Wednesday, January 28, 2009

3 Million?!?. . . .

There's a reason why this is what it's come to. We've been swimming in the marketing soup for so long that we don't want to climb out of the pool. In fact, for Baby Boomers and beyond, it's a part of the very fabric of our makeup. It shapes our worldviews - what we think about, how we think, and how we live - in ways that we don't even care to understand. We are malleable lumps of clay who have thrown ourselves on the potter's wheel. . . to be shaped and molded into whatever image the potter of marketing desires us to take. And lest you think that it's the Baby Boomers who have jumped most readily onto the wheel, think again. The most impressionable and targeted group is the babies of the Baby Boomers - our children and teens.

And that's why it's come to what it's come to. During Sunday's Super Bowl, the potters will be spending $3 million a half minute or $100,000 a second - $100,000 DOLLARS A SECOND! -to get their hands wrapped around us and our kids.

If marketing promises redemption by erasing our anxieties and fulfilling our aspirations. . . and we buy into it, then it is a spiritual issue. I'm not saying that marketing is wrong. We need it. How else can we learn about and compare goods and services? But it's much more than informative in today's world.

At CPYU, we continue to pound home the message that marketing is perhaps the greatest influence today on the values, attitudes, and resulting behaviors of children and teens. We pound home the message that marketers have mastered the art of tapping into the spiritual void caused by our fall into sin, convincing us that created things can fill the hole in the soul that's shaped like the creator. And we buy, and we buy, and we buy. And they have no problem investing $100,000 a minute because they know the return will be great.

Sunday's Super Bowl offers a great opportunity for us all to evaluate the role we've allowed marketing to assume in our lives, and to offer Godly guidance and direction to our kids who are growing up in this marketing-saturated world. Here's my challenge to you: seize the opportunity to make the biggest marketing day in America a teachable moment. Use it to teach the kids you know and love how to honor and glorify the Redeemer we're called to follow by thinking Christianly and Biblically about the Super Bowl commercials. If you're a parent, do it at home. If you're a youthworker, make it part of your Super Bowl party. Perhaps you'd want to record all the commercials and choose a few to discuss during the week with your kids or next time your youth group meets.

To make it easy, you can download our Simple Seven advertising evaluation sheet and use it as a filter for thinking Christianly and Biblically about this Sunday's $6 millon dollar minutes.

To get you warmed-up, check out the video of last year's Top Ten Super Bowl Ads.

2 comments:

David said...

I really wish we could say Super Bowl advertising puts the whole economic pinch into perspective, but sadly we can't. The disconnect between the media and the common man (especially teenagers) still exists.

Chalk another win down for materialism.

Casii said...

I just wanted to extend a thank you from my youth ministry team. We're having a Super Bowl party,so they'll see the commercials. In our next session together, we'll be using the evaluation sheet for discussion.

Great resource! I frequently pass along the CPYU link to parents as a resource for them as well.