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Super Bowl 2011: Another round of violent, sexist, and ageist ads

Ads during Sunday’s Super Bowl cost $2.7 million for a 30-second spot, up from last year's $2.6 million.

Although the 2011 offerings had many more car ads, the display again was marred by overtly violent images.

It seems like since many more men than women watch football, advertisers think it’s O.K. to show ads depicting violence and sexism, where people are slapped and hit with soda cans and remarks about women’s bodies are acceptable.

Here are my awards for the worst ads airing during this year’s Super Bowl:

Unnecessary violence: Instead of Betty White being tackled in a backyard football game during a Snickers ad, this year Roseanne Barr was downed by a huge log in this year’s look-alike ad from the candy bar company.

In a Pepsi Max ad, a woman kicks a man for ordering French fries then throws a can of the soft drink at a woman sitting on a park bench, causing her to hit the ground. In another Pepsi Max ad, a can was shot out of an ice chest hitting a man’s rival in the crouch.

A Lipton Brisk ad showed an angry puppet who said he didn’t do commercials punching the director at the end. A baby is slammed against a window in a Homeaway.com ad. A new Wendy’s sandwich tastes like “a slap in the face,” with men hitting each other to demonstrate how good the sandwich tastes.

Silliest: A guy licking the finger and sniffing the pants of a co-worker who just ate a package of Doritos. A Bud Light ad, where a remodeled home was simply Bud Light placed on the counter and the landscaping was lots of Bud Light piled up in the backyard

Most sexist: Remarks about a woman’s small bladder being a hindrance to her winning the Ford Focus Rally. A scantily clad Kim Kardashian’s breathy rejection of a well-built guy in favor of Shape-up workout shoes. Go Daddy.com ads about the next Go Daddy girl.

Most ageist: Older people who can’t hear information about the Chevy Cruze Eco.

Least nutritious: While most of the food advertised on the Super Bowl – Coke, Pepsi Max, Subway, Doritos, McDonalds, Bud Light, Wendy’s, and Snickers – is lacking in nutritional quality, the least nutritious prize goes to Jack in the Box for a burger with two jumbo patties for $4.99. It’s exactly what the federal dietary guidelines issued last week recommended against – supersizing.

Ad after ad for violent movies – “Fast Fire,” “Cowboys and Aliens,” “Transformers 3,” “Thor,” “Super 8,” “Captain America,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “I Am Number Four,” “Fast and Furious 5,” and “Battle: Los Angeles” plus ads for violent TV shows – “The Chicago Code,” “Fringe,” “Justified,” and “Datona 500” added to the depressing tone for the Super Bowl ads.

I didn’t see any ads this year that I thought were good. Here’s Fox Sports lists of the best and worst ads, according to website votes.

See Super Bowl XLV/Commercials to see the Super Bowl ads.

Copyright 2011, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist

Comments

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Las Vegas Ford Focus

I'm a female but I don't find any of these ads offensive; they are just ads and entertaining.

Rita

I don't agree. I certainly won't buy fast food from companies that think slapping someone because a sandwich is so good is appropriate advertising.

Rita

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