It’s all about commercials, even more commercials than last year! If you watch T.V. the old school way . . . that is live broadcasts . . . than you probably have to sit through commercials (or use them as intermissions for snack and restroom breaks). Advertising says a lot about cultural priorities, and the Superbowl commercials for 2017 say a lot about the political and social issues dividing our country. No longer are product manufacturers using their advertising dollars only to promote their brands. Commercials have become a battle of social messages, and Christians may find themselves caught in the middle of a media tug-of-war. Never has your time and the money in your wallet had such socio/political clout.
Fall TV update
However, before we dive into our discussion of some of the commercials that have caught our eye this season, we wanted to briefly update you on our T.V. viewing. Both of us are still very much enjoying Lethal Weapon. Not only does it remain very entertaining, but we think the series is doing a wonderful job showing the progression of the depression brought on by tremendous grief. If you haven’t watched it yet, we highly recommend it.
Our feelings on the rest of our Fall TV discussion shows are a bit mixed. Eve is still watching Conviction, though she is a few episodes behind current. Tim and his family are still watching Designated Survivor. We have both become disillusioned with Timeless, preferring Netflix’s The Travelers for its better handling of how the characters are changing time.
Kia Niro: Hero’s Journey
In our last episode on Sully, we discussed what makes a hero: someone who does what needs to be done when it needs to be done under tremendous stress or adversity, saving lives in the process. This Kia Niro commercial takes a bit of a different angle on “hero” showing an “eco warrior” taking on tremendous risks with very comedic and personally harmful results. The end message is that the least you can do for the environment is drive a Niro.
We have discussed the idolatry of the environmentalist movement before in past episodes, as well as the dominion mandate given to Christians in Genesis 1:28. However, Tim puts a different twist on this commercial by changing the advertisement’s challenge: “Christian, the gospel is needed in Africa!” “Christian, the gospel is needed in Iran!” How quick are we as Christians to respond to God’s adamant call to share the gospel? Are we as quick as Melissa to take whatever risk is necessary to share this crucial message wherever it is needed? However, we have to be careful with our missions work, making sure that our message is God-centered and has the most effective impact without causing harm where we serve. Tim suggests supporting ministries like this one: Just One Opportunity.
Eve steps up on another soapbox and points out one of her pet peeves with the extreme hypocrisy with some of the so-called “environmentalists,” those who go to the effort of protesting certain things they think will damage the environment, while at the same time having adverse ecological impact on the very environment they purport to be saving.
Delta: 4 a.m.
Don’t blink or you’ll miss it. Homosexual activity has become so much the norm that it doesn’t even rate highlighting the gay couple portrayed in the Delta commercial “4 am.” Did you catch it? If not, stop the above video at :25.
Is it subliminal, or is it such a done deal that we are faced with it at every turn as just a matter of fact? Sexual preference/gender identity is being presented as a perfectly normal characteristic, in the exact same vein as race and gender. This reinforces the idea that opposition to homosexuality and gender confusion is equivalent to racial prejudice and misogyny. We both believe that homosexuality is a sin, an abomination to God, as is all sin. It isn’t normal, but it is forgivable. But our society has already moved passed it in order to normalize the next societal perversion, and Christians are left behind to be referred to with society’s new hate language: bigots.
List of Super Bowl Commercials with “tolerance” messages
“We believe that now matter who you are, where you are from, who you love, or you who worship, we all belong. The world is more beautiful the more you accept.” #weaccept (airbnb)
First house pictured (:03) has a rainbow flag hanging from the eaves of the house.
Man passes threshold with Mezuzah on door frame (:13) (Putting a faith reference in the same thought as the LGBT flag)
Tim confesses that he lets all of this bother him too much and that he need to cast his anxieties about the sinful fall of civilization upon God:
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7
But we also need to remain vigilant,
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
Eve was offended by this ad (though not in a “protest and wantonly destroy property” sense), mainly because they weren’t countering an “unfortunately true” stereotype but rather striking at a strawman. The opportunities for women in the U.S. equal those of men, and where inequality exists, it is legally actionable. Any wage disparity is usually a product of the choices women make in pursuing employment and their level of motivation to obtain the correct skill set for higher paying jobs as well as commitment to their careers over other distractions such as relationships and family.
Ben Shapiro addresses this particular commercial with some interesting stats:
Audi: Let’s Change the Game
Eve and Tim both like the Audi’s holiday commercial which protested gender stereotyping, though perhaps not for the reasons the advertiser intended. We believe that socially constructed concepts of gender are a good part of what leads to the transgender nonsense directed at today’s children. Playing with cars doesn’t make a girl into a boy, and playing with dolls doesn’t make a boy into a girl. We shouldn’t confuse children about their gender by tying gender to a social construct, but rather keep it based on biological (and biblical) fact. We want more realistic definitions of what it means to be a man or a woman, not the shallow characteristics and preferences that mark our society’s current tendency to confuse the genders.
Does the Bible present women as inferior to men? The short answer is no. Women and men have separate gender roles based on the relationship between Christ and His Church. The responsibility of those roles are the same, but different: where a wife respects her husband enough to allow him final say, and the man loves his wife enough to sacrificially put her needs above his own (Ephesians 5: 22-33).
Bud Light: Ghost Spuds
The moral of the story is that you should get drunk with your friends instead of drinking alone? Really? Can’t we think of better things to do with our friends?
Biblical perspective on alcohol:
Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise. (Proverbs 20:1)
Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, (Ephesians 5:18) [Acts 2:23-13 And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.”]
Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.
(1 Timothy [5:23])
Alcohol is not evil in and of itself. The Bible warns against drunkenness and debauchery, but also extols the medicinal properties. Jesus himself used wine when he introduced the Communion (Matthew [26:27]-29), and his first miracle of his earthly ministry was turning water into wine at a wedding (John 2:1-11).
Video is no longer available. Sorry folks.
This commercial is more of a public service announcement against drunk driving than an advertisement, and both of us highly approve! Unfortunately, it appears that the bags were limited edition just for the Superbowl and even the ad can no longer be found on YouTube.
We appreciate that Tostitos was thinking beyond the party. To us, this demonstrates an active concern for people much better than all the other “social justice” ads did.
Avocadoes from Mexico “aliens”
This is a very funny ad, and we wanted something lighthearted to finish the discussion. What does our pop culture say about us?
From a Rubik’s Cube that is “unsolvable” because humans have “simple brains” to the 21st century torture device (airplane seating), as well as emojis as an alphabet, the white and gold dress that caused a civil war (and looks blue and black) and Scott Baio . . . this commercial delivers fun and laughs without any controversy, or at least nothing that will start a Twitter war, and touches on multiple decades in a brief amount of time . . . certain to have something that every generation might recognize.
And hey, we love guacamole!
Scott Baio is, interestingly enough, one of the very rare Hollywood Republicans. He endorsed Trump. We are unsure as to the importance of his appearance in this commercial other than his iconic T.V. roles from the 80s. It proves he’s either a good sport or he’ll do anything for the money, including stand in a glass case and frustrate himself with a Rubik’s Cube.
Don’t forget to check out our Discussion Group on Facebook. We will be posting some of the more controversial commercials from the Superbowl line up there for further discussion. We really want you to join the conversation.
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