Downside of American capitalism

By Nick Tulli

Advertisements are inescapable in contemporary American capitalism.

Ever get tired of those stupid advertisements you hear over and over again on TV?

Me too.

Don’t know what I’m talking about?

Please enjoy the following:

The Flyers had to fight for their first win against the Rangers on January 24, and after a scoreless first period, Philadelphia finally got on board in the second. To be blunt, the winless Flyers and their fans needed something to brighten their spirits, and that goal did the trick. The stadium erupted, and so did my family at home.

That excitement was quickly extinguished when we heard that awful phrase: “And Wayne Simmonds has scored for a case of Tastykakes!” What a flat-out shame.

But who could be surprised? Nowadays any corporation or sports General Manager will do anything they can to earn a little money, and it’s getting on my last nerve.

Ever go to a Hershey Bears game? At every blow of the whistle you’ll hear an advertisement for some kind of laundry detergent, energy drink, gas station or ice cream. Between periods at every game there is a little blimp sponsored by Central PA Credit Union that floats overhead and drops money at fans. It used to drop $20 bills, but I guess the credit union’s too cheap for that anymore, because now it’s only $5 max; sometimes only $1.

What’s worse is that it’s not worth the time for adult spectators to get out of their seats just for a chance at winning a couple dollars, so it’s always the little kids that get excited. But whoever controls the blimp doesn’t care and only drops the money in the middle of a section onto some old guy who doesn’t understand why there is a motorized balloon above him.

Nowadays I can’t watch SportsCenter without hearing the “Bud Light Cold Hard Facts” (with that doofus Mark Schlareth), I can’t watch a Phillie’s game without hearing about an “AT&T Call to the Bullpen.” I can’t even drive to the mall and back without seeing a billboard with an old lady and a bad pun on it. Commercial breaks during shows are becoming longer than the actual program, and lets not forget about how annoying some of them are:


Now I’d like to remind you that the NFC Championship game you were watching has been brought to you by McDonalds, the Penn State radio network would like to thank Best Western, and closed captioning for the Big Bang Theory is brought to you by (catch the irony there?).

What may be worse than all of this is the National Basketball Association. The NBA currently has about 12 total fans across the country, and they still have the nerve to jeopardize that number by flirting with the idea of putting advertisements on jerseys. This is not the English Premier League, nor are the majority of Americans interested in the FIFA, FIBA, Australian Rugby League or whatever else the rest of the world are playing. The Lakers already have enough money. There is absolutely no need to stitch AIG, Toyota, and Kelloggs logos onto all of their stuff.

This is truly capitalism at it’s worst. And not to mention, capitalism was really coined by some English guy named Adam Smith, who believed that an “invisible hand” governs the economy. An invisible hand is not a some guy with a sales trophy trotting down the street to advertise for his already over-marketed company.

Thanks for the big first win, Flyers, but you can keep the Tastykakes.

photo credit: _Hadock_via photopin cc

3 thoughts on “Downside of American capitalism”

  1. Are you serious? How can you consider advertisement a form of capitalism. Capitalism stands for private ownership. That has nothing to do with advertising. The owners of companies have no work inside the marketing department anyways. So maybe you should rethink the definition of capitalism. And to discredit Adam Smith is a complete joke. If workers did not have a concept of an invisible hand the quality of work would decrease dramatically. The invisible hand simply means the harder you work, the more you earn. There is no connection with advertisements. I understand you’re probably a liberal and just want to act like you know what you’re talking about, but this just degraded the website.

    FYI- the most spending in advertising comes from politics through the government.

  2. Capitalism may stand for private ownership but that encompasses the big businesses that are making use of high-priced ads. Isn’t that the point? The purpose of this piece is to point out that sports are turning into too big a market for big business, and that’s taking away from their true purpose.

    I’m not ripping or discrediting Adam Smith. I’m not at all sure how you got that from what I’d said. I just used his “invisible hand” theory as the butt of a joke. Sure I’m a liberal but i do believe that Adam Smith was first and foremost correct, and secondly, very credible.

    I think you’re missing the entire point.

    F.Y.I. – great piece of information, but again that’s completely unrelated to the subject of this article. I didn’t mention politics or the government once.

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