Super Bowl LIV, 2020, was there enough diversity in the commercials? Well, I will breakdown a few brands that I felt did a standout job and not so standout. But before that, let’s congratulate the Kansas City Chiefs for winning Super Bowl LIV.
Moving on, this was the first year I actually sat and watched the entire Super Bowl game and focused on every single commercial (without taking a bathroom break, crazy, I know). I was intrigued because earlier this week, I received my email updates from Ad Age where Jeanine Poggi wrote a post about the advertisers being more diverse and inclusive in their commercials. The interesting part is they planned to "cushion" these efforts with a comedic twist. Let's discuss and see if they succeed.
Just so that we are all on the same page with what inclusive and diverse means: African Americans, Women, LGBTQ, LatinX, Asians, and people with disabilities.
Now on to the short and sweet... Do we feel like the ads were more diverse and inclusive as a whole? Yes, absolutely! I was definitely pleasantly surprised that so many brands made the effort to be diverse and inclusionary in there commercial. Some of the commercials were actually pretty funny, what others were super emotional, I have a soft spot for emotional commercials.
Another quick thing before we get into the commercial reviews. I just loved the intro where the kids were playing football (message: take it all the way home) that look like a commercial but the kids actually showed up on the field to deliver the game ball. It was unexpected, cute and genius and it really just gave a good feel to the start of the game.
My favorite commercial would have to be the Secret Deodorant #kickinequality commercial. It was the crowd was diverse; it was high energy, and super surprising. I love when the two ladies took off their helmets and the crowd went silent. The emotional genius really captured the moment. Check it out below (it also has over 18M views on YouTube!)
The next commercial, TurboTax (message: All People are Tax People), I thought it was interesting to start but I also was watching it with my daughter, so as it progressed it became more and funnier. While it did capture her ear and pushed her to participate in the dance moves, I feel like it didn't drive me to use them to do my taxes, but it was definitely diverse. I also think there's a potential viral moment here because it involves music and dance. My daughter and I thought it was cute; she’s 8 years old. Along the same lines of entertaining is the Doritos ad spot. I think I blinked right when it started and missed the "Cool Ranch" sign because for a minute I was so lost as to what brand this was for (sorry, not sorry). However, this I believe was meant for my daughter and the viral mania hence the #coolranchdance.
Next, the car commercials were interesting, not all moving. Hummer used LeBron James cool but, boring. Mustang used Idris Elba, sexy; it was a cool commercial, nothing special. Hyundai's "Smart Park" was funny. It stood out more than the others I saw the Porsche commercial with John Legend and his beautiful wife a few weeks ago and I thought it was cute. Audi, caught my daughter's attention, but she's not in the market for a new car. As for any other car spots, not memorable for me.
Olay also had an interesting, yet diverse commercial using Taraji P Henson. I like that she had her natural hair was a cute look. The theme was “When we make space for women” I love that, super cute. It was heartfelt with a sense of humor and I really liked it. I also love the fact that they weaved in the give-back portion where they'll be giving where they partnered with girls who code and donating, it wasn't too much. Walmart also had a very nice set of sentimental commercials, it was sweet, wouldn't expect anything less.
P.S. They also have a super cute landing page - View HERE
A few that threw me off were Sabra, it just seemed like a lot of reality stars and old-school celebrities I just didn't get it they use a diverse group of celebrities which was cool but did not make me want to go out and make a purchase. I thought the Pop-Tart what's a little strange (a sugary pop-tart pretzel). I was also a little confused at Michelob Ultra, I get the give back effort but it just seems like they poured it on thick go buy a six-pack and we will donate a to organic farmers. Then the political commercial, I’ll keep this short, I feel like they tried way too hard!
In summary, as a black female consumer in my mid-30s, after watching the Super Bowl ads did any one of them drive me to want to make a purchase and/or vote for someone in particular?
Well, I'll say this for the brand that I didn't know Hint (very interesting commercial vibe), Quibi, and Dashline, I may check them out just because I don't know who they were and it's interesting that they found all these millions of dollars to buy a spot during the Super Bowl.
I'm already a secret deodorant user so no need to go the extra mile for me there. Walmart is too far from where I live. I am not an Olay user so seeing to Taraji did not make me think about buying Olay. I did, however, enjoy the Google features in the Google commercial, that I might look into. Google was probably the only ad spot I personally viewed as beneficial in my day-to-day. I will say, I did walk away feeling inspire.
Overall if I had to rate the commercials during the Super Bowl on diversity and inclusion on a scale from 1 to 10 I give them a solid 7.5. I think it was a great effort and it's probably the best that I've seen thus far, granted some were hit or miss, it was still a good amount of effort and I appreciate that. Kudos to all of the brands if you want to if you missed it and you need to catch up and see some of the commercials you can head over to AdAge.com, Brian Braiker did a great job covering many of the commercials.
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