I read through Herbert Warren Wind’s New Yorker account of the very first Super Bowl, “Super Sunday” (perhaps the first use of that phrase to describe the big game. Maybe?) in a fit of post-football withdrawal. Much is different: back then, NBC and CBS each paid $1 million for the rights, and received about $700k per ad minute. This year, the rights were part of CBS’ multi-billion dollar contract with the NFL, and 30 second spots ran for around $3 million.
But one thing has not changed, apparently: the connection between male identity and rad cars. This was the full-page ad that ran across from Wind’s story, on Feb. 4, 1967:
If you can’t make out the text, here are a few a translated excerpts:
“Why is BMW a man’s car?
Because it was designed to suit a man’s taste. Fast, lean, tough. No frills, no nonsense. Just a handsome totally dependable car that gets you there with a minimum of fuss and a maximum of driving pleasure.”
[Translation: That wife of yours: dull, bloated, fragile. Full of so much fucking nonsense. Her frilly dresses, her mood swings, and GOD, the fuss! Always with the fussing! She is a gigantic source of exponentially increasing fuss and exponentially decreasing pleasure! Unlike me, a BMW.]
“It rarely needs attention, let alone repairs, and it gets better than 25 miles to a gallon of gas.”
[Translation: She complains when you watch football while ‘listening’ to her, wastes all your hard-earned money at Saks, and lost the cheerleader physique you married shortly after bearing your second child. Unlike me, a BMW.]
To be fair, the ad does end on this note, in the name of gender equality:
“Funny thing, though. The one complaint we get from BMW owners is that their wives like it too. The only solution we can think of is two BMW’s. His and Hers.”
And if you didn’t watch this year’s Big Game, here are the relevant 60 seconds: