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As seen on TV: your guide to NFL commercial watching

John Reidy | September 10, 2014

Burger King ads are plentiful on Sunday and while they urge you to get fatter and don’t look back, Subway at least has the class to pretend it’s healthy. And if yoga mat ingredients and rat anus meat don’t convince you, maybe RGIII and Justin Tuck will.”

These days it’s rare that we, as collective group will be watching the same thing. Some people may watch the Walking Dead, and some less enlightened folk, watch things like the Voice. Because of the many choices out there for your television viewing easement, it’s a nearly impossible notion that we’d be watching the same commercials at the same time. But for football fans, we are all subjecting our malleable minds to the same glorious commercial propaganda each Sunday.

And since we all have to suffer through these commercials together while watching football, we might as well discuss, dissect and evaluate them. Forget the product, let’s boil down what they’re really trying to sell you.

Pizza Hut is always a big player on Sundays and the pizza chain has wasted no time in introducing its latest way to make us fatter: Bacon and cheese stuffed crust. Yes, bacon in the crust. It’s not enough that the pizza itself has a pound of cheese and layer upon layer of laboratory wrought meats. The crust is packed with processed cheese and bacon because apparently we just weren’t unhealthy enough. And some hick who I think is on the aforementioned Voice is selling it to you, reinforcing the stereotype that people from the south are lard-asses who can’t turn down sodium choked animal products. God bless the USA.

White people being disappointed in their tech purchases is also a theme during football Sundays. Samsung has an ad for its latest phones where a tech obsessed white man with a nicely trimmed beard, laments the fact that the camera in his phone isn’t as good as the people who have to witness him using it. How will we pretend to care about our kid’s shitty soccer game AND display our status if we don’t have the latest model? Drown yourself in your soy latte honky before the shame becomes too great.

Speaking of annoying white guys, there’s a car commercial where a really annoying white man, being driven to dinner with his wife by a black couple continually tries to tell the black dude how to drive. But surprise! He’s got some fancy car that does the thinking for him! In your face whitey. Pretty soon we won’t have to think at all. Still, this dude is really obnoxious and if you had this jag off piping up in real life every goddamned second to tell you how to drive, there would be hell to pay. Now I know how my wife feels when she’s my designated driver.

And as far as car commercials go, there’s one with Matthew McConaughey where he drives a Lincoln and speaks in kind of a True Detective-ized version of his Academy Award speech. I don’t know what he’s saying because I can’t stop staring at the ring on his right hand. Why the right hand Matt? Let’s talk about that instead of your bold choice to buy a Lincoln that may or may not have involved seven figures.

Burger King ads are plentiful on Sunday and while they urge you to get fatter and don’t look back, Subway at least has the class to pretend it’s healthy. And if yoga mat ingredients and rat anus meat don’t convince you, maybe RGIII and Justin Tuck will. The two bicker about sacks before Jay Glazer walks through and breaks it up, probably wearing some kind of leather strap around his sack because he looks like a sweaty leather daddy who spends too much time at the gym and who puts band aids on his bloody nipples during broadcasts because he wears his nipple clamps too tight. Mmmm eat fresh.

While we’re talking about meat, Arby’s has a commercial where they drop a big load of meat in front of you and say “did the meat scare you?” It’s sexual and savory all at the same time and has all the charm of a guy presenting his boner to an unsuspecting victim in a YMCA steam room. No horsey sauce please.

And finally, you’ll notice in a lot of these ads, women are always used as comic fodder. Someone, somewhere decided about 15 years ago that a woman slipping and falling is comic gold, so we have been subjected to about 20 Kate Hudson movies showing at least one of these incidents. Now it’s evolved a bit and while a woman getting hurt is hilarious, we have to change with the times. And oddly enough a commercial involving the NFL has provided this spark of creativity. In an NFL mobile ad, Drew Brees has to use a fire extinguisher when a horrendously stereotypical male lets his date catch on fire in a cooking class. You see, he’s distracted by football and his first intention – providing his date with a nice evening out – is superseded by his need to absorb more football. She catches fire, Brees puts her out and the man drools over a product that will allow him to ignore his mate even more. The woman gets burned, loses her eyebrows and we all laugh. Roger Goodell thought this one was pretty good, so look for a month honoring women who’ve been horribly burned due to negligence soon. I think the shoes and gloves will be black for the feeling in all of our souls.


Written by John Reidy


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