Taste Has Exited The Building

When I was in college, as an advertising major, we used to spend our post-Superbowl class periods discussing the ads during the game. We would try to see how many we could recall (naming all the commercials we could remember with no aids) as opposed to the ones we could merely recognize. I can recall many from last night’s game, but one thing I noticed is how there isn’t any semblance of taste anymore in broadcast television.

Thankfully I was spared the spectacle the halftime debacle that’s now being spun as a “wardrobe malfunction” (yeah right, when he ripped off her shirt it was not supposed to come off…). I was also surprised by the ads themselves. Particularly the “horse flatulence” spot (which I must admit I laughed hysterically at) and the one where the dog attacks a man’s crotch to retrieve a beer. It isn’t long ago that such ads would have been summarily considered taboo, which raises the question, does broadcast television have any taboos left? I guess we’ll have to wait and see, but I’m not holding my breath.

My favorite ad: the Ford GT “perfect car” spot. Nothing overly clever, but it had me drooling.

UPDATE: Apparently, I’m not alone in labeling this the “tasteless Superbowl.” See Tom Shales’ Washington Post column.

UPDATE AGAIN: James Kushiner claims that CBS censorship was not entirely absent last night. The posters people held up in the end zones were mysteriously blank (John 3:16?).

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