This year I watched the Super Bowl with a bunch of girls (and even more food). I don’t particularly care about any NFL teams other than the Panthers, but I decided to cheer for the Seattle Seahawks. I won a free meal from Chick-fil-a last year after predicting that they would win and I chose them again this year, so maybe I was really hoping for a free #5 8-count with sweet tea.
I love watching the commercials during the big game but I missed some at the beginning of the game because I was a little distracted by all of the food, oops. After I started watching, I was hooked. Some of them were a little strange, some of them were hilarious, some morbid.
Halftime had just been called and I was excited to see Katy Perry perform (LINK TO MY BLOG ABOUT HALFTIME PERFORMANCES). So when I was a commercial started showing an empty home showing signs of an altercation with audio of a phone call between a woman ordering pizza and 911-operator, I was expecting it to have a funny ending. I thought this ad was for a pizza company, maybe Dominos or Pizza Hut, but I was nowhere close to being prepared for what it was actually about.
To say that I was wrong about this commercial being about a funny commercial about pizza would be an understatement. This ad by No More addressing domestic violence is the first of its kind to be aired during the Super Bowl. Ironically it was sponsored by the NFL, a company that has infamously struggled with how to handle situations involving players and domestic violence disputes.
I was shocked. This audio is a recreation of a real story of a woman who called 911 pretending to call a pizza place looking for help. She was involved in a domestic dispute, like the images of this commercial showed, but didn’t have the privacy to call for help. That’s what affects me the most: this isn’t some cleverly fabricated story to make us think about domestic violence. It actually happened to this woman, and it happens to so many people across our nation. It’s real.
I’ve now watched this ad in both the 30-second version that aired on Super Bowl Sunday and the original 60-second version many times, and it still gives me goosebumps and makes my heart beat out of my chest. Quite frankly, I hope it never stops giving me heart palpitations because this is an important issue that I refuse to become indifferent about.
I wasn’t expecting to see social issues during the Super Bowl, but it’s actually the perfect platform. Why not address an issue plaguing our nation when 120.8 million people are watching? That’s a lot of eyeballs and a great way to raise awareness.
McDonald’s must agree with me because they, too, use its commercial to address cyber-bullying. Nationwide made an advertisement about how many children die from preventable deaths in a slightly disturbing and morbid way, but it also addressed a serious issue. This year there was a trend of creating advertisements that weren’t the norm of funny talking babies or celebrities making fun of themselves (though we saw that too), and I think it was necessary. 2014 was a year full of issues in our nation from unrest in Ferguson, MO to ISIS attacks to NFL players being in domestic violence disputes. These issues needed to be addressed. And thankfully, some of them were.
I love funny ads, but I’m glad these issues are being aired during the most watched event of the year. I don’t want the entirety of the commercials to be serious in the future, but they deserve to be included. I applaud No More for this commercial and it has definitely prompted the nation to talk about the issue.
(Still sad I didn’t win a free Chick-fil-a meal, thanks Seahawks.)