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REPOST: In Super Bowl Commercials, the Nostalgia Bowl

Image and text source: NYTimes

AS dangerous as it may be to generalize, it is probably safe to say that few folks think of Marcel Proust as they watch the Super Bowl. But for the advertising bowl that took place inside Super Bowl XLIV on Sunday, it was one long remembrance of things past — with candy bars, mobile phones and beer bottles standing in for madeleines.

Nostalgia is a critical component of the pitches from sponsors on Super Bowl Sunday. After all, the best way to appeal to a mass audience of 100 million or so Americans is usually to fill spots with paeans to the past along with catchy music, stars, special effects, talking babies and endearing animals.

Even so, the salutes on Sunday to bygone eras reached a peak perhaps not seen since the last time Fonzie said “Ayyyy” on “Happy Days.” The reason is, of course, the economy and the belief along Madison Avenue that tough times call for familiarity rather than risks.

How retro was Super Bowl XLIV? Let us count the ways it resembled Super Bowl XXXIV, XXIV, XIV and even IV:

Read the entire article at NYTimes

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