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divisive ads

i've never been into american football. i'm not much of a sports fan in general, but even on my scale, football (a misnomer if ever there was one, since it features neither feet for most plays, nor something that meets the standard definition of a ball) falls just above basketball near the bottom of my list of things i'd like to watch.

time was, though, that i'd get a kick out of seeing the ads that aired each year. after all, thanks to apple (formerly apple computers), this became the place to showcase your company's awesome creative talents, with lengthy spots purchased at the cost of a poor nation's gdp. and i might add that seeing said advertisements took some talent if you weren't a fan. in the pre-internet age, you had to keep bouncing back, hoping to catch the ad breaks, or you'd be doomed to watching three-second outtakes on the eleven o'clock news.

it's been years since i tuned into what's been happening with those ads. i know that watching them, commenting on them and rating them has become a sort of cultural pass-time, as relevant to america as the game itself. (it's 1:30 in the morning, i don't know who won, if you needed further proof of my lack of enthusiasm for football.) the super bowl ads are still huge and flashy, i know, but they're cost-prohibitive to any but the largest corporations (which i'm not condemning- i think it's reasonable that the nfl should sell their advertising for as much as they can get) and furthermore, there are often more interesting ad campaigns being carried out on line.

there are often controversies about the ads, some of which have the power to create a real furor. then you have this year's apparent controversy about groupon (an online discount vendor) and the appropriateness of their ads. are they cheeky winks at charity advertising? or were they a crass attempt to flog a commercial product through mocking legitimate charities? there's no way that they didn't know these ads were going to piss some people off, but maybe that's part of the point. after all, groupon might be eager to build their profile in a hurry by any means, after a an alluring proposal went sour and their former suitor is rumoured to be plotting to destroy them if they can't have them.

the ads were created by no less a talent than christopher guest, who is certainly no stranger to deadpan humour.

so what's your opinion? too far? fair game? everyone else is speaking up, so why sit on the sidelines? (see what i did there?)

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