Last Sunday, February 5, the people of the United States over-indulged in their annual ritual of rough spectacle, the Super Bowl. American football, which somehow split from its English parent, Rugby Football, in the 19th century, has become the American institution nonpareil, as much a religion as a sport. As a game, it combines brute force, military-style battlefield strategy and, occasionally, physical poetry.
But the Super Bowl is more than the ultimate season-ending championship game. It’s America’s “barbaric yawp,” an over-the-top, overtly commercial, Roman-style imperial pageant (as Madonna’s show at half-time more than casually suggested).
Even those Americans who don’t like football watch the Super Bowl. Why? The commercials. Since Apple’s famed “1984” spot first burst onto the scene during Super Bowl XVII, the game has been used as a canvas one which the world’s top advertising agencies and brands show off their finest “art.”
Among this year’s Super Bowl ads was this one from Gillette, maker of shaving apparatus.
The ad, called “Masters of Style” features:
Adrien Brody, the Hollywood man about town and star of the triple Oscar award-winning film, “The Pianist.”
Gael García Bernal, steamy Latin lover and lead in such romantic comedies as “A Little Bit of Heaven.”
André 3000, singer-songwriter, member of the hip-hop duo “OutKast,” and creator of the “Benjamin Bixby” line of 1930s, college-inspired clothing. (You’ve seen him here before.)
Well, what about it? Who’s the Super Bowl dandy? One? None? All? Or should there be a flag on this play? Let us know in the comments.