Monday, February 6, 2017

Super Bowl 2017 advertising gets political

Still from the Airbnb ad
The Super Bowl ads are perhaps the most expensive to air ever - 5 million a piece this year. Mind you some classics were first aired there (I am thinking of Apple 1984 for example). This year, understandably a lot of companies got political. In the very strained atmosphere haunting the US, companies felt the need to engage with the public.
Coca-Cola did a reprise of their 2014 multilingual reedition of America the Beautiful.
AirBnb went with #weaccept - a message that age, religion, gender, country of origin do not matter to them. The company also pledged short term housing for refugees as part of their policies.
Avocados from Mexico? Please the name says it all. But it was funnier with a secret society "illuminati" style ad.
Budweiser, the king of Super Bowl ads went with the journey of its founder from Germany to America, you know the guy turned out to be... an immigrant! The commercial entitled "Born the Hard Way" was an oblique reference to Lady Gaga who was handling the halftime show. No bonus points for guessing that #boycottBudweiser started trending - some using it seriously others as a troll.
Audi attacked the gender pay issue with #driveprogress - also a cause on the political fault line in the United States.
That companies went all political to troll Donald Trump in an sporting event which is totally redneck American. Of course, there is a CSR element in all of this but companies should be ready to handle their social responsibilities like Starbucks is doing putting causes into the limelight without worrying much about the financial side of the things.
What can I say but quote (or misquote) the 1984 Apple Mac commercial, "on February 6 2017 companies shall stand up for what is right and you will see why 2017 will not be like 1984".