From a pint-sized Darth Vader to goldfish who are revived with Doritos, a new wave of TV commercials hit the market during last week’s Super Bowl. It showed me a side of TV programming that I hadn’t noticed before: the raunchy, adult, violent stuff that’s supposed to be family-friendly.

From a pint-sized Darth Vader to goldfish who are revived with Doritos, a new wave of TV commercials hit the market during last week’s Super Bowl.

It showed me a side of TV programming that I hadn’t noticed before: the raunchy, adult, violent stuff that’s supposed to be family-friendly.

This year, I was watching the Super Bowl with a child old enough to pay attention to what he sees on television. Our friends’ children were actually watching the game, rather than playing the background. And more than once, we cringed or drew the kids’ attention away from the television when inappropriate advertisements popped on the screen.

Consider the HomeAway ad, in which a baby — obviously a doll, but a baby nonetheless — was slammed violently into a glass wall.

Then there was the Sketchers ad, featuring a half-naked Kim Kardashian in a risqué situation with a steamy man.

GoDaddy.com, of course, is known for its cleavage shots. Teleflora’s ad featured a guy writing a note to a girl that said, “Your rack is unreal.”

Even Coca-Cola had fire-breathing dragons and odd-looking creatures heading into battle — a little scary for the younger set.

Is that really considered family entertainment? If so, for whose family?

I don’t want my children – whether preschool, elementary-aged or even in high school — sitting next to me while taking in such gratuitous sex and violence. I particularly don’t want it to be seen as something funny, or as no big deal.

When it stops being a big deal is when our kids’ moral barometers begin to fail.

I get that the Super Bowl runs late, well into the time when children often are in bed. But it’s silly to think that watching the game is not a family activity — and one that warrants a late bedtime in many homes.

I get that my television is permanently tuned to PBS these days, so I’m a little out of touch with everyday television programming.

But that doesn’t make it right.

Advertisers need to expect more of themselves. They need to consider the all-time best commercials: Mean Joe Green for Coca-Cola, the showdown between Larry Bird and Michael Jordan for McDonald’s, the Apple Computer 1984 commercial.

None of those ads use cheap shots or dirty humor to make their point. They use this astounding thing that’s missing far too often: Creativity.

It’s easy to sell a product when you can take the easy way out and do what everyone else is doing.

It’s far more difficult when you have to rely on being clever and witty, when you have to draw on a legitimate emotion and not just basic eye candy.

As consumers, we should expect so much more.

As parents, we should demand it.

Contact Elizabeth Davies at edavies@rrstar.com.