On Sunday, February 5th, the 2017 Super Bowl 51 game between
the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons became one of the spectacular comebacks in Super Bowl History! Now, if you didn’t see the game….well that is a shame. Spoiler ahead. The Falcons played a strong game until the Pats (down 25) made an amazing comeback by scoring 26 unanswered points in the 4th quarter and overtime. Finishing the game with an
overtime score of Patriots 34- Falcons 28, giving Tom Brady his 5th Super Bowl title.
Even though the game and the half-time show featuring Mother Monster: Lady Gaga was entertaining and eventful, the advertisements caught a lot of attention during the commercial breaks.
For American Advertisers,
Super Bowl Sunday=Most Important Day of the Year!
This year, Super Bowl 51 highlighted many advertisements promoting the acceptance of other cultures. It was refreshing and completely inspiring to see companies making a statement. Some of these commercials featured soft political undertones that might go un-noticed by the majority of the population. Some were a bit more noticeable. Now according to the New York Times, “The average cost of a 30-second ad for the Super Bowl crept up to $5 million this year” (Maheswari, 2017). Companies like Coca-Cola, Budweiser and AirBnB used this time to stand out and stand-up in making statements.
This is not the first time coke has made a stand with its commercials. This year Coca-Cola advertised 2 commercials during the Super Bowl breaks with themes of cultural diversity and immigration. The first video coke portrayed Coke pairing nicely with food, quoting it a “classic” love story. This commercial advertised different ethnic groups all enjoying “different types” of refreshing Coke. Think about it!
The second video titled “It’s Beautiful,” was recycled from the 2014 Super Bowl. They re-aired a commercial featuring and CELEBRATING diversity with people singing “America is Beautiful” in different languages. The song is performed in English, Spanish, Keres, Tagalog, Hindi, Senegalese French and Hebrew. Today that message is more relevant than ever!
Budweiser spent their commercial time educating the mass American population about the story of its founder, Adolphus Busch. The commercial is titled “Born the Hard Way.” The inspiring tale presents the hardships of immigration to follow dreams and not backing down when things get hard. The young man portrayed as Mr Busch overcame obstacles, hardships and discrimination to create his dream in the USA. However, the article by USA Today states that people took to twitter to announce their resentment by hashtagging #BoycottBudweiser (Rossman, 2017). A couple questions come to mind. Where do people think they come from? Other than the Native Americans, the general population of North America was founded on immigrants in search of a better life.
On the lighter side, many people are starting to boycott the boycott by drinking the brand and supporting the company.
AirBnB promoted a strong commercial about cultural diversity by showing people with different ethnic backgrounds. This beautiful commercial showed nothing more than the faces of other cultures with the text “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”(AirBnB, 2017). The end portrayed the hashtag #WeAccept which went viral. Trending in both positive and negative reviews on Twitter.
When you log on to Airbnb’s website, the first thing you see is a quote stating “We believe in a world where anyone can belong” (AirBnB, 2017). The website continues by promoting that acceptance starts with all of us! And that their 5-year goal is to provide 100,000 people with short-term housing (Airbnb, 2017).
Wood Working Wonders
However, the biggest buzz came from 84 Lumber commercial. This construction company put a commercial airing 1:30 seconds about a mother and a daughter making the journey to America for a better life. The story was only half told. At the end of the Super Bowl commercial, it prompted viewers to “See the conclusion at Journey84.com”.
The full commercial averages just under 6 minutes but the company made their statement with the mother and daughter walking through giant wooden doors along a giant wall blocking their path. The ending of the entire journey shows a truck driving away with lumber in the truck saying “the will to succeed is always welcome here”. The message was completely moving.
So the Questions remain……
Are American Companies answering back to a certain executive order that was passed banning several Muslim countries from entering the United States? Are these advertisements underlined with a subtle political agenda? Or are they trying to show the good in a world full of hate? Today, organizations thrive on corporate social responsibility by giving back to the community and tugging at the emotional heartstrings. Whether the advertisements were met with positive or negative reviews, it still gets people talking about the company and their products. Hopefully their marketing strategy pays off.
In a world already full of hatred and violence, it is encouraging to see people and companies opening up their hearts. We are all in this together and multiculturalism can work! In sports, like the NFL, you need diversity to create a strong team. Different people with different skills, strengths and attributes can work together towards a common goal….to make it to the end zone….to score and yell……
Airbnb. (2017). Retrieved from Airbnb. We believe in a world where anyone can belong.: https://www.airbnb.ca/
Born the Hard Way. (2017). Retrieved from Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZmlRtpzwos
Coca Cola Love Story. (2017). Retrieved from Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDiZ-rlBI78
It’s Beautiful. (2014). Retrieved from Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iatvn7cUZ8
Journey 84. (2017). Retrieved from Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0Uk6ctu7nI
Maheswari, S. (2017, January 29). The New York Times. Retrieved from $5 Million for a Super Bowl Ad. Another Million or More to Market the Ad.: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/29/business/5-million-for-a-super-bowl-ad-another-million-or-more-to-market-the-ad.html?_r=0
Rossman, S. (2017, February 5). #BoycottBudweiser? Budweiser Super Bowl as sparks immigrant debate. Retrieved from USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ad-meter/2017/02/05/boycottbudweiser-debate-getting-super-bowl-treatment/97531390/
The Entire Journey. (2017). Retrieved from Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPo2B-vjZ28
We Accept. (2017). Retrieved from Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qUTYHnLz2g
Will and I (2014) Category: Laugh. Super Bowl Highlights. Retrieved from https://willandi.wordpress.com/category/laugh/