An Exercise in Media Literacy: “Superbowl Bingo”
It’s Superbowl time again. You know what else comes with Superbowl time? The commercials. For years, the super bowl commercials have been a big draw to many. However, sometimes an attempt at marketing can further an idea or belief that contributes to the marginalization of others.
Who remembers this commercial from last year’s Superbowl that perpetuated the idea that deep down women are secretly turned on by street harassment?
This commercial, and others like it received some intense backlash from consumers. That was one example, but there are plenty of others that might cause a laugh in some, but sadness in others depending on one’s social identity.
I came across this resource from the Uproot Blog’s facebook fan page. It’s an initiative from the Riverview Center, a non-profit agency that helps people affected by sexual assault in Iowa, and domestic violence in Illinois.
From the Riverview Center, this campaign asks us, the consumers of media to consider 3 very important questions about the advertisers, and the messages being communicated to us while watching the Superbowl:
1. What Strategies are they using?
2. Why are these strategies so effective and engaging?
3. How might these concepts contribute to a culture of violence against women?
How to Play:
1. WATCH the TV commercials during the superbowl (or catch them on youtube the next day if you missed any).
2. WRITE (on the line in the bingo space) which advertiser used each concept.
You can also send in your bingo card to the Riverview Center. To get a copy of your own bingo card and participate in the campaign, visit this link.
I know that I’ll be asking myself these questions this week, but this exercise can be used beyond the Superbowl as well. Each of us consumes these messages in one way or another, and each of us are impacted by them. If we’re conscious about the media we’re consuming, we can make better decisions about what messages are acceptable to us, and talk back to the companies (with our voices or dollars) who produce messages that are harmful.
From Aspiring Humanitarian, Relando Thompkins, MSW