Sprint Has The Best Set Of Commercials This Year With Darth Vader & Alex DeLarge

That would be actors James Earl Jones and Malcolm McDowell (and two of their most famous roles from Star Wars and A Clockwork Orange respectively). They basically play two old men reenacting phone calls, Facebook status updates and messages in the At Sprint, Everything’s Important campaign that is totally adorbs! I’m not a Sprint customer, but these ads are very clever. I keep seeing folks sharing at one ad I haven’t seen on my social media timelines, so I believe they’ve shot at least five and counting.

I’m sure they were offered a lot of money to do these commercials as the punch line is that it’s older male actors of a certain stature using tween social media-speak which seems incongruent to their image. Sprint was very clever in poking fun at our behavior. Who hasn’t gone out with another person to have an entire conversation with them over the phone while in the same physical location? Or sent Twitter and Facebook messages while in the next room inlieu of talking? Do they even know what they’re saying??? Hahaha!!

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Who Knew The SuperBowl Would Be So Interesting?

I was mildly curious about this year’s Super Bowl because the San Francisco 49ers had made it to the finals after a 15-year absence. In addition, I lived in the City when there was some of the most heated public debate about where the team would make its home in the new stadium projects being proffered. This was coupled with the gentrification concerns for the one mostly undeveloped area left in the City, the majority-black underclass neighborhood of Bayview/Hunter’s Point. Considering there’s less than a 3% black population in the city and 6% in the entire state of California, you will see a shift in the larger numbers of old-guard post Civil Rights-era representation that belies the future constituency when the current CBC members die off, never to return.

Given its proximity to a former naval shipyard that is the current site of a hazardous zone, the deal brokered by former Mayors Willie Brown (who’s black) and Gavin Newsom’s attempts at finalizing a shopping complex/condo project that all ultimately fell through, no improvement has been made to the area and the 49ers decided to permanently move outside the city to Santa Clara where they already had their administrative offices located. Though there will be a new shopping Mall on the site of Candlestick Park, that still falls short of actually improving the blighted sections. Considering the development company got the land for an estimated $1, these types of deals usually don’t help the people that would most benefit. There was also a bit of behind-the-scenes drama between the team owners, where the brother (from a billionaire family) had been ousted, the sister acquired the controlling interest and the team hadn’t come close to winning a significant game in more than a decade. San Francisco is definitely known as a tech town rather than a sports fanatic city. That might change, despite their 3 point loss to the Baltimore Ravens last night.

I don’t know who watched the game, but it was awesome!  The power grid failed at the Super Dome in NOLA for nearly 40 minutes. This speaks of our serious lack of infrastructure in the USA and how one flip of a switch or bad weather could level a city fast. Of course, the irony that this happened post-Katrina was lost on nearly no one and the money spent fighting on foreign soil for control of resources should not negate prioritizing the safekeeping of our citizenry at home. If there was an legit terrorist attack (or crime spree) here, all it would take is turning out the lights.

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When Advertisers Positively Acknowledge Black Women #3

We may have a love/hate relationship with commercials due to implications of consumerism and concerns about products. Something to consider is image, recognition of buying power and simple consideration. I believe there was an episode of Mad Men where a company had solid research AAs made up a substantial percentage of their customer base, but chose to ignore them. We’re coming full circle and should take advantage of every opportunity (and create some).

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When Advertisers Positively Acknowledge Black Women #2

Continuing our discussion from February – by supporting those who are supportive of you – we’ve got some new commercials that show black women in a positive light. (Don’t miss When Advertisers Positively Acknowledge Black Women #1.) Which is not the same thing as pandering or being ‘ironic’ for the sake of attention, paternalism or worse! The brands do need to label their ads better so we can find them by a simple SEO search.

Much of the future of advertising has to take online viewership into greater consideration. Yes, brands that means you!

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When Advertisers Positively Acknowledge Black Women

Consider this an adjacent conversation to our Super Bowl Media Watch. There are specific instances I will address in a separate post a) the total erasure of black women from ads this year b) the Roland Martin situation (nothing like witnessing a meltdown in real-time on Twitter) c) another advertiser with a majority women customer base not including women innovators in their ad d) why the argument over what I dub “sexy woman” ads has different ramifications for black women.

Objectification is in the eye of the beholder. Stereotypes are a gross exaggeration that devalues underlying causation. Regardless these things can be combated. For all of the potential harm viewing women as one-dimensional implies, being completely erased is far worse.

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SuperBowl Media Watch

While all eyes are focused on Brady vs. Manning or whether Madonna’s Half Time performance will suck be memorable, I’m thinking about last year’s derogatory Pepsi ad that reinforced the castrating and loud stereotype of black women amongst other less than savory ads. 

I don’t think it’s a matter of if there will be an offensive ad, but a matter of who is denigrated. IF NECESSARY WE MAY NEED TO RESPOND so, it’s better to be prepared than taken aback. This is where you come into play.

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