Asking for compassion on Super Bowl Sunday

By Michael Mark, Creative Director/CEO @NYCA

It wasn’t on the field but during and after the Bowl that we got a sense of what’s on people’s minds. I see the commercials and programming around this event as a mass emotional snapshot. There are the key economic indicators – this is the culture version. And I’m seeing the big companies asking for some love. With the bailouts and the great lack of trust for corporations these days, I can see the reasoning.

We saw a sweet and tender Google commercial – reminiscent of Hallmark without the puppies and freckles; in fact, without anything living at all. Now, the world knows Google as the largest — perhaps most innovative — search company but this was not about what they do. This told a love story – we saw Google’s heart in a series of search boxes. Why? So we’ll feel better about them as their product weakens to competition or they start charging us per search. It’s easy to feel for the underdog but these guys got in a soft spot for the behemoth.

After the Saints won the big game, we were presented with “Undercover Boss.” A new reality show where the heads of large corporations take on the jobs of their personnel. In this episode, the president of Waste Management, a company with 45,000 employees, tried and often failed at tasks he had caused to be unreasonable through his own policy making.

Tears were shed around garbage trucks and porta-potties as he got a fresh look at his company and, so, himself. He made corporate changes for the common guy. Good TV. Good PR. Good business.

At the same time, I found out a stat that is the real reality show: Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest domestic violence day of the year.

Compassion needs to happen on both sides of the screen.

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