Video

Superbowl Ads 2017 Brands Spending 5 Million Dollars in Good Ways

This year’s Superbowl ads: Brands spending their 5 million dollars in Good ways

Now I’m going to say from the outset I’m a massive cynic; as much as I’d like to believe the trend for social activism in ads comes from brands trying to be good I find myself questioning their motives.

When Kenco came out with Coffee v Gangs, much as I loved their product I questioned if it was a ploy to brand themselves as ethical while not embracing Fairtrade and ensuring their farmers are paid properly.

When Starbucks announced they were going to employ 10,000 refugees over the next few years this commitment is on the surface seems to be incredibly honourable given the current climate in the US.  Still is it possible it is a way of justifying employing immigrant workers who tend to be cheaper while allowing their customers to pat themselves on the back for supporting such a philanthropic company?

When Dove created their campaign for real beauty, I had to wonder how a company owned by Unilever the same people touting Lynx deodorant in ads which set expectations of female beauty at almost unattainable levels could claim they are for women with all types of bodies in all types of sizes.

Like I said, I’m really cynical and before I start ranting about Coca Cola inventing Santa Claus I’ve decide to put that aside for a minute and assume there is some good in the world and look at some of the best Superbowl commercials embracing social activism.

At an estimated 5 million dollars for a 30 second slot it is great to see people like Coke and Budweiser choose to use their time to make a statement and bring messages of inclusion and equality to the American people with their adverts. 

In some cases, subtly and in some case so overtly that there has been backlash with the hashtag #BoycottBudweiser trending in the early hours of Sunday morning and commenters on YoutTube decrying Audi’s gender equality focused ad branded as being “100% unadulterated liberal propaganda” by the one YouTube user.

Budweiser: 'Born the Hard Way'

In some cases, subtly and in some case so overtly that there has been backlash with the hashtag #BoycottBudweiser trending in the early hours of Sunday morning and commenters on YoutTube decrying Audi’s gender equality focused ad branded as being “100% unadulterated liberal propaganda” by the one YouTube user.

Coca Cola: America the Beautiful

Coca Cola recycled their 2014 Superbowl advert in which a multilingual version of America the beautiful plays over scenes of a diverse group of Americans.  While the message isn’t a clear as Budweiser’s a statement from the company said that hoped the advert “promotes optimism, inclusion and celebrates humanity”.

Audi: 'Daughter'

Audi’s advert Daughter, tackles a slightly different issue.  Instead of looking at inclusion like many of the others Audi are looking at equality by posing a question against the backdrop of a young girl battling against boys in a soapbox derby.
"What do I tell my daughter? Do I tell her that her grandpa's worth more than her grandma? That her dad is worth more than her mom? Do I tell her that despite her education, her drive, her skills, her intelligence, she will automatically be valued as less than every man she ever meets? Or maybe, I'll be able to tell her something different."
Audi have come out and decided to confront the gender pay gap with their commercial, and while the message is quite simple; men and women should be equal.  It is the advert that has garnered the most backlash so far with YouTube comments describing it as feminist propaganda.


Airbnb: #WeAccept

Airbnb have been very vocal opponents of Trumps travel ban, with their CEO tweeting that they would be providing housing for those displaced by not being allowed into the US, so it’s  not at all surprising they have chosen to take aim at it in their commercial

Their advert shows a diverse group of people and text overlaying their faces reading “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.”

84 Lumber: 'The Journey Begins'

84 Lumber a brand most won’t know outside the US, are a building supplies company who have created what is definitely the most overtly political of all the ads this year.  
It features a mother and daughter waking from their beds in Mexico and taking a journey of many miles to the American border.  The original version where the mother and child are met by a giant wall at the end of their journey was considered so controversial, it was turned away by Fox and an abridged version aired in its place.