It occurred to me sometime last night between Madonna’s halftime show and reading my Facebook news feed that there are a lot of parents out there who watched the big game with their kids. (Not in my home, by the way. My kids were in bed before any real action started, and we only checked in occasionally between breaks from watching a PBS documentary, because that’s how we roll.) I was chuckling at various pictures posted on Facebook with kids dressed up in football jerseys and eating chips and dip. It made me realize that the Super Bowl (and any other big sporting event) offers a great opportunity for family co-viewing. It’s a great way for parents to share their passion with kids.
It was all very innocent, until I considered the content of most of the ads during the Super Bowl. Remember those? Many of the ads during the Super Bowl are about beer, encouraging people to drink. Many of ads also involve sexual innuendo or portray women in a negative way. Yes, there are some family friendly advertisements that can be quite fun to share, but what about those that require some discussion?
Luckily, we have Common Sense Media in this world. They recently posted tips on how to discuss ads with your kids shown during the Super Bowl. They also presented this little research tidbit: “A study by the Center on Alcohol Advertising showed that 9- to 11-year-old kids had higher recall (73%) of the Budweiser frogs’ slogan than the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers (39%). And kids knew what the frogs were selling: 81% identified beer as the product promoted by the frogs.” But I’m going to guess that many parents out there did not have the opportunity to check this out.
Did you watch the game with kids this year? If so, please comment on this – how did you do it? Were there any discussions? Did you watch the ads together or simply use them as an opportunity to get more food, use the bathroom, etc? Did your kids have any questions about them? How old were the kids watching with you?