TGI ‘Smunday’ is worth reviewing
New Englanders have grown accustomed to Super Bowl hangovers – the emotional ones, if not the alcohol induced.
After all, next Sunday will mark the seventh time in 16 years the Patriots will play in America’s Biggest Game, also known as America’s Biggest Advertising Vehicle, America’s Most Watched Television Program and, for non-fans, America’s Worst Waste of Time. (Many of those in the latter category will spend their Sunday enjoying The Puppy Bowl, a counter-programming effort in which cute little doggies cavort in a tiny model stadium.)
Still, even those who hate it have to admit that the Super Bowl has a lock on the country’s cultural consciousness like no other single event. Even when our beloved Patriots are not one of the National Football League’s finalists, the game inspires house parties and barroom celebrations like nothing else, except, perhaps, New Year’s Eve.
In that spirit, the Kraft (no relation to Robert) Heinz food company is promoting an online petition to make the day after the Super Bowl – to be called "Smunday" – a national holiday.
Its aim is to get 100,000 signatures and submit it to Congress, which typically has a propensity for bloviating over popular proposals. To set the proper example, Kraft Heinz has given its salaried employees the day off Smunday, Feb. 6.
Now, before offering standing ovations to the venerable food manufacturer, it should be noted that their motivation is something less than 100 percent pure philanthropy. The Fox TV network, this year’s Super Bowl broadcaster, is charging upwards of $5 million for one 30-second ad.
Toss in the production costs of that 30-second ad and the pricetag balloons well beyond $5 million. And since the ads have become a featured portion of the Super Bowl extravaganza, putting on an ad that is considered a dud in terms of its entertainment value can cost companies even more money.
Kraft Heinz is avoiding the cost, and accompanying folderol, of a Super Bowl ad by coming up with its Smunday campaign. The marketing consultant who proposed the idea may get a nice bonus, but it will surely not be in the seven-figure range.
Is there a real need for creating three-day weekend in honor of the Super Bowl? No, probably not, particularly here in New England, where bosses routinely expect employees to be at half-speed on that Smunday.