On Sunday, February 5, 2017, many amazing things happened. There was the first overtime in Super Bowl history, in the last quarter of the game the Patriots came back from a 25-point difference, and Tom Brady was awarded his fourth MVP award. This year I was a lot more in tune with what was happening on the field, but I did stick to my roots as an avid commercial watcher. This year, there were many advertisements that caught my eye.
Featuring the faces of many and the simple message that “we all belong,” Airbnb’s #weaccept commercial took my breath away. Along with spending a bucketload of money on this commercial, Airbnb is donating $4 million to the International Rescue Committee, providing for over 100,000 people in need, like refugees, for the next five years. Airbnb’s efforts are a beam of light during a time when many people’s rights have been challenged.
Another commercial that stood out was Coca Cola’s #AmericaIsBeautiful. This minute-long commercial features people singing “Amazing Grace” in over five different languages. Interestingly enough, this commercial isn’t new – in fact, it was Coca Cola’s commercial in 2014 as well. However, the beauty of this commercial is only amplified by its meaning. I think the coming together of many different people is what makes America great, and that we, as a country, should embrace those differences.
This year, I was especially excited for the Budweiser commercial, especially because of the amazing #LostPuppy commercial back in 2015. In their 29th year of Super Bowl advertising, Budweiser featured the story of one of their founders, Adolphus Busch, coming all the way from Germany to make this famous beer. This was among the many commercials to tell stories of immigration and generally embracing different cultures. The commercial shows the rough conditions that entrepreneurs had to go through to make their dreams come true – a success story that I find truly inspiring.
Unfortunately, there was one commercial that got cut short: 84 Lumber’s story about the journey of a Spanish-speaking mother and daughter. After being hotly debated, Fox decided to cut off the end of the commercial, which shows the family encountering a wall, as it was “too controversial.” Since Fox has the right to deny any advertisements they choose, the private lumber company showcased a revised version of the commercial, and prompted viewers to watch the full version on their website.
Most articles that have come out about the Super Bowl commercials have described them as overly political. I understand how the commercials could be seen that way, but the messages of acceptance are ones that need to be spread. The leaders of our country can bring up these controversial issues, but companies and organizations can’t truly voice their opinions without being seen as controversial, as many people will fight back saying that these commercials are pushing a certain agenda. How are their agendas any different from ones being presented everywhere in politics?