The AFA’s hail-Mary pass to defend traditional marriage
Holy-moly! I’m all for free expression of religion, advocacy and even the pairing of the two. But this takes the (wedding) cake. In a last ditch effort to save civilization, children and Christianity from the “desires of man,” the American Family Association is urging the Supreme Court to “adjudicate rightly that which is God’s alone to decide.” In other words, “affirm marriage as between one man and one woman.” To legitimize same-sex marriage, the organization argues, “would be saying that God has no place in our public square” and that “mothers and fathers together are no longer relevant in the lives of their children.” Can you spell “hyperbole?” Painful as it is to admit, this is a well-done ad and that makes it all the more pernicious. It pushes all the buttons of the faithful (some of whom are serving on the High Court) and presents a crabbed and incorrect reading of the our nation’s civic bible–the Constitution. You have to wonder, hasn’t the AFA (or its lawyers) ever heard of the Establishment Clause? I’ve got to believe that God take a more expansive view of love in all its forms. The bigotry and intolerance enshrined in AFA’s theology reside solely in the minds and hearts of man.
What is it with all the screaming? Are braying animals or shrieking humans really the best way to, um, break through the clutter? From Discover Card’s “No surprises” (a goat, a mic, a man with an extreme startle reflex) to Geico’s “Scapegoat” (bad karma on the assembly line) and Sprint’s “Apology” (don’t ass-k), engaging viewers seems to have taken second place to shocking them with high-decibel tactics that all but drown out the key messages. For futures, let’s all use our inside voices, OK?
Speaking of unpleasant, the new BMW campaign promoting the X5 SUV hits all the low points—tense family dynamics and dialogue centering on a very unfunny portrayal of a grandmother in her 80s with overly romanticized memories of her youth. Although the vehicle has three rows of seats (one for the designated “backseat driver”), it’s clearly not large enough to accommodate all the emotional ugliness. A surprising turn for a brand that usually takes the creative high road.
This year’s advertising line-up on the Super Bowl (XLIX, for those keeping score in Ancient Rome) was all about dads. And making people happy. And love. Oh, and hashtags. They were big. You couldn’t call yourself a hip and happening “super” marketer without one.
There was so much sweetness and light that you almost forgot the highly testosterone-charged scandals of the season–Ray Rice beating his wife in the elevator (sorry, NFL, your “it’s up to us to listen” PSA, however heartrending, does not make up for your own deafness on the issue of spousal assault and battery), the continuing saga of the Washington football team’s name, concussions and long-term traumatic brain injury and Adrian Peterson’s unique theory of parenting.
Almost, but not quite.
Still, there were moments of pure delight and genuine creativity, among them:
- BMW’s new hybrid i3 proving, if nothing else, that great chemistry is forever.
- Nissan’s #withdad, honoring a family’s struggle to stay together (and safe) on the road of life and on the racetrack.