Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
February 9, 2010

The Social Message Beneath the Surface of that Oh, So Silly Super Bowl Ad

Budweiser Bridge Commercial 1.jpg

Did you see the Budweiser Super Bowl spot where the town bridge is gone, and the townspeople couldn’t care less … until they hear a Bud truck is stuck on the other side?

The subconscious message is fascinating for the way Madison Avenue and corporate advertisers model a response to the breakdown of public services and cities and towns going bankrupt. I mean, so what if public infrastructure is so deteriorated that the town is cut off from civilization? The meta-communication here is, what’s the point, anyway? Why even bother? …That is, unless the opportunity presents itself to party.

Bud Human bridge 3.jpg

So tempting is the prospect of getting the alcohol, the townspeople actually prostrate themselves to form a human bridge, allowing themselves to be run over just for the beer. And not just allow it, but to do it with a smile.

Hmm, that’s some message there: Why should you care if things are going to hell? And if you do seek relief, expect to be crushed for it. It’s similar to the theme in the Bud Light commercial take-off on “Lost,” where people stranded by a plane crash ruin their chance to get help in favor of the opportunity to tie one on.

“Americans…” corporate America is telling us. “You’re road kill.”

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