Super Beautiful or Super Boring? Thoughts on Super Bowl 2017 Ads
Welcome to post-Super Bowl, ladies and gentlemen. Tom Brady manages to snag another ring making his hand sparkle from pinky to thumb, and you managed to open your eyes wide enough to read this article. The hangover is real.
Everyone knows that the only reason we watch the Super Bowl is to see the winner (so you know what everyone’s talking about tomorrow), eat the food and watch the ads. In recent years, the advertisements have caused Internet feuds and sparked feminist conversations. Plus, everyone is always on the look out for the new Doritos or GoDaddy extravaganza. This year, though, the mood in America shifted, and thus, the commercials went from drunk and funny to seriously meaningful.
Using advertisements to project a message on the world stage, brands like Coca Cola, Airbnb, Budweiser and Audi decided to promote some positivity in the rather depressed state of our world. Each of these companies took the risk of tarnishing their brand. Anyone who has taken a basic business class knows that companies and controversy do not mix, so it’s pretty brave that multimillion-dollar corporations risked their clientele to share a message they saw as valuable.
Coca Cola aired a Super Bowl ad that was originally aired for the 2014 Super Bowl and then reused in the Rio 2016 games. The ad features the song “America the Beautiful” sung in over five languages. The video featured in the background shows the diverse faces that make up America and how each unique person plays a role in making America as beautiful as it is. Some thought that the video’s resurfacing at this *convenient* time was unoriginal and too political a statement for a soda company to make. Coke thought that their message was timely and reiterated that this all-American company believes that Coke is for everyone, just like America should be.
Airbnb’s commercial reads “We believe no matter who you are, where you’re from, who you love or who you worship, we all belong. The world is more beautiful the more you accept.” The company that has been providing free temporary housing to people affected by Trump’s travel ban is now making their statement live for the 111 million people who watched the Super Bowl last night. Without making any negative references to politics, Airbnb was able to send out a peaceful message promoting positivity and acceptance, starting the hashtag #WeAccept.
Budweiser made this commercial long before Trump took office, but the meaning has never rang as true as it does now. The ad depicts one of the beer’s founders trekking through fire, water, mud and anti-immigrant mofo’s to finally reach St. Louis where he meets his co-founder. The company created this ad as a way to celebrate those who never back down from a challenge and who chase their dreams no matter what roadblocks lay ahead…that sounds quite similar to the American Dream, no?
Perhaps the most controversial, most chilling message aired during the event was from Audi. The car company depicted a girl in a soapbox car race with her dad narrating his concerns of how he has to explain the patriarchal society that we live in. There was no hiding the political message here as it clearly stated that equal pay should be a rule and not an exception. Some Twitter users saw this as a direct attack on men, but it honestly seems like these criticizers were just a little scared of having their masculinity beat by a girl in her soapbox car.