Olympics Commercials

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The following post contains some spoilers of events that have happened through Friday the 26th. Please beware!

Still with me? Good! You know, I’ve always been kind of an emotional person, but when I became a mom I became a REALLY emotional person. Now I cry at, well, pretty much everything. And nothing gets the tear a’flowin’ like some of these commercials on the Olympics.

  • Visa commercial with Dan Jansen. Seriously, this one alone is going to be the death of me. It’s the one where the announcer says that speed skater Dan Jansen’s sister, Jane, passed away hours before his race in the 1988 winter Olympics. “He promised her he’d win gold…[heartbreaking footage of crash]…he didn’t.” Cut to footage from the 1994 Olympics and Jansen’s gold medal win, announcer says, “…until six years later. Then, he skated his victory lap with his daughter, Jane.” My goodness, I’m teary just writing about it. And in addition to the tears, I was reading some youngsters on the internet discussing the commercial, saying, “I remember this from when I was little.” Yikes. Because I was already in college when the 1994 Olympics happened. Not, like, ten years old.
  • Who is it who has the commercial with the different Olympic athletes winning various gold medals and then shows athlete from the Special Olympics winning medals? The true fault of this commercial is that I’m always too busy wiping my eyes to see who sponsored it.
  • Uplifting Moments with Coke? A round-up of the recent triumphs of the day before with narration like, “He broke his leg in three places and still captured the gold in moguls!” (is it just me, or do your knees start to hurt just looking at the moguls competition? And then they say something like, “she’s skiing with a torn ACL” and I’m like “a torn tendon? HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE???”)
  • Julia Mancuso drew a picture of herself winning a gold medal when she was just a kid? Of course she did! Gimme another tissue!
  • Anything involving a mom? Even McDonald’s gets me! The little girl, her hockey uniform (hockey! You go with your tomboy self, sweetheart!), her skating on the ice–even though I know they’re headed to McDonald’s next (which is totally bogus, since everyone knows that after a team sports victory you go get PIZZA!) and it’s going to be a hard sell for Chicken McNuggets. Still gets me.
  • And speaking of moms–Proctor and Gamble? You’re killing me here. Killing me! Yes, I know your commercials were clearly “invented by a mom” because I’m pretty much going to wash my Pampers in Tide with a dash of Comet after watching these.
    • “To Their Moms, They’ll Always Be Kids” Well, just watch this one, and don’t forget the Kleenex:
    • The one I saw last night that’s like, “What’s better than being an Olympian? Being an Olympian’s Mom” with footage of all of these moms in the crowds cheering on their kids, capped off with one at the end clearly mouthing “That’s my baby!” Oh, is this Kleenex box empty already?
  • And then there are commercials that are so annoying the sponsors should be banned from advertising at the Olympics forever. I’m looking at you, five-dollar-foot-long Subway and dad-on-a-water-slide Carnival Cruises.

I know I’m playing right into these advertiser’s hands. They’re trying to evoke this emotional reaction from me. I feel a little ridiculous that I’m so moved by something that is unabashedly trying to sell me something. Aren’t adults, especially moms, supposed to be media savvy? How are we supposed to teach our children to resist the siren call of the sugared-cereal commercial when we’re boo-hooing over a credit card?

What can I say?

I’m a mom.

The Scrivener