Super Heroes and Super OffensivePosted: 9 February 2011
I’m gonna talk a little TV and a little advertising today. So without further ado…
No Ordinary Family is actually a pretty ordinary show. Even though it’s got this really great premise to work with (a crazy accident gives a family super powers and now they’re realizing that they’re not the only ones), it tends to revert to pretty traditional themes and ideas. It’s not my favorite show, but for some reason I enjoy watching it…I think it’s because there’s always a twist at the end of each episode that keep’s me drawn in.
Last night’s episode was no exception. There was a pretty conventional guys vs. girls premise (that the AVClub really does a great job of critiquing here), where the Mom functioned as a damsel in distress. Just as I was getting tired of watching, what happens, but Daphne (played by Kay Panabaker, the main reason I watch the show), realizes that she can use her powers to plant ideas in people’s minds. There’s a whole lotta potential for awesome here. I could see this quickly turning her to villainy, but it’ll probably get resolved in the first five minutes of the next episode, like always.
I realize that the summary above isn’t really going to make you want to tune in, but so few people know about No Ordinary Family (because it airs the same time as Glee), I thought I’d at least mention it.
Now, onto the Ad talk. I’m sure you’ve all heard about the controversial Groupon ads. You know the ones:
It aired during the Super Bowl, and it got a bunch of people talking (well the people who weren’t talking about the “Test Baby” in the HomeAway ad, anyways). But, the thing about it is, that’s what Groupon wanted. They hired Christopher Guest to direct the ads, and they intentionally wanted to create buzz by juxtaposing these plights with celebrities spending money. I just think they chose the wrong one to air during the Super Bowl. Check out the slightly clearer message in this one:
This commercial just barely hints that, by getting coupons at Groupon, you’re giving money to good causes. Of course, even good intentions are misinterpreted, so the company’s getting a lot of flack…and they’re dealing with it by changing the commercials. Now, there’s a bit at the end that says “Support the cause at savethemoney.org.”
This campaign was engineered to get our attention by poking fun at something we’re all familiar with: celebrities asking us to give money to good causes. The only thing is, somethings just can’t be made fun of. Like assassination jokes, mocking the suffering of people, animals or environments is usually in poor taste.