Library destroyed in Oreo Super Bowl commercial showing the future?

by Public Libraries on February 4, 2013

Shh

A library got to make an unexpected appearance yesterday at one of the most watched events in the world.  A commercial for Oreo cookies that appeared in Super Bowl XLVII showcased a series of events unfolding in a library.

The commercial featured a disagreement between two people over which part of an Oreo cookie is the best part.  The argument escalates into a fight over whether the cream or cookie is the best part.  All the other patrons in the library end up fighting and firefighters and policemen are called in.  The entire library gets completely demolished.  Of course, the funny part of the whole ad is that everyone is whispering while they’re fighting since they are in a library.

The ad is amusing and it certainly passed the “made my kids laugh” test.  Even young children seem to know that you’re supposed to be quiet in a library.  Even if you’re fighting and destroying the whole place.

After seeing the commercial I began to wonder if it might have accidentally included a deeper meaning.  Could the absurd ad be showing us the future of libraries?

If you look at the library that is showcased in the ad you will notice that it doesn’t really look like most libraries today.  The one in the commercial is almost entirely books, chairs, tables and bookcases.  There are barely any computers shown at all and you have to look really hard for them.  One patron throws either an ancient computer or a microfilm reader while he whispers “cream!” and you can see a few monitors in the background but that’s about it.  Most libraries today have tons of computers and wish they had even more.

The ad seems to show a library that most people remember from their childhood.  This is where the possible deeper meaning comes in.

Is the last time most people went to a library in their youth when libraries looked like the one portrayed in the commercial?  Are libraries with books going to be demolished?  Will they become so unimportant that insignificant things like an argument over food will be more important?

Libraries are changing quickly as they transition to ebooks and digital media.  A larger portion of library budgets is being allocated to computers, ebooks and technology.  It’s hard to find a library these days that looks like the one in the ad.

The Super Bowl Oreo commercial seems to subliminally state how a large portion of society views libraries.  They view libraries with books as obsolete, but they definitely know you should whisper if you need to talk in a library.  Let’s just hope that they think that libraries with ebooks, computers and digital media are important.  And that you still need to be quiet in them.

{ 4 comments }

Jan Breedon February 7, 2013 at 2:29 pm

I intend to also leave a message on the company page in this regard. I am sure that it is obvious that it is meant as humor, but with the loss of life by violence in public places violating our nation to our cores by killing our youngsters in a public school massacare this is awfully bad taste and shows complete destruction of a sacred temple of knowledge the library.

leimo February 13, 2013 at 6:12 pm

I just saw the oreo commercial. I am not a football fan and had no idea it was originally a Super Bowl commercial. I didn’t even realize they were whispering because I noticed the violence in the library right away that was suppose to be funny. It wasn’t funny at all. I though of the school violence right away and wondered why they would make such a commercial. It’s not rediculious enough to picket oreos, and of course I will miss them if I couldn’t eat them all the time. I love oreos. But it was really a bad decision to make that commercial.

Demaris Edwards February 19, 2013 at 9:46 am

I was offended and thought the commercial was stupid. I’m tired of stereotypes being placed on libraries and librarians. Libraries are changing into places similar to community centers. People not only get books, but can take free computer classes, learn how to use their new kindles, nooks, etc., and network ( this is what storytime and book babies are all about? Ways for parents to talk and learn new ideas.) I agree observing quiet conversation is good manners but whispering and silence is over the top. I hate when a patron walks up to the reference desk and starts whispering to me. I kindly ask them to speak up as I can’t hear them in order to help them. The library in the commercial is antiquated. No computers, no audiobooks, e-readers, etc. Yes I think national exposure is good for libraries but not if it perpetuates stereotypes. We want people to know what we are all about. All this commercial did was show millions of people what a library is NOT like in this day and age. And I do have a sense of humor. I thought the Doritos commercial was hysterial, or the “where do babies come from” commercial. If Oreo wanted to use a library. . .How about two librarians with Smart Phones “tweeting” about the patrons in the computer lab becoming boisterous over Oreos . . I don’t claim to be an ad person but when the first reaction to a commercial is “REALLY?” I’m pretty sure that isn’t the reaction the company was going for.

Joseph Valentinetti February 21, 2013 at 4:18 pm

I didn’t see the commercial but what you describe, I think, speaks to the quality of human interaction. Besides, the Oreo is perhaps the worst cookie adaptation ever. It’s the McDonald of cookies. It sole selling point is you can, like most of McDonald’s stuff, eat it, one handed, without getting messy. The creme is creamy, the cookie is flavorless and rivals the ginger snap in its imitation of staleness even when fresh.

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