And I have a theory as to why this year’s commercials did not tickle America’s funny bone – fear.
Advertisers are terrified of triggering the perpetually-offended generation. That’s why some high-profile comedians refuse to perform on American college campuses. They’re afraid of offending a bunch of millennial snowflakes who can’t take a joke.
College kids are too politically correct, Jerry Seinfeld said on "The Herd with Colin Cowherd."
“I don’t play colleges, but I hear a lot of people tell me, ‘Don’t go near colleges. They’re so PC,’” Seinfeld said.
And that’s why I suspect so many of this year’s commercials were devoid of humor. Advertisers were afraid of offending protected demographics or making a politically incorrect point or worst of all – cultural appropriation.
Consider the firestorm that erupted after Hyundai’s 60-second commercial which asked the question, “What’s worse than shopping for a car?”
The ad featured Jason Bateman as an elevator attendant dropping passengers off in a variety of very unpleasant situations, like having dental work done.
One floor featured a vegan dinner party where the main course was something called beetloaf – a dish that would be on par with having a root canal.
A raging mob of vegans unleashed their wrath on Hyundai – accusing the carmaker of “vegan shaming.”
“Good job perpetuating the myth vegan food is bad,” wrote one outraged vegan. “People could offset your products’ carbon footprint by going vegan. But you got a cheap joke in.”
“I need a new car. I was considering a Hyundai. I am a vegan,” wrote another. “It’s hard enough to live this way without being denigrated by a car company. Shame on you.”
Perhaps the offended vegan might be happier driving one of those environmentally friendly cars that you have to plug into a wall outlet?
People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the militant anti-meat folks, were also offended by the commercial.
“The trend of 2019 is taking the elevator UP to vegan dinner parties (and an Earth, heart, & animal-friendly lifestyle),” PETA wrote on Twitter. “Instead of buying a car from people with outdated ideas, we suggest a vegan Smartcar by Mercedes. Great mileage & acceleration, turns on a dime.”
Oh, please. It was a light-hearted joke. But let’s be real – would you rather attend a dinner party where prime rib was on the menu or a party where filet of arugula was being served?
Hyundai was eventually forced to issue an apology to appease the meatless mob.
“We actually love vegan food and are glad it's going more mainstream,” the company wrote on its Twitter page. “Nothing wrong with being vegan.
Now, do you understand why the Super Bowl commercials were void of humor? Who wants to be set upon by a raging crowd of irritable plant people?
Sadly, our nation’s airwaves have been turned into a humorless wasteland thanks to a bunch of Millennial snowflakes who can’t take a joke.
And that’s why this year’s Super Bowl commercials were hard to stomach – much like a slice of beetloaf.