new appreciation for the athletes. She remembered so fondly the Opening Ceremony when athletes from country after country make their entrance. I also like this part - for about 10 countries. Then it goes on and on and on. So many countries. Of course I have to wait for the USA. It is one long ceremony.

In addition to the Olympics, this weekend we have double excitement, with Presidents Day and Valentine's Day. They have about equal stature in my house. Except I usually make a pineapple upside down cake in my heart-shaped pan for the latter; I don't have a George Washington-shaped pan. I used to make a chocolate cake but one year I forgot to buy the cake mix and had to go with what was in the cupboards - a can of pineapple slices. My husband liked it. After all, we eat chocolate fairly often but not canned pineapple. So that became the tradition. Anyway, have a nice holiday.


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Posted by Hal Bailey
a resident of another community
on Feb 11, 2010 at 6:47 pm

Dear Dolores,

Your thoughts are delicious, well-seasoned and quite remarkably tasteful. Where women are objects along the sideline of the NFL, we can appreciate your graceful presence and words. Your observations of advertising showing too much of Danica and others without showing who they are, or the ads' purposes in our society, simply puts a barometer on the NFL viewers' mentality.

As a marketeer, I see the Super Bowl ads as a contest of advertising firms testing limits and selling little. A keen eye of an editor carefully laid that thought between the lines.



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Posted by Jimbo
a resident of Walnut Creek
on Feb 11, 2010 at 9:34 pm

Great article, Dolores. A note on the origin of the Super Bowl: Originally titled the cumbersome "AFL-NFL World Championship Game", the name was changed two years later to Super Bowl, based on an idea that Lamar Hunt, architect of the AFL got from his young daughter's Super Ball. The Roman numeral idea came a little later to give it more pizzazz.

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Posted by Jan
a resident of Diablo
on Feb 12, 2010 at 7:54 am

Ditto at our more Doritos, ever.

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Posted by Joanie
a resident of Danville
on Feb 12, 2010 at 12:59 pm

I too was offended by the Doritos commercials, the shock collar that the dog put on the man, the coffin and the little boy hitting his mom's date. The back-to-back commercials with unclothed people was disturbing. What are the chances that was a coincidence. The ones I enjoyed were the Audi Green Police, Google French Romance, and one (of the many) Dove commercials showing the phases of a man's life, ending with him being comfortable in his skin. Then there was that completely uninteresting black and white pharmacy commercial...someone in advertising needs to be fired.
Thanks for your comments Dolores!