TV Ads that Made an Impact
The Super Bowl's hyper political ads are a sign of the times
With tens if not hundreds of millions of people watching worldwide, last night’s Super Bowl provided a thrilling battle as Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes stared down the daunting defense of the San Francisco 49ers and led his Chiefs team to their first Super Bowl win in 50 years. While many were there for the football, almost as many people seem to watch the Super Bowl for the ads. Below are some ads that made an impact.
During the Super Bowl Trump ran two. The first ad played to his base. There was a large focus on the military with aircraft carriers and fighter jets scrolling across the screen. He also mentioned the “record wage growth” and “record low unemployment.” As is typical of Trump, there was no mention of the fact that he took over an economy with near record-low unemployment and wages were beginning to increase before he got into office. The ad lacked intelligence, but it was colorful and loud, the type of propaganda his base eats up.
In his second ad, Trump was clearly pandering to the African American voter. His ad highlighted his pardoning of Alice Johnson, who was serving a life term in prison for a non-violent drug offense. Johnson was granted clemency by Trump after being lobbied by the wife of controversial rapper Kanye West, Kim Kardashian. While the ad made it seem like Trump had instituted an across the board change to sentencing guidelines, the truth is Johnson is only out because a celebrity with a direct connection to Trump took up her case. Facts haven’t changed, Trump was endorsed by the Crusader, the official newspaper of the KKK.
Reports say that Trump spent about $11 million to run 60 seconds worth of ads during the game and at my super Bowl party no one even looked up to see Trump’s ads.
Not to be outdone, Democratic Presidential Candidate and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg also spent $11 million to buy a 60-second ad. Bloomberg’s ad focused on George Kemp Jr. The ad, which is being told by George’s mother talks about how he wanted to play in the NFL until he was killed in a shooting. The mother then talks about how she knows that Bloomberg will be her “dog in the fight” taking on the gun lobby and the NRA. Watch this moving commercial below. Good job Mike.
As part of the NFL’s ongoing “Inspire Change” campaign, former wide receiver Anquan Boldin narrated a 1 minute PSA about police violence. He told the story of his cousin Corey Jones who was shot and killed by a cop. Ads like these have been running throughout the season, not because of the generosity of the owners or Commissioner Roger Goodell, but because of Colin Kapernick. That’s right. Kap made these ads possible.
While the above ads were political, one ad that made an impact came from WeatherTech. UCOMM reported about the company’s ad in 2016 when they highlighted the fact that their greatest asset was an American workforce. This year they donated their ad to the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine. The ad is narrated by a golden retriever named Scout. The dog may look familiar as he has starred in previous WeatherTech commercials. However, over the summer, Scout was diagnosed with a tumor on his heart and given just one month to live. The doctors at the University of Wisconsin were able to save Scout and as a thank you, WeatherTech bought the ad. Barely mentioning the company, the ad focused on encouraging people to donate to the University’s Veterinary School to fund more cancer research.
Of course, not all ads were serious. Perhaps the funniest was for Hyundai. Yes, they are a non-union foreign carmaker, but hey their Boston-styled ad made us all laugh, something we needed after watching the shitty Trump ads. Check it out below.