Superbowl LI aired tonight, and as usual there were a lot of great commercials, as well as an historic halftime show.
What surprised us here at The Geekiary was the number of geeky commercials aired during Superbowl LI – not only were there previews for movies like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Logan, but there were constant interstitials for FX’s adaptation of Legion, several mobile game commercials, and a lengthy look at the new Elder Scrolls game. However, one of the most important inclusions was AMC’s The Walking Dead – a short spot featuring Negan’s baseball bat “Lucille” taking out a football, with the caption “Football season is over, The Walking Dead returns”.
That said, this didn’t compare to the amazing preview for Stranger Things 2 – we all knew that they were airing this spot during Superbowl LI, but somehow we still couldn’t quite prepare ourselves for it…
Honestly, I know enough about GotG2 to know that I’m excited to see it; as for TWD and Logan, I’ll be watching them, as well. But let’s be real, nothing compares to knowing when we’ll get the next ‘season’ of Stranger Things!
Don’t get me wrong, there were some other highlights among the Superbowl LI commercials. For instance my two favorite “regular” Superbowl commercials were the Mr. Clean “Cleaner of Your Dreams” and Budweiser’s “Born the Hard Way”.
And there were also a lot of commercials that addressed social issues. Ford’s “Go Further” shows that they are apparently breaking into bike sharing, electric cars, and self-driving cars. Kia used their “Hero’s Journey” commercial to show Melissa McCarthy saving the planet, but it was a more lighthearted way to get some messages across about saving the whales, the trees, and more. Then there was Audi, who has started the hashtag #driveprogress, which is their commitment to equal pay between men and women.
Additionally, while the network(s) never actually HAD to take a stance on social issues, let’s not deny that they did. When performing “America the Beautiful”, the lyrics used were “and crown thy good with brotherhood AND SISTERHOOD from sea to shining sea”. On top of that, it was more than a little bit amusing that people were claiming that Lady Gaga “didn’t go political with her halftime show” – because HAVE YOU EVER HEARD HER LYRICS? She didn’t *have* to ‘go political’ because SHE WAS ALREADY THERE..and by the way she was amazing as always.
I have to be honest, as a Patriots fan this was an amazing game…but as a geek and someone who identifies as pansexual, it also felt really important – there was absolutely a lot more time spent on positive values. We’re in a time of tumult, after all, and while I’m sure not every football fan took those commercials at face value, understood them, and wants to move on in the same way I do…the important part is that regardless of anyone’s general beliefs or what team they were a fan of, they saw a lot of positive representation tonight. They saw a lot of resistance, if you will.
And maybe, just maybe, they saw some HOPE.
Author: Tara Lynne
Tara Lynne is an author, fandom and geek culture expert, and public speaker. She founded Ice & Fire Con, the first ever Game of Thrones convention in the US, and now runs its parent company Saga Event Planning.
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