T.V. messages carry deeper meaning

John Schmidt Collegian Alum

111.4 million people watched the Super Bowl this year and the Grammys had roughly 20 million viewers. Millions of people, in America and abroad, sat down with others or by themselves and watched two very popular television events. Now, I was not one of those people, however I did read all about the reactions of people on Twitter and honestly, some things popped out at me.

The Super Bowl is an incredibly important time of the year for any big-shot brands out there looking to reach out to viewers. They put their heart and souls into the commercials they make because everyone is watching them and a lot of people look forward to them, which is fine. There isn’t anything wrong about wanting people to purchase your stuff, but I was proud on what some brands did during the Super Bowl and what our own president did during the Grammys.

They said the hard statements. They challenged people who were just trying to laugh. They showed Americans that horrible realities and real social issues exist and that life is not all about football and buying Doritos or seeing what Pharrell is dressed like. They reminded us that we’re not perfect and there are things this society needs to improve on.

The commercials that you watched that may have bummed you out are not about actually bumming you out.  They were designed intentionally to show you the horrors of things you may not have known in an attempt to ignite awareness and compassion for those who have suffered through those events. They were intended to shatter the safecastle you’ve created around yourself every day. To maybe remind you of the privileges you have while you sit there enjoying the broadcast. They weren’t intended to tell you not to watch the Superbowl and the Grammys, if you like to do that you have every right, but you can’t be mad when some sad things are brought to your attention.

People try to expose others to these messages every single day. However, no one really cares about them since they may not have been affected by them. So I stand and applaud for messages such as Coke, McDonalds and Nationwide for what they did during the Superbowl, and what President Obama and the ItsOnUs Campaign had for their message on sexual violence.

These messages that may have bummed you out needed to happen. We can’t just laugh and be entertained constantly while terrible things are happening in the land we all love. Using platforms where you can expose your message to millions of people is amazing, and if it is on a social issue then it isn’t lame or frustrating, it is happening – it’s a benefit for society.

Now don’t think I’m all about not laughing and enjoying myself. I like laughing as much as the next person. However, I like to keep things in perspective, so when a sad commercial comes on, I realize that it is an issue and that I will not ignore what the message is saying. It is important to keep in mind that your reaction to a sad commercial is a small fish in the large pond of life.

You can laugh and have fun when watching these events, but don’t forget that some bad things are happening in our world, and they will continue to happen. If we want to at least stifle a bit of the bad then we have to be educated on ways to combat it for the betterment of society.

John Schmidt is a Collegian alum currently attending graduate school at Texas Tech. He can be reached at [email protected]