Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Favorite Super Bowl 2011 Commercials

There were two really good commercials last night. First "The Force," a Volkswagen commercial, definitely won the cute award. The combination of Star Wars, a cute kid, and cars just struck the perfect balance. Well done!

The other really good commercial was for the Xoom. Understanding the context of the 1984 Apple commercial and the mindless sheep that Apple consumers flocking together made it the perfect attack on the computing giant. I'm definitely a huge fan of Android, not only because of the operating system, but more so because of the open philosophy. The Xoom is definitely set to take the iPad 2 on in a head to head battle with consumers. The most important thing this commercial did was try to get the population to break free of the stranglehold Apple has on the consumers and the so called "cool" gadgets. For people like me who have moved past Apple, this won't make much of a difference, hopefully it made a few people take another look around before purchasing their next consumer electronics device. Big brother is watching!

The biggest failure of the night was definitely Groupon. I'm not going to embed the commercials because I'm no longer a fan of the service and actually unsubscribed before making my first purchase. Now, I understand that Groupon supports the charities that they poked fun at, but that misses the point. I'm sure the $3,000,000 that went to each of the several commercials that they paid for would be better spent directly by those charities. Lets assume Groupon spent $9,000,000 on commercials, to result in the equivalent donations assuming each person only donates $15, that would require 600,000 people to join Groupon. Clearly the benefit here is primarily for Groupon especially with an impending IPO.

The problem is more than just financial, it is rooted in human behavior. My interpretation and personal approach of philanthropic activities, such as donations, is that it is not a direct benefit to the person that is giving. I do not make micro loans on Kiva to have any direct benefit to me, it benefits others and I hope eventually the world in general by bring people out of poverty. If I received a, quite literally, free lunch every time I made a donation then it in some way lessens the donation. This is definitely not a rational approach to charity, but who ever said that humans were rational. While Groupon may have been trying to do good, they missed the fact that you shouldn't mix capitalism and charity in such a confusing way. The causes that Groupon highlighted are very serious problems that are facing the world and humanity, we should be focusing on those, not on Groupon's success as a company.

1 comment:

Rhetoric CIN said...

Hahaha good Picks jared, cant wait till the next one, the commercials are just as entertaining.

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