Today’s Slate takes a look at the promotional ads colleges insert into football telecasts. If you’re a college football fan, no doubt you’ve seen these and had a good chuckle over them.
The ads typically run for 30 seconds during halftime. As state-school spokespersons are quick to point out, colleges don’t pay for the airtime—the slots are provided at no cost under most college-football television contracts.
The standard mise-en-scène of the institutional spot will be familiar to any dedicated college-sports watcher: campus greenery, one-on-one pedagogy, chemistry labs, black gowns and mortarboards, and laughing/hugging students of as many colors as possible.
The season’s most memorable institutional spot won’t be playing during a bowl game. Notre Dame will introduce a new ad for the Fiesta Bowl, but the school will have a tough time encapsulating the smug Golden Domer attitude any better than it does in “Candle.” A girl lights candles at her church, ostensibly for many years, until a thick letter arrives from the Notre Dame admissions office. A glance to the skies confirms just who’s responsible for her shot at a “higher education.” Prayer for personal triumph: It’s not just for end zone celebrations anymore.
I’m getting ready for the Sugar Bowl. Go Dawgs!