Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Super Bowl: Where the Stars Come Out to Play

The Super Bowl: Where the Stars Come Out to Play

by Stewart McHie

On Comet, on Cupid, on Donner and Blitzen! On Brady and Edelman, Ryan! Jones! – stop kevtshing! Sure they were great and provided (if you stayed past Lady Gaga) an exciting finish to the game. But let's get serious. The real stars were between the action, not between the sidelines.

Let's talk Super Bowl commercials.

The reason the game itself actually exists (my #alternativefact).

All in all? A pretty underwhelming crop of ads this year. We missed Doritos, but still talked about them as much as if they’d actually had a commercial. And you know you already bought a bag (or three) the week before anyway, so it's not like they missed a sales opportunity.

One thing that was evident among the ho-hum was the all-star cast of big names who appeared in the commercials this year.

Whether you like the players or their politics, there is no denying they cashed in BIG. The winning New England Patriots earned $107,000 for their three hours of work (well, about a dozen minutes of actual game time), but the pop-culture stars that came out to play earned a whole lot more. Do you think McCarthy went down with the tree for a paltry hundred grand?

Most ad meters rated the eco-friendly Melissa McCarty ad the most entertaining. Production values were high and it was a pretty expensive commercial, even before McCarthy's fee. Who among us believes she really drives a, uhm - what was she advertising? Oh yea, a Kia. Uh huh, that's what she drives. Puts her money where her mouth is to be sure.

Peter Fonda and Easy Rider (google it, millennials), Timberlake, Walken, Beiber, Newton, Bradshaw (in skivvies! Always a treat.), Lady G herself - you could have mistakenly thought you were at the Golden Globes.

Other than that, the tone of Super Bowl LI commercials was pretty safe and unremarkable. Maybe fear of a presidential tweet affected the climate, "Worst commercial ever, we have to start winning at commercials". There were numerous references to the very current issue of immigration, some real, some imagined. Was Budweiser's story of German immigrant Adolphus Busch aimed at the issue, or was it a good American success story which is in keeping with the brand and theme of this Belgian-owned (oops) company? Considering production started last May, probably the latter.

Much ado about lumber.

The most talked about spot was 84 Lumber's story about the Mexican mother and daughter seeking a better life in America but confronting an insurmountable wall. Yet the story ended online, not with the wall, but rather a door in the wall, constructed, of course, with 84 lumber, and reminiscent of a Trump campaign quote about the metaphorical door to allow good and deserving people entry to the country. At least that is the story according to President and Owner Maggie Hardy Magerko, who voted for Trump.

Regardless of what you want to believe, you now know what 84 Lumber is and most of you had no clue before the Golden Globes - I mean the Super Bowl.

Movie trailers galore, befitting the Golden Globes, I mean SUPER BOWL, (oops, I did it again) and must-see TV for the gamers.

Note to advertisers; babies, puppies and Clydesdales are a lot cheaper than Timberlake, McCarthy and Bieber. Well, maybe not Clydesdales. I hope they earn more oats than the Beib.

Next year, can we please just have fun? Girls and boys “just want to have fun". I nominate Cyndi Lauper for the half time show. Hope she's not afraid of heights.

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Friday, February 3, 2017

Student Testimonial: Inside the Life of an MSBA Student

During my first semester in the MSBA program, the biggest challenge I faced was in Quantitative Methods. During my time as an undergraduate politics student, I ensured that I avoided math classes as much as possible. Throughout high school and college, I always struggled with math and decided to focus on my writing and analytical skills with a Politics degree. Entering the MSBA program, I was ready for a new challenge.

I distinctly remember my feelings on the first day of classes. I was nervous that I would struggle in Quant. I started wondering if I had made a mistake entering the program and wondered if I would even be able to pass the class. These fears were instantly quelled upon meeting our professor, Harvey Seegers.

Professor Seegers explained to us that in his experience teaching the class there are two types of students: “Quant Jocks” and “Poets”. As you could guess, I’m a “Poet.” At our first class meeting, I was struggling to keep up with the lecture. While most students were trying to grasp the concepts, I was struggling to even follow the mathematical nomenclature. I needed help if I was going to succeed.

I approached Professor Seegers and explained to him how I was feeling. He told me to come to his office on Tuesday. At his office, Professor Seegers broke down the lesson, answered questions, and exercised patience with my ignorance of the subject. This meeting became a weekly occurrence throughout the semester. The results speak for themself. I earned a B in the class, something that I never thought would be possible.

Quantitative Methods greatly challenged me and required that I work hard to succeed. Despite the challenge, the course material was fascinating and will be useful in any career someone might choose. I was able to overcome the great challenge of being a Poet in a math class. This success would not have been possible without the support of Professor Seegers and all of the MSBA Programs staff. I’m excited to take on the challenges of next semester with my new skills gained from Quantitative Methods and all our classes!

Post by Connor Clancy
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