Monday, February 6, 2017

Super Bowl LI: America, the Beautiful

The real winners last night? America. Because for several hours we could all focus our energies on cheering for the Falcons. Did they pull through for us? No. But at this point, we're used to things not going our way. We're used to picking ourselves up, dusting off our shoulders, and preparing for next season. Tom Brady may have another ring for whatever reason we still do that, but the rest of us have Lady Gaga, Hulu, Margaret Atwood, and Expedia.


The women of Hamilton started us off strong, with their gorgeous rendition of "America the Beautiful" and spot on addition of "sisterhood" to the lyrics:

Lady Gaga picked up the torch at Halftime, proving her one-woman show is just enough (alright, her dancers and crowd back up were pretty great too) :

A slew of commercials got it right by casting women as more than just party-goers, sex objects, or nagging wives:

My Name is Offred: I'm working my way through a few Margaret Atwood books this year, but The Handmaid's Tale was my first (in high school? college? a while ago). This trailer has me close to activating a Hulu premium account.

Hero's Journey: Despite the unfortunate name (Niro? Really, Kia?), this spot for an otherwise forgettable car was memorable thanks to Melissa McCarthy using her comedic talents AND a timely message about doing what we can do save our one and only planet.

Red Zone: Secret is a women's deodorant line, so it makes sense for their ad to feature a woman. They up their game by giving us a woman who knows her football and isn't afraid to share her knowledge. Bonus points for Packer apparel!

It's a strange state of affairs when a commercial displaying positive (dare I say American?) values is viewed as a message of opposition to the current administration, and yet here we are. A few companies weren't afraid to take a stance on today's biggest issues, namely immigration and inclusion, and they deserve recognition (along with the pressure of following through on their statements).

Born the Hard Way: History has a funny way of showing us the present, and this Budweiser ad does just that. Lest we forget we're all immigrants here (Native Americans excluded), Eberhard Anheuser and Adolphus Busch are here to remind us that the dreams of our ancestors brought us to this country.

Home: Despite the craziness it caused in actual homes, this ad did it right by showing us how the product can help you in your home - I believed in all of those families and their situations. Google featured plenty of subtle nods to diversity and inclusion, as well as empowerment to all through the use of available resources.

Train: What's the key to this 30-second love letter to travel? Its conclusion that "you" are what makes the world a better place, and you do it through broadening your horizons. Travel has the power to change the world, even if it's just your own.

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