Bud Light leaked its super-cool Super Bowl ad in which a random guy is placed inside a life-sized Pac-Man game
We have to admit, we are pretty jealous of this guy right now.
What could be cooler than running around in a maze being chased by ghosts in your very own life-sized version of Pac-Man? Nothing, that’s what. Bud Light decided to go with its “Up for Anything” campaign and cash in on some serious 80s nostalgia for this year’s Super Bowl ad. He’s confronted by blinking white dots, cherries, and of course, Pinky, Inky, Blinky, and Clyde are hot on his trail.
It’s something that we all dream about, and this guy got to experience it. In the commercial, which you can watch below, a guy walks into a bar and the bartender says, “If I give you a Bud Light, are you up for whatever happens next?" Soon enough, the guy is whisked away to a giant Pac Man arena, where a mob of Bud Light partiers and DJs playing the Pac-Man theme song cheer him on. Sounds like the kind of eight-bit party we’d like to crash.
Every Single Product Advertised in the Super Bowl, Reviewed by Me
Every year, millions of people around the country gather around the TV to witness the country's most important ritual: The Super Bowl Commercials.
In recent years, however, it seems many people have started tuning in to the Super Bowl for the football game or for the halftime show, instead of, as is proper, for the commercials. Is a crisis at hand? Is it possible that the commercials were no longer up to snuff? Had we fallen from the artistic heights of the Pets.com sock puppet?
To find out, I undertook a mission, in the weeks following the Super Bowl, to try every single product advertised* and investigate as to whether its commercial truly reflected the qualities contained in the product. What follows is my report.
*Except for the movies that didn't come out and a small handful of other products—you'll see, we don't have to get into it right now.
Demystifying the ads: Crash the Super Bowl
When we recently said goodbye to Crash the Super Bowl with a send-off worthy of this landmark program, along with the emotions came a lot of memories to reflect upon. As we look ahead to introduce a bold, new legacy program for Doritos, one question nags at me: exactly what made the ads from our fans such a smashing success? I could point to any number of things, but arriving at a definitive answer still evaded me. So I reached out to the agency that created Crash, The Marketing Arm, and asked them to shed some light on the ad creative through the lens of behavioral economics. Here is what they had to say…
Advertising has strived to understand why consumers make the decisions they do in an attempt to tap into that mystery and drive preference for our client’s products. We get close, but if we were honest with ourselves, more of our successes have been driven by intuition than lessons learned from actual consumers. The intuition that we lean into in strategy development and big ideas resides in the same brain space as the intuition that drives consumer choice. The field of behavioral economics has brought a spotlight to intuition and built a framework to rationally explain it. If you ask any of the winners of the Doritos Crash the Super Bowl ads why they think so many people loved their ad, they would most likely say they just produced an ad they would like to see, or maybe “it just felt right.” But the biases uncovered in behavioral economics tell us that the ads felt right to make because of the unconscious biases that drive us all. And ultimately, we believe, those biases drove the popularity of the winning Doritos Crash the Super Bowl ads. We reviewed all the Doritos Crash the Super Bowl winning spots in the context of these behavioral economics learnings and identified the biases that most likely led to their popularity, a few of which are highlighted here. Several of the winning ads leveraged the misdirect, a popular advertising framework used even outside consumer-created ads. The power of the misdirect lies within the biases our brains use to quickly classify a situation as safe or unsafe so that it may move on to another one of the 35,000 decisions it will need to make that day. The first bias that gives power to the misdirect has been labeled in the behavioral economics field as the stereotyping bias. Appropriately named, when we have experienced a type of person in the same way several times, our brain determines all people similar in appearance will behave similarly. So in Sling Baby (2012), as the viewer recognizes the grandmother and baby, their brain is unconsciously sending a message that these two are innocent individuals being bullied by a Doritos-loving boy. Because you believe this, when the grandmother uses the baby’s jumper as a slingshot, hurtling him to grab the Doritos, the shock of the inconsistent behavior causes your brain to pay attention and reassess the situation. Now you’re actively engaging with an ad that you were just about to ignore. Misdirection also makes use of the normalcy bias, the refusal to believe that something that has never happened before will happen, and Mouse Trap (2008) expertly demonstrates the power of this bias. After baiting a mousetrap with Doritos and placing it in front of a small mouse hole in the wall, a man watches patiently for what he (and we) believe will be a normal mouse to pop out. However, a giant, human-sized mouse bursts through the wall and attacks the man, stealing his Doritos. “Didn’t see that coming” is the shock-value response delivered by the normalcy bias. We’ve all heard that puppies and babies are solid attention-getters, and many Crash ads leveraged that general principle. But it’s actually how they’re used that made these winners. We are all subconsciously biased to characterize animals as possessing human-like traits, emotions and intentions, a bias that behavioral economics has coined as anthropomorphism. This year’s Doritos Crash the Super Bowl winner, Doritos Dogs, tapped into that bias, showcasing a group of dogs that crave Doritos trying to break into a grocery store to get them. A wily manager catches them every time, until they brilliantly scheme to dress as humans and purchase them like everyone else. If people had not been willing to believe wholeheartedly that dogs crave Doritos, it never would have made the final selection pool. OK, that’s probably all the behavioral economics you want to hear about for now, so we have identified the biases inherent in other Doritos Crash the Super Bowl winners below. You will see that there is some overlap, but thankfully behavioral economics scholars have kept their labels pretty self-explanatory.
The intuition that we lean into in strategy development and big ideas resides in the same brain space as the intuition that drives consumer choice. The field of behavioral economics has brought a spotlight to intuition and built a framework to rationally explain it.
If you ask any of the winners of the Doritos Crash the Super Bowl ads why they think so many people loved their ad, they would most likely say they just produced an ad they would like to see, or maybe “it just felt right.” But the biases uncovered in behavioral economics tell us that the ads felt right to make because of the unconscious biases that drive us all. And ultimately, we believe, those biases drove the popularity of the winning Doritos Crash the Super Bowl ads.
We reviewed all the Doritos Crash the Super Bowl winning spots in the context of these behavioral economics learnings and identified the biases that most likely led to their popularity, a few of which are highlighted here.
Several of the winning ads leveraged the misdirect, a popular advertising framework used even outside consumer-created ads. The power of the misdirect lies within the biases our brains use to quickly classify a situation as safe or unsafe so that it may move on to another one of the 35,000 decisions it will need to make that day.
The first bias that gives power to the misdirect has been labeled in the behavioral economics field as the stereotyping bias. Appropriately named, when we have experienced a type of person in the same way several times, our brain determines all people similar in appearance will behave similarly.
So in Sling Baby (2012), as the viewer recognizes the grandmother and baby, their brain is unconsciously sending a message that these two are innocent individuals being bullied by a Doritos-loving boy. Because you believe this, when the grandmother uses the baby’s jumper as a slingshot, hurtling him to grab the Doritos, the shock of the inconsistent behavior causes your brain to pay attention and reassess the situation. Now you’re actively engaging with an ad that you were just about to ignore.
Misdirection also makes use of the normalcy bias, the refusal to believe that something that has never happened before will happen, and Mouse Trap (2008) expertly demonstrates the power of this bias. After baiting a mousetrap with Doritos and placing it in front of a small mouse hole in the wall, a man watches patiently for what he (and we) believe will be a normal mouse to pop out. However, a giant, human-sized mouse bursts through the wall and attacks the man, stealing his Doritos. “Didn’t see that coming” is the shock-value response delivered by the normalcy bias.
We’ve all heard that puppies and babies are solid attention-getters, and many Crash ads leveraged that general principle. But it’s actually how they’re used that made these winners. We are all subconsciously biased to characterize animals as possessing human-like traits, emotions and intentions, a bias that behavioral economics has coined as anthropomorphism.
This year’s Doritos Crash the Super Bowl winner, Doritos Dogs, tapped into that bias, showcasing a group of dogs that crave Doritos trying to break into a grocery store to get them. A wily manager catches them every time, until they brilliantly scheme to dress as humans and purchase them like everyone else. If people had not been willing to believe wholeheartedly that dogs crave Doritos, it never would have made the final selection pool.
OK, that’s probably all the behavioral economics you want to hear about for now, so we have identified the biases inherent in other Doritos Crash the Super Bowl winners below. You will see that there is some overlap, but thankfully behavioral economics scholars have kept their labels pretty self-explanatory.
Stereotype Bias: Middle Seat (2015)
Normalcy Bias: Pug Attack (2012)
Anthropomorphism: Man’s Best Friend (2012), Goat 4 Sale (2013)
Ingroup Bias: Live the Flavor (2007)
Confirmation Bias: Time Machine (2014)
As usual, I can always count on my friends at The Marketing Arm to shed some strategic light on consumers’ behaviors. Thank you to everyone at TMA who contributed to this post & more importantly to the success of Crash the Super Bowl program for the past decade.
Super Bowl Commercials 2015: Latest Ad Leaks, Reaction and Future Expectations
Ah, the Super Bowl, when two football teams compete for the NFL's greatest prize while the rest of the country celebrates capitalism's birthday. It's a spectacle unlike just about any other, when folks watching suddenly turn into commercial junkies.
But in recent years, the trend has become for companies to release their Super Bowl commercials before the game's actual broadcast. Kids these days and their YouTube, amirite? So, below, I'll pass along many of the commercials that have already been released, my own thoughts on the ads and a few predictions for what else we might see during the broadcast.
Well, this commercial—in conjunction with BuzzFeed and inspired by the "Dear Kitten" series—is pretty amazing. Leave it to a cat to find everything about a Super Bowl party that is weird and looks pretty strange to an outsider. Silly cats. Silly, wonderful cats.
So yeah, it's pretty great, even if I want it to be even more like Sad Cat Diary. What's that? You aren't familiar with Sad Cat Diary?
Then go watch that video immediately!
OK, OK, I'll be honest—my "critique" of this commercial was just a thinly veiled excuse to talk about the Sad Cat Diary video. Having watched it, can you blame me for wanting to spread it to the world?
No, of course you can't. Silly cats.
Bud Light is continuing its "Up For Whatever" campaign with a life-sized game of Pac-Man that, admittedly, looks really fun. If I could order a nice craft beer and play this game, I'd be all for it.
So a bunch of Victoria's Secret models were advertising for a lingerie company in full football uniforms, which is kinda like advertising a car by showing somebody's driveway and garage. Just saying.
I guess Victoria's Secret is going family friendly this year. I was really hoping to see Gisele on the sideline, though, preparing the footballs for the quarterback.
C'mon, you knew that joke was coming.
You see, her Nationwide Insurance agent could see her. He could see all of her dollars and cents too, every last dime she owned. He could see the opportunity to turn her dollars and cents into his dollars and cents. He made her feel important, feel visible to the outside world again, but mostly, he just desperately craved her money, even though, let's be honest, Mindy was always going to give more in this relationship than she got back.
And poor Mindy was never the wiser.
BudweiserUSA @ budweiserusa
Help our rancher find his puppy, and you could win tickets to the Super Bowl. Watch to learn how. #BestBuds #sweeps https://t.co/m9mW6WbYIN
At this year's Super Bowl, Budweiser has decided to really, really bum out anybody who ever lost a dog. Man, I hope they find that puppy. I mean, we all loved this commercial from last year, right?
We all know the premise of Snickers commercials by this point is, "Hey there, friend, you better have a Snickers. When you get hungry you act like something that you're not," or whatever. And yet, I'm intrigued by this teaser.
I think I'm just hoping that at some point Marsha gets hit in the face with a football and her nose is all broken and stuff and then she eats a Snickers and her nose is magically healed.
Eat a Snickers, Marsha—when you're hungry, your nose totally stays broken.
Aubrey Plaza is the best. The end.
I will say nothing snarky about this commercial, because Amy Purdy is an inspiration and Muhammad Ali is, well, Muhammad freaking Ali. I really don't know how the commercial really ties into cars at all beyond the fact that Toyota ends it with "The Bold New Camry," but it's not like we watch commercials to actually learn about the products, right?
Crap, I said something snarky. I was so close, and then I just kept on typing. To make it up to you, here's Purdy talking about her excitement of shooting the ad, via Gabriel Beltrone of Adweek:
To say I'm honored to be in this spot airing during the game would be an understatement. All my life I've been faced with choices, and I've been determined to be bold through every one of them. I have a great relationship with Toyota, and to be in an ad that encourages others to persevere and be bold in their own lives is something that is hard to accurately put into words.
And for reals, go learn more about Purdy. She's awesome.
This is clever. And actually tells us about the product, which, as you may have guessed before, I consider an integral part of an advertisement. So yeah, this is a solid commercial.
This is actually a perfect commercial. You think it's going to be another sexy woman eating a burger for the sake of having a sexy woman do something on television, so you're sort of groaning along with the premise, but then they actually tie the whole "I think she's naked, OMG this is so racy I guess" aspect of the commercial into the actual product.
Which just so happens to be a burger with " grass-fed, free-range beef that has no added hormones, steroids or antibiotics." Or, as I like to call it, "non-mutated meat."
Au naturel to all natural. See, if they didn't have that clever little tie-in, this would be purely another commercial that objectifies women (and some folks, perhaps accurately, will argue this commercial does that anyway). And yes, it would be way funnier if it were an out-of-shape dude walking around all "naked," because nobody wants to see that. But at least Carl's Jr. managed to make this a clever ad.
OK, you guys, instead of just making predictions about what you might see, let's make a drinking game out of it! Don't be shy, we all know most people go to Super Bowl parties for the party, not for the game.
So, during your Super Bowl party, you drink when:
- A celebrity appears in an advertisement.
- An ad is a spoof of another famous Super Bowl ad.
- Somebody at the party says after a commercial, "Wow, that was a waste of millions of dollars."
- Somebody at the party answers them by saying, "$4.5 million for 30 seconds, to be precise!"
- Somebody at the party says after a commercial, "I still have no idea what that product is."
- A commercial tells you to go to the company's website to see the end of the commercial.
- Somebody at the party actually goes to the website to see the end of the commercial.
- A commercial directly references the "big game."
- The Clydesdale horses appear.
- Current or former athletes appear in a commercial.
- There's a super weird Doritos commercial.
- People at the party start arguing about Deflategate .
- People at the party start arguing about the Carl's Jr. ad.
- People at the party complain about how lame the halftime show is.
- Clint Eastwood starts rambling about patriotism or something during a commercial.
- Somebody says, "I'm only watching for the commercials."
- We get another Star Wars trailer and brains everywhere melt in sheer joy.
And there you have it, folks, my general expectations for the commercials and your Super Bowl party. If you have more trends and cliches to add to the drinking game, share them in the comments.
Super Bowl XLIX: Reviewing the Best & Worst Commercials (Watch 'Em Here)
The time is night for the Super Bowl, where every year advertisers pony up big bucks (nowadays, north of $4 million per 30-second spot) to wave their wares in front of 100 million viewers.
Who drafted big stars to shill? Who went for laughs? Who tugged at heartstrings? And who went out of their way to remind us with a sledgehammer, “Sex sells”?
Read our quick take on many of the commercials from Super Bowl XLIX, and then share your own reviews in Comments.
JURASSIC WORLD | Want now. That is all. [TOUCHDOWN]
ESURANCE, “Sorta Mom” | Reckless wreck Lindsay Lohan seen as the equivalent of a young lad’s mom, at least in some insurers’ eyes. Clever message, once you recognize, “Ohhh… it’s Lindsay Lohan.” [SAFETY]
TOYOYA CAMRY, “How Great I Am” | Paralympic snowboarder Amy Purdy puts her best feet forward, in multiple and highly impressive ways, though there’s a unarguable disconnect with the auto sell at hand. [SAFETY]
TURBOTAX, “Boston Tea Party” | AKA when a copywriter’s late-night folly of wordplay begets an $8 million ad buy. Oof. [FUMBLE]
GAME OF WAR, “Who I Am” | Supermodel Kate Upton is (barely) poured into a breastplate, in the name of touting a game app/proving she’s no actress. [FUMBLE]
TOMORROWLAND | The Disneyfile in me wants to anticipate this film more than I currently do, though every new teaser certainly helps. At least now we know there’s a rocket ship involved. [FIELD GOAL]
BMW, “Cars/Today Show” | I kinda loved this spot, if only for the flashback to how strange this whole “Internet” thing was some 20 years ago. Points subtracted for the suggested visual of Couric twerking. [SAFETY]
SNICKERS, “The Brady Bunch” | Retro TV goodness + Danny Trejo + seamless dubbing + Steve Buscemi cameo = [TOUCHDOWN]
MINIONS, “Super Fan Spot” | Adorable, indecipherable Minion fun, though without any hint at the plot (which is some sort of time-spanning “origin” tale). Only question is whether my sons will have outgrown these guys by the time it comes out. [SAFETY]
CARNIVAL CRUISE, “Return to the Sea” | Cruise ships take a lotta knocks (for viral outbreaks, spouses pitched over railings, power outages, etc), so this bit of PR is to be expected. Not sure if it’ll convert skeptics, though. [SAFETY]
T-MOBILE, “Save the Data” | Sure, Kim K. is “in” on the joke (about her own narcissistic rep), but did no one tell her she needs to act the tiniest bit animated when appearing on (a family friendly) video? [SAFETY]
BUDWEISER, “Lost Dog” | Clydesdale’s puppy pal gets lost out in the big, bad world, almost accosted by a big, bad wolf — but the horses gallop to the rescue. A fine addition to the annual series, if a bit dark. [TOUCHDOWN]
NATIONWIDE, “Invisible Mindy” | Mindy Kaling’s insurance company has left her feeling invisible, so she makes the most of it — yet comes up just shy of macking on Matt Damon. A clear message smartly executed. [TOUCHDOWN]
TERMINATOR: GENISYS | It’s ex-governor Arnold vs. young Arnold! Consider this s kid’s curiosity piqued. I’ll be back. [FIELD GOAL]
COCA-COLA, “#MakeItHappy” | A spilled Coke turns allllll of the Internet’s hate into love. If. Only. A beautiful sentiment. [TOUCHDOWN]
FAST & FURIOUS 7 TRAILER | Come for Paul Walker’s farewell performance, stay for the patently ridiculous stunts/set pieces. [FIELD GOAL]
DORITOS, “Middle Seat” | Cute premise — guy wards off possible seat mates, with an eye on a pretty blonde prize — if you forget that airlines by and large are not general admission seating. [SAFETY]
NISSAN, “With Dad” | Aww, geez. As “Cat’s in the Cradle” plays, a kid grows up watching his race car driver dad repeatedly brush up against death on the track — until one day Dad shows up to get him from school. [FIELD GOAL]
NATIONWIDE, “Kid Can’t Grow” | Bring back Mindy. Yeesh. [FUMBLE]
MCDONALD’S, “Starting Tomorrow” | For a college senior thesis, we had to come up with a campaign/idea for Burger King. I really wish we had thought of “Pay With Lovin.'” Just brilliant. [TOUCHDOWN]
ESURANCE, “Sorta Pharmacy” | Like the Lohan spot, ‘cept Greg Your Pharmacist is, in some insurers’ eyes, the same as Walter White. The Breaking Bad sequel we didn’t know we’d get. [TOUCHDOWN]
FIAT, “Pill” | Wayward erection pill lands in Fiat tank, “swells” car into a compact SUV. Female passersby purr. Point made! [SAFETY]
SQUARESPACE, “Ohm” | Presumably just a teaser for a later spot? Or is the sell simply, “You could ostensibly build a website about Jeff Bridges chanting”…? UPDATE: DreamingWithJeff.com is a real website, shilling the actor’s album of get-to-sleep tunes. Or something like that. Still, the ad’s a [FUMBLE]
NOMORE.ORG | This NFL-produced anti-domestic violence PSA is stealthy in its approach, then chilling once the situation becomes clear. (No grade.)
TOYOTA, “My Bold Dad” | Damn… I have sons, yet that was… [Sniffle] Um, anyway, so… Weep-tastic sentiment, for sure, but iffy on the Toyota of it all. [FIELD GOAL]
CARL’S JR., “Au Naturel” | A model seemingly au naturel struts through a farmer’s market, cuing many a Benny Hill-esque sight gag. (The melons are… well, you get it.) But the true distraction is the all-natural product’s improbably gargantuan size. Or does she just have small hands? [FUMBLE]
CLASH OF THE CLANS, “Revenge” | Bested on a gaming app, “Lee-um” Neeson goes all Taken on BigBuffetBoy85. Add in the “Angry Neeson” musical sting, and you get a [TOUCHDOWN]
CHRYSLER, “Dodge Wisdom” | (Mostly) centenarians espouse advice, from sweet and sage to salty and sassy — all tied into Dodge’s 100th birthday. Fun and on-message. [FIELD GOAL]
KIA, “The Perfect Getaway” | Pierce Brosnan is pitched a role… as Kia pitchman, trading 100mph, snipers and explosions for reasonable speeds, owls and fireworks. Another much-needed lighter spot amid the night’s more morbid themes. [FIELD GOAL]
BUDWEISER, “Brewed the Hard Way” | Smart play, focusing on tried-and-true brewing of “golden suds” while the hipsters sip their “pumpkin peach ale.” If you drink beer, Bud makes beer. ‘Nuff said. [FIELD GOAL]
JEEP, “Beautiful Lands” | “This Land Is Your Land” now encompasses not just America but apparently the globe, as illustrated in this spot for the new Renegade compact SUV — the first U.S.-market Jeep to be manufactured abroad (in Italy). Message of global unity, or whiff of PR spin? [FUMBLE]
MOPHIE, “All-Powerless” | What happens when God’s cell runs out of juice? Pigs fly, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria! [SAFETY]
LOCTITE, “Positive Feelings” | I had never heard of Loctite, and now I have, and I also know they’re got a fun attitude. What more could one ask for, when speaking to 100 million viewers? [FIELD GOAL]
BUD LIGHT, “Coin” | I grew up in the heat of Pac-Man Fever, so why did this spot feel so flat for me? It just seemed a bit random. But points for the realization of a real-world, life-sized videogame. [FIELD GOAL]
TED 2 | Ted and his girlfriend Tami-Lynn want to make a baby, and apparently they want/need Tom Brady’s sperm to do it. “A perfect spiral!” But for now, just a [SAFETY].
MERCEDES, “Fable” | “Plot twist!” Tortoise bests Hare by jumping into a very sweet-looking Mercedes, as Jon Hamm narrates. [FIELD GOAL]
DORITOS, “When Pigs Fly” | How has this painfully obvious concept not been done 1,000 times before? (Or has it?) [FUMBLE]
SKECHERS, “Pete Rose” | All Pete Rose wants to do is be in “the hall” — at his home — whilst wearing his comfy sneakers. We’ll allow it, even if his wife won’t. [SAFETY]
The Top 12 Super Bowl Commercials, Ranked
Here’s our official ranking of the top 12 Super Bowl commercials. Why 12? No idea. In reverse order, with some additional thoughts from Kyle on select embeds, because he has to have an opinion on everything.
Honorable Mention: Nationwide
It’s shocking, out of nowhere, and made people angry, but Nationwide’s “Dead Kid” ad is easily the most talked-about ad of the game .
12) Discover Card – Surprise
This one pulls into the 12 spot just because it took the first 3/4ths of a commercial that we’ve all seen a thousand times and threw a new ending on it for the Super Bowl. I also just wanted to remark how weird it is that all the Discover card commercials feature a person on the phone with another person of the same sex and race. Every. One.
Kyle: Frog insurance? Fraud insurance.
11) Esurance – Sorta Greg
It’s not actually that great, but Bryan Cranston can act the shit out of a commercial.
10) Bud Light – #UpForWhatever
I don’t know if I’ll ever be convinced that all of these Bud Light commercials aren’t totally staged, but I’d be all about a game of life-sized Pac Man.
Kyle: Budweiser sent no less than 46 press releases about their commercials over the last month. Might post about it later. Here, this is about our vignettes, because our products suck.
9) Toyota – How Great Am I
One of many commercials showing someone who is cooler than you, better than you, and overcame larger obstacles than you. It either inspires of it makes you feel like total garbage, but man that Amy Purdy is sure impressive.
8) Microsoft – Braylon O’Neill
Yet another commercial showing someone with leg prostheses, but this one is a child. You know, to really make you feel inadequate and pull on your heart-strings.
Kyle: Eh. I’m not sure Microsoft could’ve made inspiring stories any less inspiring with that lame voiceover and horrible editing. GTA cut scenes are more moving.
7) Budweiser – Lost Dog
And now we’re bringing a sad, lost dog into the mix? Jesus. I cut half of the commercials out of contention and I don’t even think this one featured the saddest animal. It was all sad dads and bad dads and dead kids and lost dogs. What the hell, guys?
Kyle: Agreed. Low-hanging fruit. But I cried.
6) Avacados from Mexico – First Draft Ever
The concept of countries drafting which animals (and plants) they’ll have isn’t all that great, but it’s executed perfectly. Doug Flutie and Jerry Rice talking about “off-field issues” for a sloth is the greatest thing either of them has done in years. Plus, just look at how bad this damn polar bear wanted to be drafted by Mexico:
I can only assume the bear later texted the greater-Arctic Circle saying, “I wish you guys would come get me. Hurry up and draft me because I want to be there. I want to wreck the north together.”
Kyle: ISN’T ALL THAT GREAT? ARE YOU KIDDING? I need this for everything. EVERYTHING. Indigenous plants, people, cuisines, musicians and movie stars, alcoholic beverages, everything. Imagine a spot where Brazil tries to trade up for high-risk, high-ceiling Captain Phillips supporting actor Barkhad Abdi by sending Gisele and Caipirinhas to Somalia. Would this have changed the entire destiny of the African nation? I’d think so.
5) Esurance – Sorta Your Mom
For one thing, it’s nice to see Lindsay Lohan taking a few jabs at herself. Secondly, she looks surprisingly good even if she sounds like a 45-year-old whose smokes two packs a day for 20 years.
Kyle: You’re… not that far off on Lilo.
4) Dodge – Wisdom
Is there anything cooler than bad-ass old people? No. Badass old people rule.
Kyle: Terrible commercial. Here are a bunch of old people telling you to buy cool car (ostensibly). Yeah, that’ll sell the youth of the nation. Can’t wait until their next one with a special cameo from Bing Crosby showing off the car’s premium sound system.
3) Snickers – The Brady Bunch
These Snickers ads are getting kind of old, but this is the best one they’ve done yet. Danny Trejo yelling “Shut up” at Mr. Brady before burying an axe in the coffee table (to a laugh track) is just gold. Steve Buscemi’s “It never is!” just caps it all off.
2) BMW – Newfangled Idea
Major credit to Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric for mocking themselves for perhaps the dumbest they’ve ever looked (and one of the great TV artifacts of the early internet age). No matter the context, I’m always down for hearing Gumbel say “What is internet anyway?”
Kyle: I’m never down for hearing Bryant Gumbel asking Katie Couric to twerk. Uhhh.
1) Clash of Clans – Revenge
Look, I’m very surprised at all of these mobile apps getting big stars (and big money) for their commercials. Actually, they’re all games created by Finnish gaming company Supercell. That includes the Craig Robinson-starring “Hay Day” ads, those animated “Boom Beach” spots, and the Liam Neeson-led “Clash of Clans” ad above. How they make all of the money with these “free” games for these ads, I don’t know. What I do know, is that they nailed this. They pulled Liam Neeson into his Taken role while still being Liam Neeson, they wrote original stuff that didn’t take too much from the film’s Brian Mills, and they threw in a nice little joke about Starbucks messing up your name. It has it all. Plus this one (along with the Pierce Brosnan ad that just missed the cut) stand out in terms of direction and production value.
Kyle: They make money with in-app purchases, because they’re thieves. Then again, I’m the guy who paid $2.99 for the premium version of “Trivia Crack” and $1.99 more to refill replays. The joke’s on me.
Last June 26th, The Supreme Court of Canada ruled in favor of the Tsilhqot’in First Nation of B.C. granting it title over 438,000 hectares of land, the long ignored tribe became a priority for the B.C. government, CBC says this was a major ‘Game-Changer’. —djo—
-Opinion- Idle No More: Where is the movement 2 years later?
“Red Winter, Ottawa, January 11, 2013” (Nadya Kwandibens/ Red Works/ARP Books)
From ‘The Winter We Danced’ (Nadya Kwandibens/RedWorks/ARP Books)
First Nation woman’s plea to locate adopted brother goes viral
Aboriginal Learning Centre becomes makeshift courtroom for a mock trial
MUrdered and missing aboriginal women deserve inquiry, rights group says
Psychic experiments conducted on Brandon Residential school kids
First Nation in Alberta waits on government’s next move after losing oilsands review
QIA candidate files judicial review of recent election
Drugs seized from suitcase at Sanikiluaq airport allowed as evidence
Sir John A. Macdonald’s birthday protested by aboriginal rights advocates
Wilfred King wins re-election in Gull Bay First Nation
-Opinion- Sir John A. Macdonald’s birthday celebration cause for reflection, not celebration for First Nations
Unreserved: Celebrations of life, legacies and sport
Warm homecoming for seniors stuck in snowbank overnight
Waubgeshig Rice on his debut novel, Legacy
-Opinion- Feds need to be schooled on First Nations education
Is this ‘Redskin’ licence plate offensive?
Aboriginal education, employment high priorities, Sask. politicians say
Manitoba Grand Chief Derek Nepinak sues teacher over racist facebook posts
Aboriginal leaders demand independent probe after Mountie took jailed woman home
Residential school survivor’s death shakes Winnipeg indigenous community
-Photos- Inuvik Sunrise Festival celebrates the return of the sun
Yukon First nations look at aboriginal sentencing reports
Rejoice or reproach: Winnipeggers react to Sir John A. Macdonald’s 200th birthday
Regina Cree dancer brings powerful dream to reality
Do police have a problem with aboriginal people?
N.W.T. caribou: Whati chief awaits meeting with government
Mountie takes woman home from jail to ‘pursue a personal relationship’
Winnipeg Art Gallery seeks Nunavut input on Inuit Art Centre
-Opinion- Improving indigenous health starts with reconciliation: Anna Banerji
Evan Munday tweets images of missing, murdered women to Stephen Harper
‘Crazy Indians Brotherhood’ dole kindness to Winnipegs homeless
Snowy owl a ‘peaceful’ messenger for First Nations woman
Elections Canada budgets $1M for aboriginal ID issue in federal vote
Vancouver’s Skwachàys Lodge billed as first aborigninal arts hotel in Canada
-Video- Wynne, Harper discuss Ring of Fire, First Nations’ drinking water
Keystone bill would be vetoed by Obama, White House says
Ontario gives green light to clearcutting at Grassy Narrows
Reporter’s Notebook: Waubgeshig Rice on the Omushkegowuk Walkers
Reporter’s Notebook: Angela Sterritt on the oilsands paradox
– 8 photo slide show – Unreserved: Legacies, giving back and racial profiling
Map of California’s Native American Tribes. —djo—
Lots of Pollution, Lots of Oil Company Profits, The Promised “Lots of Jobs” is a pile of bull chips. —djo—
“As long as the fish still swim – This Land will be – Indian!” I want to cry every time I hear Richie Havens sing that song. And I play it a lot. —djo—
The building behind the sculpture is almost as amazing as the sculpture itself. I wonder if anybody lives in that building. —djo—
Something I haven’t taken the time to think about. —djo—
I think I want to raise Benjamin Franklin’s ghost, give him a really nasty weapon and tell him where to find everybody who is trying to kill the postal service in Canada and anywhere else on this planet. —djo—
Dang- The tweets are good today. This one is from fr0g5. Retweeted from @LawAbidingHuman —djo—
The only thing I really know about this person is that she has some very interesting tweets. —djo—
The Spirit of Fox News in a [Wing-] Nutshell? —djo—
Sometimes I think the world never forgave Haiti for beginning the struggle that put an end to overt endorsement of slavery by most ‘civilized’ governments. —djo—
Caution: Stephen Harper has proved himself to be dangerous to the health of this planet, its waterways, its inhabitants, our veterans, and your freedom to be who God meant you to be. —djo—
Repeat after me, “Abundance is my Divine Birthright, I am Healthy, Wealthy, Happy, and Loved!” — Don’t stop until every fiber of your existance believes that completely. – Affirmation curtesy of Glynis McCants —djo—
“Would you like to swing on a star? Carry moonbeams home in a jar? And be better off than you are?” -Or would you rather go to school? —djo—
Happy Yule, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Kwanza- Happy Anything Else You Feel Like Celebrating.
Just when I thought we might be able to tidy this place up, somebody has to go and send me stuff like this – Stop Monsanto before they stop us. What they’re doing is beyond ‘Cruel and Unusual’ but I would say, stop short of butchering the families of everybody who works for those Ice-Holes. There has to be a Humane way to deal with them. —djo—
“Peru is giving Free Solar Power to its 2 million poorest citizens” Strengthen your nation- Empower your people. —djo—
” Danny Metatawabin, Brian Okimas and Paul Mettina walked 1,700 kilometers to Ottawa to raise awareness of treaty rights and encourage the federal government and their chiefs to work together to address and reconcile aboriginal issues.” —djo—
A quote from Battlesytar Gallactica? —djo—
I don’t know how this caption survived, but it did. I guess maybe I should keep it here: * Wealth Is Delusion * If you believe that anyone can ‘own’ the Earth, its resources or ‘wealth’ You’ve bought their ‘bull chips’ and you’ve already lost. You can’t play by their rules. They cheat. —djo—
Something Positive from GreanPeace. —djo—
Quoting Nelson Mandela = Positive Reinforcement of Your Self Esteem. —djo—
Sounds Good To Me – & Harper Has It Wrong —djo—
Another Quote from Thomas Jefferson. I need to reflect on this before I endorse it whole heartedly — —djo—
A ‘Sea of Flowers’ in a seaside park in Japan. —djo—
2015-jan-01 This is cute, I hope that cat is not freezing to death out there, desperate to find a spot out of the wind or something. – & This was retweeted by fr0g5 & was just too big for me to take a screen shot and copy and paste with the laptop- —djo—
If this guy was orange, I’d swear they found Moe’s Baby Picture. —jim w—
Dang- Another tweet I thought has to be here. Dear Editor is the Sky, “Please advise! —Amen” —djo—
That’s one spooky looking owl. Where’s Odell? New Brunswick? You’re going to make me fire up mapquest aren’t you? —djo—
Happy New Year – Save The Planet! —djo—
The BBC adds their voice to those concerned about evil ice-holes tightening their control over everything they ‘allow’ you to know about what they’re doing to you and everything you care about. —djo—
10 December, 2014 – Malala shows her Peace Prize. Dedicated to “those voiceless children who want change.” God Bless Her. —djo—
Less than 50,000 dangerous extremists out of 1.57 Billion Peaceful, & Honest Muslims? And the C.I.A. & Homeland Security Ice-Holes want you to be terrified of Islam? So they can push you around and take away the few freedoms you haven’t surrended yet? —djo—
“Imagine Peace Tower” on the 34th anniversary of an MK-Ultra targeted individual sending John Lennon to the next world. —djo— Another Nice Message “I’ve got an idea, lets arm the Pandas and Belugas and let them save the planet while we play our video games and turn our souls off?” —djo— The St. Lawrence Belugas Scored a Victory over the Deep Pocket Corporate Shills in what did not turn out to be a Water Polo Match. —djo— I hope those Pandas and Belugas are well armed, we really need them…. —djo— Monday, 15 DEcember, this article/photo was retweeted quite a few times today. —djo—
“Amnesty International + Malala Yousafzai = Hope” / “So this is Christmas-” John Lennon. —djo— Clif at Half Past Human dot com is calling them: Mon-SATAN-no or something close to that. —djo—
* Link * <—<< Link to John Trudell’s amazing speech from ‘Thanksgiving’ 2013 via First Voices Indigenous Radio
I remember being in 5th or 6th grade, reading about Archaeologists exploring what they believed were the earliest ruins of a civilization that died out ‘thousands of years ago’ & thinking that was almost incomprehensible- Then somebody told me there has been intelligent life on this planet for 11 million years. now they’re finding 110 million year old fossils? wow- — djo—
* Walter Burien’s Web site explains how governments all over the ‘free world’ are stealing from their citizens and ‘cooking their books’ : * link to CAFR1.com *
Recent earthquakes in Alberta linked to fracking: study
===== Steppenwolf’s “Monster” with interesting video clips: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7EVE8leTG8Y God Bless Oathkeepers =====
* Link * <—<< Link to John Trudell’s amazing speech from ‘Thanksgiving’ 2013 via First Voices Indigenous Radio
WikiLeaks is selling teeshirts, sweatshirts, hats, hoodies, Mouse Pads & Smart Phone cases to raise funds, * Link *
===== From the “International Business Times” — “Anonymous Hackers Threaten Canadian Police, Alleging ‘Swatting’ Suspect Was Framed” — * Link * =====
Most recently, Mozilla and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) announced “Let’s Encrypt,” their collaboration with Cisco, Akamai, IdenTrust, and researchers at the University of Michigan in attempt to take the first big step towards a more universally secure Internet. One of the biggest weaknesses in the underlying architecture of the web as it exists currently is the highly bureaucratic and complex (not to mention costly) system required for websites to obtain and deploy the SSL/TSL certificates needed to protect your web surfing experience (these are the basic pieces of information that allow the little lock icon to work in your browser, signaling your session is private and secure). “Let’s Encrypt” will extend these digital certificates to all websites by starting an easy-to-use and free-of-charge certificate authority that issues them this means that web encryption will not just be available to big players like banking services or email providers, but will set a much higher bar for Internet security across all websites, regardless of their ability to pay for a certificate or properly install it.
We are strong, adamant supporters of this initiative and are excitedly awaiting it’s unveiling in 2015 under a new nonprofit called the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG).
In addition to this, Mozilla announced it’s own strategic privacy initiative in collaboration the Tor Project and CDT. We’ll be consulting “on privacy technology, open standards, and future product collaborations” with the open-source browser to help it more effectively and appropriately bring privacy features into its products. “We want to accelerate pragmatic and user-focused advances in privacy technology for the Web, giving users more control, awareness and protection in their Web experiences,” the company explained via its privacy blog. – We believe in the possibilities that privacy innovations could make possible, and are excited and honored to be a part of the process. – What do these changes mean for the short- and long- term future of the security of the Internet? – There will soon be no excuses for not baking encryption into web services, and in turn, consumer privacy and protection into the tools we use to navigate the digital highway.
“Free software program Detekt can find spyware on your PC.”
– “Our ultimate aim is for human rights defenders, journalists and civil society groups to be able to carry out their legitimate work without fear of surveillance, harassment, intimidation, arrest or torture,” Amnesty International said in an online posting introducing Detekt. – Whistleblower Edward Snowden exposed the extent of government surveillance on activists and citizens. Amnesty said it is concerned about a chill on human rights activists and journalists, especially those in repressive countries, because of such surveillance.
– IBM Corp’s cybersecurity research team discovered the bug in May, describing it as a “significant vulnerability” in the operating system. – “The buggy code is at least 19 years old and has been remotely exploitable for the past 18 years,” IBM X-Force research team said in its blog on Tuesday. – *
*** The bugs were not “undiscovered”, Government Hackers spoke about this on Coast to Coast A.M. before the summer of 2002. Art Bell was the host. This program is not listed in the current Coast to Coast A.M. archives, at least I could not find it by searching ‘hackers’. 3 men who were quite ‘enthusiastic’ and talkative about their experience working for hackers for US Government agencies that ‘officially do not exist’ -one of them told us he has an ashtray with one of those officially non-existent agency’s official logo on it- told us that microsoft was fully aware of holes in their operating system but were not going to do anything about it because the government of the US liked it the way it was. They said it was simple for any hacker to get into your computer if you were ‘running windows’ -“Especially if you have printer sharing turned on.” && They also said they liked Apple Computers back then because it was possible to tell a Mac to do only one thing at a time, not like windows computers which could have all sorts of nonsense going on undetected in the background. – AND Another Coast to Coast A.M. guest, much more recently, related talking to a computer pioneer a long time ago, when dial ups were the latest thing, and when the computer guy finished showing him something, he would not leave the room without shutting off his computer, and disconnecting the phone line from his computer. When the C2C guest asked the computer guy what that was all about, the computer guy said that he, as in insider, knew that the US Government could already get into anyone’s computer that was connected to Delphi or GEnie or AOL, even if the computer had been turned off. — And, now that almost every computer in the world has WiFi capabilities- you can never fully disconnect yourself from the possibility that they can turn your computer on and gather any information you have, or were ever connected to- any time they want to do that- With the possible exception that you might be ‘safe’ if you live inside a Faraday cage, a hundred feet or more beneath the surface of this planet. Welcome to the future, it sucks. —jim w— >
Apprenticeship ad’s claim of skilled trades shortfall open to question
Immigration law that split young family frevents child trafficking, government says
Tory anti-pot ad mocked and condemned by YouTube viewers < * Link * >
Veterans face too many barriers to mental-health help, auditor general says
‘Consumers deserve the truth’: Water-heater firm fined $7M for unfair sales tactics
Conservative trap to ensnare Liberal candidate ends up embarassing Tories
-Analysis- Question authority? Not if you are black in America: Neil Macdonald
Coke plans to start making fancy milk — for twice the price
Law can protect social media users who blindly consent to terms of service
Adults, kids cross police line at Kinder Morgan protests
-Special Report- Would you know what to do if someone told you they were raped? < * Link * > >
Before we formally take a pause with today’s message I need to ask: Has anybody become an expert in living with this pandemic? We are now five months in. Surely that is enough time for some expert talent to develop. I am going to put this week’s cover image on the screen and give all of you time to share any expert tidbits of wisdom and wise coping strategies in the comments section. Here we go…
The view from the pandemic…
In 2014 I began taking daily pictures of a particular spot on my commute to work at Amazon. This spot is on 300 W just south of IN-32 which runs between Noblesville and Lebanon. The first picture I found in my archives from the county road 300 W was from February 14.
February 14, 2005, 300 W just south of IN-32
I think you can see why I stopped and took a picture. With full disclosure of my sinful nature I must confess that sometimes I didn’t stop to take a picture. “But officer, I wasn’t texting I was taking a picture of the beautiful sunrise over the icy fields.” With Indiana’s change in law where it is now illegal to even have your phone in your hands while in the car I have become more attentive to stopping before picture-snapping.
On July 23 I stopped at a particular spot on 300W for the first time.
July 23, 2005
A 40 MPH Speed Limit Sign on my right became my marker. I don’t think I stopped there intentionally as if I had any conscious thought that this would be a great spot to take a picture every morning for the next six to eight months. Look a little further down the road. What do you see? A pair of headlights coming right towards me. I think I stopped for self-preservation and, in case there was some sort of evidence needed for insurance purposes due to a collision, I took a picture. CYA stuff. Who knows – God only knows – maybe it would be the very last picture that I ever took if the possible, oncoming accident turned deadly for me. (As an aside, one learned very quickly to be extra cautious driving to work as the previous 10-hour shift was leaving. People were so darn out of it and drove with no awareness of the outside world after putting in a shift at Amazon. I know, because at the end of my 12-hour shift – supervisor hours – I didn’t give an owl’s hoot how straight I drove north along 300 W.)
Day after day I would stop before the 40 mph sign and take a picture. I did so for eight months never really knowing how or if I would “use” the pictures. Until today.
Sixteen pictures out of a couple hundred to use as a metaphor for life in a pandemic. I certainly did not have THAT in mind, let alone using them as a sermon illustration some sixteen years later as an example of the day after day after day after day of now.
Surely some of us have become experts and perfected our pandemic wardrobes? Menus and food preparation? Circulating clothing and laundry? Let’s see. I put those shorts on after lunch yesterday. Or was that two days ago? Better wash them. How is it that it feels like I am actually doing more laundry during the last five months than at any other time in my life? I think the best decision I made was to buy six black t-shirts at the start of this crazy time all organic materials, safe-dyes, manufactured by human beings – a small and intentional decision on my part to support local economies during this time. If the shirt is folded than I haven’t worn it. Put it on. And it’s really easy for me to tell which black shirts have been previously worn because my dog’s favorite activity is to drag my shirts out of the laundry basket and bring them to her nest on the couch.
So, where in the world am I going with this? I have no idea other than…to…PAUSE!
Where are you now? Do you know what day it is? Many of us are retired and not seeing much fluctuation in the days’ routine. Some of us are working from home and…not seeing much fluctuation in the days’ routine. Even those of us who have returned to a life closer to a pre-pandemic lifestyle, routine-ish? Where is the “routine” in the midst of the largest three-month drop in economic output our country has ever seen? Is there “routine” as 150,000 of our neighbors have died from COVID-19? Will protests or riots or demands or calls for justice become “routine”? One routine that hasn’t changed because of the pandemic is the inundation of election ads during this time of an election year those ads would have been nice to have disappeared because of the pandemic.
For all that is going on around us, whether it’s our routine, our lack of a routine, the events of the world, the state of the pandemic, the craziness of different opinions – some scientific and some not-so-scientific – the worry of this parent (and I know that I am not alone) of a child going back to school.
I think it is helpful to remember that we are all complicit in one way or another for the mess that we all are in. Biblically speaking, we all took a bite of the apple and, as a result, are removed to some degree – some more removed than others – from the garden of bliss.
Here we are in the real world, a world turned upside down and around and about, needing…a pause… Which if you think about it is like any other day of our lives, pre-pandemic or now. Challenges. To try and NOT get caught up in that first way of being in human community that scripture tells about after humans were removed from the garden of bliss. Right away, humans got in to trouble. Cain killed Abel. Sometimes I think the whole condition of what it means to be human can be found in the second and third chapters of Genesis. Bliss in the garden. Bad choice. Consequences. Another chance. Kill your brother and ask, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Consequences. Another chance. And that short story, powerful story, plays out over and over again, differently in each of our lives.
Let’s step outside that story for a little longer. Yes, same road. Same 40 mph sign. Different weather conditions. Different times. What can WE control? And, I LOVE these verses from Paul for giving us a focus for this time of pause and also a way of life for each and every day of our lives.
Take care of your bodies. Constantly renew your minds. Do NOT be conformed to this world but always transform your minds, your way of thinking so as to discern the will of God. And do this, take care of your body and renew your mind, for the sake of the larger body of Christ of which we are all a part.
During this pandemic I have switched over from eating a daily banana to eating a daily apple for my body. I have done this consciously, as a reminder with each bite of the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, to work for good in some small way each and every day. And my mind? My mind has never been more intensely and provocatively renewed as I read the black thinkers Ta-Nehisi Coates, Ibram X. Kendi and Resmaa Menakem and the white thinker Robin Di’Angleo, the black novelists N.K. Jemison and Octavia Butler and the black poets Gwendolyn Brooks, Marilyn Nelson, Claudia Rankine and countless other black poets. And I do so because a large part of our body is crying out in pain from the bondage of injustice.
Take care of your body today and tomorrow and the next day.
Delight in the transformation that happens when you renew your mind.
And if you’re stuck in small ways or a bunch of big ways, ask for help. Call me.
Because as Paul also writes, there is a still more excellent way…
Wonderfully depicted this week on the marquis of the Hamilton County Fairgrounds – and, yes, I did stop the car to take this picture.
Eat ice cream.
And with one small adjustment, you can read Paul’s very words…
Eat ice cream. Take care of your body.
Read books. Transform your mind.
Be happy to another person for we are all one body in Christ.