In just a few days, Valentine’s Day will be upon us. Now, here in Germany, Valentine’s Day still isn’t a major holiday, but with each passing year, it seems to get bigger and bigger. Today I would like to talk to you all about what Valentine’s Day really is in the United States, and what the American people do on this special day of love.
First of all, it’s mainly women who benefit most of all from this holiday. It’s customary for men to buy all of the wonderful gifts associated with this holiday, and fearlessly present them to their “valentine-to-be”. All the women have to do is sit back, relax, and wait for the gifts to come showering in. Now, as an American man, this comes as no surprise, but for all you non-Americans out there, you’ve been warned! We start thinking weeks before about what to get our special someone! So let me get down to what the gentlemen of Valentine’s Day typically give their loved ones:
Most religions have a special time where eating is restricted, otherwise known as fasting, and Christianity is no exception. In the old days, before fridges and supermarkets, foods like butter, eggs and milk were forbidden during this time and no one wanted to let all this delicious food go to waste. So traditions grew up which let everyone enjoy one last day of fun before the 40 days or so of seriousness. You’ve heard of Mardi Gras, which is the celebration before the fasting, and in most Romance countries, i.e. France, Spain and Italy, this name is used. Not to forget the huge carnival in Brazil! In the USA, the tradition is not so strong, apart from in New Orleans which has its own carnival. For the rest of country it’s known as Fat Tuesday, which you may have guessed is Mardi Gras in English.
Now, people in the U.K. like to be a bit different from those in Europe and the USA so traditionally it wasn’t a party, but actually a serious day for confessing all your sins, which gave it the name “Shrove Tuesday” (Shrive being an old English word for confession).
However, things change and religious festivals in the U.K. have kind of been replaced by celebrations of food. Easter means chocolate eggs, Christmas means stuffing your face and Shrove Tuesday became Pancake day (FYI Pancakes are not the same as Pfankuchen, that’s a false friend) and that is how we came to be making pancakes in our Wall Street English school in Berlin. See for yourself!
Hello sports fans! As you all know, Super Bowl 50 just happened this past Sunday. And as exciting as the game was, there was something even more exciting for those watching the game with no interest in sports whatsoever. What is it you ask? THE COMMERCIALS!!! Advertising companies this year spent up to FIVE MILLION DOLLARS for 30 seconds of ad space! Even crazier is that some commercials lasted up to 90 seconds, meaning that it potentially cost some companies up to FIFTEEN MILLION DOLLARS for one commercial! Insanity! But, when you have over 111.9 million people watching the game, I think it may be worth it. Ever since Super Bowl 50 ended Sunday night, I have been all over the internet in search of the top commercials to present to all of you. I have picked, in my opinion, the top 4 commercials this year. Have a look!
Mtn Dew Kickstart: Puppymonkeybaby
First off, we have a commercial from Mountain Dew, a soda company. It is very common for soda companies to have ads during the Super Bowl. Sometimes they are serious, sometimes they are funny. And sometimes, like this year, they are… well… I don’t exactly have a word for this particular commercial. This year, Mountain Dew decided to go a very unique route to express the benefits of drinking their new energy drink. They have created a creature that is part puppy, part monkey, and part baby. This creature is “the combination of 3 awesome things”, just like the Kickstart drink (part Mountain Dew, part juice, and part caffeine). I have to say, this is definitely an interesting idea!
Doritos: Doritos Ultrasound
Next we have a commercial from the chip company Doritos. Every year, viewers can come to expect crazy and original commercials from this company, this year being no exception. The commercials don’t describe the taste or benefits of the Doritos chip, only that at least one or two of the characters in the commercial would like to eat them. In this commercial, we see a pregnant woman getting an ultrasound, and her husband is eating the Doritos. The unborn child can apparently sense that the delicious chips are in the room, and supposedly wants to eat the chips. Unfortunately the father, realizing this, only provokes the baby, until the wife has had enough of his antics, and throws the chip away from him. The baby, obviously, sees an opportunity, and goes after the chip… Only in America, right?
Big Light: The Bud Light Party
What is a football game without beer? Exactly. Beer companies make up a good percentage of the advertisements seen during the Super Bowl, with the Budweiser company producing some of the best ones. Add a celebrity endorsement, as well as all the hype for the upcoming election this year, and you have a recipe for a great commercial. Here we have Amy Schumer and Seth Rogan in a one minute commercial (which cost around $10,000,000), in a parody style commercial discussing why Bud Light is so great. They have invented a new political party, which has one main concern: to spread the word across the country about why you should drink Bud Light. It gets a little silly towards the end, but I think that’s what adds to the charm of the commercial.
Hyundai: First Date
Finally we have a car commercial from Hyundai. Car companies are another big player when it comes to the Super Bowl commercials! Even Mercedes Benz has been known to spend the big bucks to get a commercial during the big game. In this commercial, we have yet another celebrity endorsement, by Kevin Hart. He plays a protective father who uses some of the car’s new features to spy on his daughter as she goes on a date. The commercial is hilarious, and a bit whacky at the end, but still (in some way, shape or form) manages to show off the car!
These commercials, which were only my favorites, were only a few of the many commercials that aired during the Super Bowl.
So what did you think? Would anything like this ever make it to German television? Were they a bit too crazy? Let me know in the comments below! And if you’re curious and want to see more, simply search online, using a search like “Super Bowl 50 commercials”. Enjoy!!