You can’t smear the quarterback anymore.
A guy gets his “bell rung” and now he’s on “concussion protocol.” Whatever happened to smelling salts?
And … now the NFL is trying to cater to women! Thank you, Taylor Swift.
Actually, women have been watching football for years now, and advertisers have been catering to them.
But they didn’t always.
Watch a game from the 1970s (they’re plentiful on YouTube) and you get a perfect vision of how corporate America saw the mind of male America. A macho vision, indeed.
The commercials are all squarely and strictly aimed at men, without even the thought that a woman might enter the room for any purpose beyond getting hubby another can of Schaefer. Shaving cream and razors, tires and car batteries and spark plugs and motor oil. Chainsaws. Slot cars and other toys for dads and boys. Cigarettes, cigars, and pipes. And yes, beer. “Go for the gusto!” All pitched by men—or by minxes.
The guys who ran ad agencies sure preferred to push those products. I’ve told the story here before about the copywriter who worked for my creative director dad Thomas Murray, who returned from a visit to a consumer products company reluctant to talk about the potential client. Finally cornered, the writer responded in a stage whisper, anguished at having to form his lips to say: “It’s a bush spray, Tom!”
Last year’s Super Bowl ads included one for Downy laundry spray—with a dude pitching it.
Yeah boy, things sure have changed since the very first Monday Night Football game in 1970, when the Cleveland Browns started a wide receiver improbably named Fair Hooker. “Fair Hooker,” color commentator Don Meredith said casually during the broadcast, “I’ve never met one.”
Watching pro football back then was like going to a stag party, in your own La-Z-Boy.
I know what you’re asking. What’s a stag party?
But P.S. (From a baseball game in the early ’80s) …