It’s been a full two years since we checked in on the newspaper supplement coupons that appear the Sunday before the Super Bowl, wherein advertisers contort themselves to refer to the event without using the actual name, which is licensed and which license is heavily enforced. The world has gone through painful gyrations in the past 24 months. Super Bowl FSIs? Not so much.
Looking at this year’s batch, the big news is that somebody actually paid for the right to use the term Super Bowl, as in “Super Bowl Savings Spectacular” at the top of the SmartSource FSI. Unfortunately, Dollar General immediately drops the ball by inviting us to “Kickoff the Savings!” Team, the verb is “kick off”, two words. “Kickoff” is a noun.
I like to think of FSIs as the last bastion of old-school copywriters with shaking, nicotine-stained fingers who would rather forego their morning whiskey than come up with an original thought. Hence the tired headlines like “Get Your Game Day Going” (Blue Diamond almonds) and “Stock Up for the Big Game” (Pepcid antacid). What does it actually mean to “Snack Like a Pro on Game Day” (Oikos yogurt) or “Cheer on the Crunch” (Carvel ice cream cakes) or “Blitz Your Taste Buds with Flavor” (HeluvaGood dips)?
I did see some promising rookie plays like Texas Pete’s “Go for the Game, Stay for the Drama” (I assume that is what happens when the hot sauce and fried food hits your intestines) and French’s “Spice It Up This Bowl Season” (bowls of dip, get it?) and José Olé’s “Make Your Crowd Go Wild” (taquitos and dip in stop motion as they tumble toward the floor, presumably hurled by an unruly partyer).
However, with NFL ratings in decline it’s entirely possible this new crop of scribes has no idea about or interest in pro football or sports in general. How else can you explain Drake’s Cakes “Your Lunchbox Game is Strong” or Bush’s Beans’ “Our Lineup Completes the Gathering”? Just try serving up a bowl of beans to your beer-swilling spouse and her loutish friends and announcing, “Honey, I’ve brought some beans to complete your Super Bowl gathering.” She’ll drop kick you into the next county, and rightly so.