Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Super Bowl Commercials: The Perfect Kairos

 Out of all the lessons we’ve had so far this semester, my favorite has been learning about kairos. Now that we’ve talked about it, it seems so obvious. Of course there is always a “right time” to do or say something! The example in our textbook of not asking your parents for extra spending money right after a bad report card makes total sense. I can’t even count how many times I cleaned the house if I was asking to do something I wasn’t sure they would approve of when I was in high school to help make the timing more favorable for me.
Since this lesson though, I’ve started to be more aware of “kairos” moments. One of the biggest examples that I’ve noticed recently was the Super Bowl. Like we talked about in class, MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech was so successful because it not only persuaded people to support the civil rights movement but it did so in a time and place (the Lincoln Memorial steps at the end of the Civil Rights movement’s march on Washington) that was perfect for his message to reach the most people open to his message. I believe the Super Bowl was also picture-perfect time for many companies to share messages that were applicable to their company, but appropriate and engaging for the audience in the given time.
While I didn’t get a chance to watch every commercial, I thought there was a noticeable trend in the themes of many commercials. This trend was the idea of acceptance for diversity and multiculturalism. I believe these commercials were a direct response to the negative feelings that had been escalating throughout the election. These negative feelings are what made the theme of diversity and acceptance an urgent topic. As we learned in the lecture and our reading, the urgency and immediacy of a topic is a key factor in attaining the “timing” aspect of kairos. Also, with so many people tuning in to watch the commercials it created the perfect “place” for companies to get their message across to a very large number of people at one time. They did this in hopes to persuade the viewers and show that the values the companies have make them brands that should be supported over others that might not have taken the time to make their commercials relevant to the current events.

Here are two of the commercials that used their adverting spots to promote diversity and inclusion for all that specifically stuck out to me, but I’d love to know of any others that I didn’t include!

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