Super Bowl Commercials: Diversity and Equality Sell

Feb 7 2014, 7:12pm CST | by

Super Bowl Commercials: Diversity and Equality Sell

This year’s Super Bowl commercials viewed collectively paint a picture that the vast majority of Americans are progressives on hot button items from immigration to gay rights. Gone were the sexist spots of  Super Bowl pasts. Even domain site seller GoDaddy and mens grooming line Axe dropped the Playboy ethos for “Kumbaya” humor. With 30-second commercials going for for $3 million a piece, Madison Avenue minds decided their money is best spent on positive images of men, women, boys and girls that celebrate diversity and equality. From Cheerios to Toyota that is the message that sells,  
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Best example? That would be Coca Cola’s spot featuring “America the Beautiful,”sung in 7 different languages. The commercial included a variety of people, including kids, the elderly, straight, gay, in all manor of dress from cowboy hats to hijabs. playing, eating, and having an all around American good time. It’s a heart-warming sugar water pitch, that easily could have been a public service announcement for immigration reform.

The Coke ad dubbed “It’s Beautiful” drew fire from conservative talking heads, including Glenn Beck and the usual Fox News pundits. Coca Cola certainly expected that kind of right wing response going in. It also knew the critical blather would only amplify its message and ultimately sell more soda.  

The Coke ad was right in step with a spot featuring Bob Dylan that had the iconic American voice touting the new Chrysler 200. Dylan took some knocks in the past when he shilled for Victoria Secrets in 2004 and then the Cadillac Escalade in 2007. I’m a a big Bob Dylan fan.  When those earlier spots appeared it made me ask: “Does he really need the money that bad?”  My initial thoughts were likewise about the Super Bowl spot for Chobani Yogurt that used the Dylan classic “I Want You.”

Still, I know that Dylan the man and his music is embraced by Madison Avenue, because what was once counter-culture is now Main Street culture. The Chrysler commercial fit perfectly with the spirit of the Super Bowl and America circa 2014. Bob Dylan, a child of the Midwest , was praising the people of Detroit working  tirelessly to pull a once proud city up by their collective bootstraps. Naturally, there the irony that Chrysler is owned by Italian car manufacturer Fiat. But that’s okay because we are the world. Take the Maserati spot staring “Beasts of the Southern Wild’s captivating child star Quvenzhanzi Wallis. The splashy Italian sports car is only named and seen at the end of the commercial,only  after powerful images of nature gone wild and people working hard amidst it have filled the screen. What a mash-up. 

Celebrities, per usual, were part of the Super Bowl sellathon. But they we on deck to poke fun at their fame. Bruce Willis for Honda, Tim Tibow for T-Moblie, as well as Arnorld Schwarzenegger for Budweiser all made fun of their well-honed macho personas. On behalf of SodaStream, Scarlett Johansen went all meta on the do-good sexy starlet bit. David Beckham for H&M undies offered plenty of eye candy too, but again it was a fun, self-effacing pitch. Celebrities: They’re just like us and we are the world.

For every spot featuring guys with dreams of Super Bowl glory, there were gals galore elsewhere not only leveling the playing field, but dominating it. The best example of  girl power on display was the Intuit GoldiBlox spot, that turned the Heavy Metal sex anthem “Cum on Feel the Noize” into “Come On Bring The Toys” with legions of girls singing “girls make some noise” in the chorus is the “message.” That’s a quantum leap from Slade  command-singing; “girls rock your boys.” We’ve come a long way baby. This isn’t about political correctness. It’s about what sells.

Please follow me on Twitter: @Jmaxrobins

Source: Forbes Auto

 
 

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