If you went back to being a kid, what would you want to be when you grow up?

Some kids gave us their answers:

–    ‘When I grow up, I want to file…all day.’
–    ‘I want to climb my way to middle management.’
–    ‘Be replaced on a whim.’
–    ‘I want to be a yes man…yes woman…yes sir…coming sir, anything for a raise, sir.’
–    ‘I want to be underappreciated…be paid less for doing the same job.’

This was a 1999 Super Bowl ad for Monster.com, a website that helps people find jobs.

Obviously, the ad had a cynical tone. Who wants a job like that?

The point was, that if you wanted to have a fulfilling job career you should use Monster.com for your job search.

While in 1999 I had been living in the US for almost four years, this was my first year watching the Super Bowl.

If you are not familiar with it, the Super Bowl is a huge US sporting event. It’s the final game of the season for American football, where the two best teams face off in front of the country.

But what I remember the most about the Super Bowl back then wasn’t the actual game or the half time show, but the ads.

Until then, ads for me had meant bathroom breaks or the chance to get a drink from the kitchen.

But, not with the Super Bowl. During the Super Bowl ads are actually…engaging.

And the Monster.com ad really struck a chord. At the time, I was only a few months away from graduating, and was looking for a job.

It was a good time to look too.

We were in the middle of the dot com bubble, and the US economy was booming.

While we weren’t exactly sure what we were looking for, we did know what we wanted to avoid: the job that the kids from Monster.com were describing.

We didn’t want to spend our day filing…underappreciated or easily replaced.

The Super Bowl is well known for its ads. In fact, many people only watch it to see the ads. It is a great time for companies and advertisers to get in front of millions of people. The goal is to create as much buzz as possible.

Many of them are great…but we have seen some epic fails too.

Companies pay big bucks for it though. A 30 second ad today will set you back around US$5.1–$5.3 million.

But every year, companies fork up large amounts to be on the spotlight…even if they are already well known. Why?

As Amy Avery, Chief Intelligence Officer for Droga5, a New York based advertising agency told CNN, it’s not only about exposure.

Yes, you are buying exposure, but that’s not really what you are buying there. You are buying access to the conversation. You are buying access into a memorable experience. You are triggering emotion.

Anyway, the Super Bowl is just around the corner. It is set to happen this Sunday, 3 February…or Monday if you live in New Zealand.

Once again, it brings in a great opportunity for companies to gain exposure around the US. The Los Angeles Rams are facing off against the New England Patriots. Two teams on opposite sides of the country.

And, there is already a bit of controversy going on. [openx slug=inpost]


Society’s mindset on cannabis is gaining momentum

You see, Acreage Holdings submitted a 30-second ad proposal they wanted to air during the Super Bowl. But, CBS rejected it.

Acreage Holdings is a cannabis firm.

The ad — you can watch it here — wasn’t touting the company. Instead, it is more of a public service announcement. It shows the suffering people living with chronic pain or diseases like epilepsy go through and the benefits of medicinal marijuana.

It ends with a call to action. It urges people to contact their representatives to ask them to change the law and legalise medicinal cannabis.

As you may already know, the US is in the middle of an opioid crisis.  You can see how the ad could very well resonate with quite a lot of people living with chronic pain and using opioids to treat it.

CBS’s rejection is not a huge shock. While medicinal cannabis is legal in several states, it is still illegal at the federal level.

But, what surprised us was where some of the support for medicinal cannabis came from. As Boston.com reported:

Athletes from several leagues, including the NFL, have increasingly advocated for the approval of medical marijuana to alleviate the aches and pains of playing contact sports. Recently retired tight end Martellus Bennett recently estimated that a majority of NFL players use marijuana, while retired defensive lineman Shaun Smith said use is widespread in the league, from captains to quarterbacks, from coaches to personnel employees. And players have been increasingly willing to charge the NFL with hypocrisy for its other marketing partnerships.

‘“Keep pumping the booze ads, guys,” Eagles defensive lineman Chris Long sarcastically tweeted Tuesday, after news outlets began covering the Acreage announcement. [beer brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev is a big advertiser for the event.]

‘NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has said that he opposes the use of marijuana recreationally but is willing to listen to the league’s medical advisers on the potential value of medicinal marijuana. Any change in the NFL’s rules would have to be negotiated with the NFL Players Association as part of the collective bargaining agreement.

Society’s mindset on cannabis is changing, and gaining momentum.

As Acreage President George Allen told Bloomberg:

The advertisement aimed to “create an advocacy campaign for constituents who are being lost in the dialogue,” Acreage President George Allen said. Super Bowl airtime would have been the best way to achieve this, he added.

‘“It’s hard to compete with the amount of attention something gets when it airs during the Super Bowl,” Allen said in a telephone interview.[…]

‘“We certainly thought there was a chance,” Allen said. “You strike when the chance of your strike has the probability of success — this isn’t a doomed mission.”

We certainly don’t think it’s doomed.

Acreage may not get to air their ad on the Super Bowl, but they are still getting a lot of press…and creating conversation.

And, we think we could hear more debates like this on legalising medicinal cannabis in the US in 2019.


Selva Freigedo