There were a lot of terrible Super Bowl ads this year. It was made too obvious by the advertisers that they were trying to reach a specific target market, and the shock of one commercial was overwhelmed by the “shock” aspect of all of the commercials. It seems as though they learned nothing from the over-saturation of pumpkin spice this year.
The biggest waste of money was definitely the ad from No More, about domestic violence. The NFL had been trying to work with this organization to gain some of their positive reputation back, especially with women. However letting this commercial air in the middle of the game, was a mistake. Apparently this 9-1-1 call was real and recounted by a dispatcher on Reddit (USA Today). Despite the “shock” value, yet again, it was a wash of a commercial. My roommate seemed to love it because “Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest day in domestic violence,” meaning that on this day more calls are reported. However, Snopes disproved this completely. In fact, it justified what I have always understood (coming from a home with a verbal abuser) as the times when the abuse was the worst: Christmas and major Holidays.
In my personal opinion, if you are going to stand up and say No More to domestic violence, you need to address the issue. You can’t skirt around it with a haunting, yet forgettable ad, placed in the middle of a game filled with other haunting and shocking commercials. If I was spending 4.5 million on a commercial (speaking directly to the NFL because No More didn’t pay for it) you need to address the fact that domestic violence isn’t just being scared; it’s being trapped.
The woman and her children are trapped in a situation with no way out because they can’t fathom another way. It’s psychologically, first and foremost, one of the most damaging things to a human being. Wounds heal, women walk away, but they are left with scars that tell them that they don’t deserve real love, that they are enablers to bad behavior, that they are weak, and those scars can heal but they take a lot longer. It’s about turning to the person next to you and opening yourself up for them, because even though people say they are okay, they might not be. Empower women not only to make the call but to walk away. That is what this ad lacked. A really powerful image of the truth about domestic violence, not the beatings, but the emotional and psychological toll needed to be addressed. Otherwise it is just another ad saying: “Hey we messed up with the Ray Rice thing, but we’re trying!”
Good Job NFL!
Honestly though, I would like to sincerely thank No More for their efforts. I’m glad they are getting publicity. Even if the ad wasn’t what I wanted to see, it was still pretty powerful. Please check out their website for yourself. Educate yourself about domestic violence, and be open to those around you. You can help them feel powerful enough to say No More.
Photo Credit: No More