Neil Hester

All poems © Neil Hester unless otherwritten

Location: North Carolina, United States

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Super Bowl Poetry, Kinda

Another Super Bowl there and gone, and another fun spectacle. I was rooting for the 49ers on the minor grounds that I want to see Michael Crabtree (TTU alum) succeed and that I enjoy watching Kaepernick scramble, but regardless, the game was entertaining.

I didn't pay great attention to the commercials this time around, but there was a RAM commercial that I enjoyed quite a lot. This quiet commercial stands out immensely against a background of cheap gimmicks (seriously, a Gangnam Style pistachio commercial?) and cheaper gimmicks (supermodel making out with computer nerd, with lots of lovely up-close shots). Great delivery, and many excellent still shots. On the other hand, the presentation of the farmer is politically off in a couple ways: who knows, maybe some non-Christian farmers will find the commercial offensive, and there's a definite overrepresentation of white people. Still, I'm more interested in the commercial's presentation than its political undercurrents: I watched it, and I enjoyed it. I've definitely seen better commercials before (this gem that Alex Sheremet posted comes to mind, and Dos Equis commercials, as a whole, are some of the best in the last few years), but this one's my pick for the Super Bowl, though I did miss some of them.

Super Bowl commercials might make (read: definitely make) a silly segue into a light sonnet about one of psychology's biggest contributions to advertising, the mere exposure effect, but hey, let's go for it:

(Note: "Zajonc" is pronounced "zai-yonce".)


The Mere Exposure Effect

            “The balance of the experimental results reviewed and reported in this paper is in favor of the hypothesis that mere repeated exposure of an individual to a stimulus object enhances his attitude toward it.” ~Robert Zajonc, 1968

Zajonc, my friend, Zajonc, Zajonc,
I’m very fond of you, my friend—
I’m very fond of you, ablazon
as a god on the worshipping wall
of those who might sell anything at all
by repeating, Zajonc, an image sunk
with(out) reason well-deep into the spacious mind
that might feel a small feeling, and respond in kind.
And kindly I thank you, my friend, Zajonc:
His goods are better than others, they think
as they try to make sense of a hundred things.
Zajonc, my friend, intuition sings
and reason follows (and profits, too),
and for that (and that) I’m very fond of you.


Take care,