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David Sable Headshot

Super Bowl -- Game and Culture

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I went to the Super Bowl this year.

I ate a Bloody Mary cupcake at the NFL Tailgate Party.

I bought overpriced T-shirts and pretzels.

I watched Seattle trash Denver.

I danced with Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

I commiserated with my wife who was cold.

I watched the Blackhawks fly over as "The Star Spangled Banner" concluded and wiped away a tear or two.

I didn't see any of the commercials.

Wait -- I did... prerelease... I saw many of them.

Bottom line -- I was reminded that the game is a cultural event...

A global celebration of American sports and sportsmanship (not always what we want but better than most)... not to mention kitsch.

It is not a vehicle... despite the conceit of many... for advertising.

But advertising does play a role in the culture of the event...

And should be elevated to new levels because of the nature of the event - the best playing the best and doing their best and more.

In recent years we have let ourselves down as well as our audiences around the world.

We have let GMOOT (give me one of those) dictate our deliverables.

We made advertising that would get shared not because it was memorable; not because it was evocative; not because it had deep and compelling insight - but simply because we juked the system and followed the cats and babies of viral fame.

Truth is, I think this year the tide has started to turn again.

I won't comment on any work -- it's your call -- I just implore you to ignore the digibabble and look for the kind of work you want to share around your dinner table, in conversation, on a street corner -- the kind that gets you thinking and talking -- not just clicking....

I'm glad I went -- 80,000 happy and screaming fans reminded me that we watch the game because of what it is, and everything else around it builds and adds to the culture of the whole -- including the half-time show and the ads....

But in the Beginning and in the End, it is the game -- people watching in the stadium, at home, in bars, at parties -- in groups -- average of 17 in a party by the way -- it's the players -- it's their fans -- it's their home cities and states...it's our culture....

But it's not just about the advertising...

"The truth is the Super Bowl long ago became more than just a football game. It's part of our culture like turkey at Thanksgiving and lights at Christmas, and like those holidays beyond their meaning, a factor in our economy." -- Bob Schieffer

So yes -- advertising is a part of the culture -- a big and entertaining part -- but we had begun to lose perspective thinking that the game was a mere by-product of the ads... and I believe it's why we went astray....

So find the great stuff and let people know...it will make next year that much better.

What do you think?

 
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