Ads in Super Bowl spread message of inclusivity

NEW YORK — Messages about America, inclusiveness — and, yes, even “four years of awful hair” — kept bubbling up in Super Bowl 51 ads from Airbnb, the NFL and a line of personal care products. But there was still plenty of escapism and light humor for those who weren’t into the politics.

As the New England Patriots edged out the Atlantic Falcons on the field in Houston, Airbnb touted inclusiveness with an ad showing faces of different ethnicities and the copy: “We all belong. The world is more beautiful the more you accept.” Coca-Cola aired a previously run ad in the pregame in which people sing “America the Beautiful” in different languages. Even a hair care brand dipped into politics: The “It’s a 10” hair brand indirectly referenced Donald Trump famously unruly do in its Super Bowl spot.

It’s tough to be a Super Bowl advertiser in during any year. But this year, a divisive political climate has roiled the nation since President Donald Trump took office in January, making it even tougher for advertisers.

Paying $5 million for 30 seconds to capture more than 110 million expected viewers, advertisers had to walk the line with ads that appealed to everyone and didn’t offend. Some were more successful than others.

“Anxiety and politics just loom over this game, so anybody who gives us the blessed relief of entertaining with a real Super Bowl commercial wins,” said Mark DiMassimo, CEO of the ad agency DiMassimo Goldstein.

Several ads aimed for just that. Tide, for instance, offered a humorous ad showing announcer Terry Bradshaw trying frantically to remedy a stain while he goes “viral” online, with the help of New England Patriot Rob Gronkowski and actor Jeffrey Tambor.

WALKING THE POLITICAL LINE

Advertisers were treading carefully when it came to political themes.

“When it comes to politics, most brands prefer to stand on the sidelines, for good reason,” said Kelly O’Keefe, a marketing professor at Virginia Commonwealth University. “Brands used to worry about whether their ad could be interpreted as right or wrong. Now they have to worry about whether it will be interpreted as right or left.”

But there were still plenty of ads that walked the line.

An NFL ad conveyed what all advertisers hope the Super Bowl becomes: a place where Americans can come together. “Inside these lines, we may have our differences, but recognize there’s more that unites us,” Forest Whitaker intoned in a voiceover as workers prepped a football field and gridiron scenes played.

“The Super Bowl is shaping up as a counterpoint to the divisiveness in the United States,” said Tim Calkins, a marketing professor at Northwestern University.

Airbnb’s ad was one of the more overtly political, showing a variety of different faces with the tagline “We accept.”

Some thought the ad was a hit. “Kudos to them for making a strong statement,” said O’Keefe. But others, such as Villanova University marketing professor Charles Taylor, thought it didn’t have a clear enough link to the brand and risked coming off as a “purely political statement.”

Some advertisers took the safest route possible by re-airing ads they’ve used before — an unusual, though not unprecedented, move. Coca-Cola, Google and Fiji water aired rerun ads.

During the pre-game show, Coca-Cola ran “It’s Beautiful,” an ad featuring people around the country drinking the fizzy beverage and singing “America the Beautiful” in different languages.

SURPRISES

A debut Super Bowl spot by the “It’s a 10” hair care brand introduced its line of men products by joking about Donald Trump’s hair.

“America, we’re in for four years of awful hair, so it’s up to you to do your part by making up for it with great hair,” a voiceover states, showing black-and-white photos of people with a wide array of hairstyles. “Do your part. … Let’s make sure these next four years are ‘It’s a 10.’”

Snickers got tons of press by airing a live ad In the third quarter. On a Wild West set, Adam Driver seems to not know the ad is live. The set falls apart (on purpose). “You ruin live Super Bowl commercials when you’re hungry,” the ad’s tagline reads.

“It went by so fast, I almost missed it,” DiMassimo said. “Not sure it was worth the trouble of doing it live.”

LIGHT HUMOR PLUS CELEBS

Ads with light humor and stuffed with celebrities were popular. Honda’s ad made a splash by animating the yearbook photos of nine celebrities ranging from Tina Fey to Viola Davis. They make fun of their photos — Jimmy Kimmel is dressed in a blue tux and holding a clarinet, for example — and talk about “The Power of Dreams,” Honda’s ad slogan.

“It was a really good message and it was entertaining,” said Mirta Desir, a New Orleans native who works in education and was watching the game on Long Island.

The Tide ad with Terry Bradshaw was a hit with some viewers because of the way it tricked viewers by seeming to be part of the broadcast. “It made you think twice,” said Pablo Rochat, watching in Atlanta. “There was funny dialogue and good storytelling.”

T-Mobile’s spots featuring Justin Timberlake and Rob Gronkowski dancing , Kristen Schaal in a “50 Shades of Grey” parody and Martha Stewart and Snoop Dog mixing talk about T-Mobile’s unlimited-data plan with innuendos about Snoop Dogg’s marijuana habit, won raves from some. As did an ad from antioxidant drink maker Bai featuring Justin Timberlake and Christopher Walken.

ad-high_impact_4
Business
Lehman Brothers bet big on Las Vegas
Lehman Brothers collapsed 10 years ago, helping send the country into the Great Recession.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Ross & Snow launches in Las Vegas
Luxury shoe brand Ross & Snow has opened in Las Vegas, featuring "functional luxury" with premium shearling footwear. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remote Identification and Drones
DJI vice president of policy and public affairs discusses using remote identification on drones. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Drones and public safety in Nevada
Two representatives in the drone industry discuss UAV's impact on public safety. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Frontier Airlines to launch flights from Las Vegas to Mexico
Frontier, a Denver-based ultra-low-cost carrier, will become the first airline in more than a decade to offer international service to Canada and Mexico from Las Vegas when flights to Cancun and Los Cabos begin Dec. 15. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren addresses Oct. 1 lawsuits
MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren addresses criticism his company has received for filing a lawsuit against the survivors of the Oct. 1 shooting. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International opens the doors on MGM Springfield
Massachusetts’ first hotel-casino opens in downtown Springfield. The $960 million MGM Springfield has 252 rooms and 125,000-square-feet of casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International prepares to open MGM Springfield
Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International gave news media and invited guests a preview of the $960 million MGM Springfield casino in Massachusetts. The commonwealth's first resort casino will open Friday, Aug. 24. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A Walk Through Circus Circus
It only takes a short walk through Circus Circus to realize it attracts a demographic like no other casino on the Strip: families with young children. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Morphy Auctions, a vintage slot machines seller, wants gaming license
Vice president Don Grimmer talks about Morphy Auctions at the company's warehouse located at 4520 Arville Street in Las Vegas on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada's venture capital money doesn't stay in state
Zach Miles, associate vice president for economic development for UNLV, said there’s venture money in Southern Nevada, “but trying to find the right groups to tap into for that money is different.” According to a 2017 report from the Kauffman Foundation, Las Vegas ranked number 34 out of 40 metropolitan areas for growth entrepreneurship, a metric of how much startups grow. With a lack of growing startups in Las Vegas, investment money is being sent outside of state borders. The southwest region of the U.S. received $386 million in funding in the second quarter, with about $25.2 million in Nevada. The San Francisco area alone received about $5.6 billion. (source: CB Insights)
Neon wraps can light up the night for advertising
Vinyl wrap company 5150 Wraps talks about neon wraps, a new technology that the company believes can boost advertising at night. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nevada on the forefront of drone safety
Dr. Chris Walach, senior director of Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems, talks to a reporter at NIAS's new Nevada Drone Center for Excellence of Public Safety, located inside the Switch Innevation Center in Las Vegas. K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
Motel 8 on south Strip will become site of hotel-casino
Israeli hoteliers Asher Gabay and Benny Zerah bought Motel 8 on the south Strip for $7.4 million, records show. They plan to bulldoze the property and build a hotel-casino. Motel 8 was built in the 1960s and used to be one of several roadside inns on what's now the south Strip. But it looks out of place today, dwarfed by the towering Mandalay Bay right across the street.
Project billed as one of the world's largest marijuana dispensaries plans to open Nov. 1
Planet 13 co-CEO Larry Scheffler talks about what to expect from the new marijuana dispensary, Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Oasis Biotech opens in Las Vegas
Brock Leach, chief operating officer of Oasis Biotech, discusses the new plant factory at its grand opening on July 18. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UNLV Tech Park innovation building breaks ground
Construction on the first innovation building at the UNLV Tech Park is underway. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Caesars Forum Meeting Center
Caesars broke ground Monday on its $375 million Caesars Forum Meeting Center (convention center) just east of the High Roller observation wheel. (Caesars Entertainment)
Technology reshapes the pawn shop industry
Devin Battersby attaches a black-colored device to the back of her iPhone and snaps several of the inside and outside of a Louis Vuitton wallet. The device, installed with artificial intelligence capabilities, analyzes the images using a patented microscopic technology. Within a few minutes, Battersby receives an answer on her app. The designer item is authentic.
Recreational marijuana has been legal in Nevada for one year
Exhale Nevada CEO Pete Findley talks about the one year anniversary of the legalization of recreational marijuana in Nevada. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Young adults aren't saving for retirement
Financial advisors talk about saving trends among young adults. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like