2018 Super Bowl Ads – Commercials or Politics?

What a game. There's comfort in camaraderie, rallying behind a fellow, feathered football team. Congrats to the Super Bowl LII champion, Philadelphia Eagles. 

Almost as exciting as the game itself, the commercials have taken on their own importance as a part of the "Big Game's" pageantry. A growing trend from company's is to showcase a stance surrounding some our most polarized social issues. You might remember last year's Airbnb "We Accept" commercial. 

Certainly not every company set out to make a statement, but it was impossible to avoid the civic tones struck in a large portion of ads. Will this trend continue? Will companies continue to put themselves forward as the moral compass within our country? 

As the head of a nonprofit, I love seeing billion-dollar marketing budgets being used to spread awareness about our communities most pressing needs. Here are 5 ads that stood out to me:

Disaster Recovery (Budweiser)

Budweiser promoted their effort to send clean water to Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico after the recent hurricanes. According to Budweiser, their Cartersville, GA brewery has provided 2 million cans of water this year alone.

Clean Water (Stella Artois)

Like Budweiser, another beer company, Stella Artois this time, focused on water. Matt Damon, co-founder of Water.org, promoted their partnership and encouraged viewers to buy a beer chalice (here) to support safe drinking water in developing countries.

Diversity (Coke)

Coke's ad promotes the diversity of its brand and products and links that to the diversity of its customers, aiming for a message of unity and inclusion. 

Nationalism (WeatherTech)

WeatherTech promotes a nationalist message with their commercial, featuring the building a factory alongside images of the USA flag. The commercial ends with:  “At WeatherTech, we built our factory right here in America. Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be?”. 

Win or Fail? (Dodge)

In Dodge's "Built to Serve" ad, the use of an excerpt from a Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speech probably seemed like a good idea, but the backlash online has the company looking tone deaf and opportunistic. But, people are talking... 

Is this nothing more than smart advertising, or are companies taking BlackRock CEO Larry Fink’s recommendation (see Larry Fink’s open letter to CEO’s), and taking more responsibility for their effects on society? 

What do you think about this trend? Let us know on Twitter.

P.S.  My favorite non-political ad was “Alexa loses her voice.” What was yours?