Thursday, February 9, 2012

Super Bowl Halftime Lessons

A number have people have asked me if I am writing another Super Bowl column this year highlighting some lessons for life that we can learn from the Super Bowl. This year, I have chosen to write a Super Bowl halftime column. This began when I first heard that a Yeshiva in Sderot was offering an alternative to the halftime show. They were asking that when people host their Super Bowl parties, they should ask their guests to bring some tzedakah money. They created a DVD to show at halftime about the Yeshiva to encourage donations. I then heard that Yeshiva University was offering a “Torah alternative” to watch during halftime. The YU Torah Halftime Show was a series of three 8 minute presentations on "Torah and Sports". Clearly there were enough people who felt that the halftime show was not “appropriate.”

That led me to thinking about the commercials during the Super Bowl. An organization called “Common Sense Media” writes about this issue. Common Sense Media is an organization which informs parents about the media they consume. (It's a great resource to check out the appropriateness of a movie!) “There's only one thing that can upstage Tom Brady throwing a 50-yard touchdown pass: a supermodel getting her naked body painted by Jillian Michaels. That's what Internet domain registrar will be treating audiences to in its Super Bowl ads this year,”- one example. The author continues on to quote a memorable commercial from a past Super Bowl. “As adults, we may be evaluating an ad's humor or creativity, but the impact on kids can be quite different. Remember the Budweiser frogs? So do kids. A study by the Center on Alcohol Advertising showed that 9- to 11-year-old kids had higher recall (73%) of the Budweiser frogs' slogan than the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers (39%). And kids knew what the frogs were selling: 81% identified beer as the product promoted by the frogs. " Whether glamorizing alcohol, featuring supermodels, advertising "junkfood," or promoting new television shows or movies that may not be appropriate, our children are exposed to commercials that may not relay the values of our families.

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