“I’m calling it — this is an Apple commercial,” said my 14-year-old son, about halfway into the visually stunning emotional appeal for educational experimentation that appeared on our TV while we were otherwise dedicating ourselves to one of the best college football games of the season.
Yes, it’s about that time again, when companies are rolling out new commercial campaigns in conjunction with some of the year’s most viewed sporting events–beginning with the college football playoff and culminating, of course, with the only spectator sporting event where no one wants to cede their seat during the commercials, the Super Bowl.
“I think you’re right,” I said to my son (especially gripped because the commercial featured a young man sharing a defining moment with his beloved parents via his smartphone), just as the musical crescendo sent a chill down my spine.
But then came the verdict.
It wasn’t Apple, after all, even though the tech company is known for its artistic commercial flair in imploring viewers to engage technology in the most relational ways. It was a mainstay financial company inviting us to bring the benefit of our long-term financial planning for the future into the present.
“Wait a minute, though,” I said to my boys, “These guys are notorious for hard-selling over-priced insurance policies for big commissions!”
“Whatever they are, it’s a great commercial,” my 12-year-old son concluded before the Oklahoma Sooners and the Georgia Bulldogs again filled the screen.
He was absolutely right. But as I reflected on the power of this particular message and medium, I’ve had this lingering sense that there’s a real danger present.