Inevitably politics overshadowed the biggest US sporting event – the Super bowl.
Advertisers used the most-watched television programme in the United States to promote their products and make a statement.
Paying over $5 million (4.67 million euros) for a 30-second spot on Fox television got them access to half the households in the US. The game was also broadcast live in seven languages in 170 countries and territories.
Coca-Cola in perfect harmony
Coke’s commercial focused on diversity and inclusion with ‘America the Beautiful’ sung in several languages – English, Spanish, Keres, Tagalog, Hindi, Senegalese, French, and Hebrew.
It first appeared during the Superbowl in 2014 and has also run to mark other events such as the July 4th Independence Day holiday and the Olympics.
The company said: “We believe it’s a powerful ad that promotes optimism, inclusion and celebrates humanity.”
Via Twitter some people expressed their anger at that sentiment with racist comments and the hashtag #BoycottCoke.
Airbnb trolls Trump
Airbnb – which has been particularly critical of President Trump’s immigration policies – was very direct with an ad showing people of different backgrounds and text that read: “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.”
Its pledge to underwrite help for immigrants and the homeless got support from former US Secretary of State John Kerry, who retweeted David Miliband, the head of the International Rescue Committee.
Audi gets behind girls
Carmaker Audi ran an ad promoting gender equality.
Voiced over video of a girl taking part in a soapbox cart race, a father says: “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?”
The company said it was speaking to America “emotionally” with “a culturally engaging topic” though embarrassingly it had to admit the number of women working at Audi in the US (22 percent) is below the industry average in the country (27 percent) and just 12 percent of the company’s senior management in the US is female.
Audi made a plea for gender equality, but just 8.9 pct of managers are women and none of its executive board members https://t.co/XNKFEewuK5— ReutersBreakingviews (@Breakingviews) February 6, 2017
Avocados and the secret society
One of the most commented-on commercials took aim at Trump’s hostility towards Mexico and played on the fact that guacamole is a favourite food of fans during the Superbowl.
It was a spoof on the idea that a secret society known as the Illuminati controls everything in the world, including avocados. Eighty percent of the avocados imported into the US come from Mexico, which is the world’s largest producer of the fruit.
More than $1.5 billion (1.4 billion euros) worth of Mexican avocados are sold in the United States yearly.