"We all belong" - Super Bowl Advertising and the wonder of Lady Gaga
There is more to the Super Bowl than [American] football. If you are anything like me, you may have stayed up to the early hours to tune into Lady Gaga's Halftime performance (which was incredible, but we'll get to that). Another crucial element to the Super Bowl is the advertising.
If you have ever experienced American television, you may well know that commercials are generally much longer, "cheesier", seem to cut into your program every 10 minutes, and riddled with celebrities and their valuable product endorsements. Generally speaking, everything is bigger and louder. So it is easy to see why - with an audience of millions - the Super Bowl commercial slots are so incredibly sought-after: millions of dollars spent on airtime and on adverts that deliver with lasting impact.
With the current political unrest in America, a number of companies took advantage of their airtime to convey certain messages. In light of Trump's recent Muslim ban, and promise of the Mexican border wall, hate crimes have seen a sharp increase. Tolerance of sexuality has also taken a downward spiral, and it feels as though it is only a matter of time before similar bans and repeals come into place for LGBT+ America. And so there has been a call for support against Trump's racist [and homophobic] America. As such, numerous ads promoted support, unity and acceptance of racial, cultural and sexuality diversity.
Google's commercial promoted their new product Google Home. With 1:00 minute's screen-time, you need only watch 2 seconds before spotting an LGBT+ Pride flag unabashedly hanging from a typical suburban home. A small yet bold symbol that expresses Google's support to the LGBT+ community. Watch on, and you will be pleased to see a racially diverse ensemble: seamless, elegant and natural.
Coca-Cola's ad, featuring a multi-lingual "America the Beautiful" and encapsulating the beauty in diversity, conveyed strong a message to follow, with the final screenshot of Coca-Cola's logo and "Together Is Beautiful" written alongside. Additionally, the commercial features the family of a (male-male) same-sex couple, only adding to its diversity.
Coming out on top was Airbnb. Airbnb's thirty-second ad featured an incredibly diverse group of individuals, ranging in races, ages and styles. The company had an unquestionable message of love and acceptance throughout. The trending hashtag from the commercial was #weaccept, with text running throughout:
"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. #weaccept"
The first message conveyed was one of implied criticism of Trump's Muslim Ban. The support was followed up by a tweet reporting their intention to contribute $4 million over the next 4 years (coincidentally, the remainder of Trump's presidency) to The International Rescue Committee, who are currently supporting vulnerable Syrian refugees. Additionally, another tweet, calling for support of their 5 year initiative to make sure that 100,000 people have access to short-term housing during times of urgency.
Secondly; the message of acceptance of sexuality. Not only did the ad's text read "no matter... who you love", but in response to Lady Gaga's Halftime performance, the company tweeted this:
Incredible use of airtime to tastefully and boldly show support and to promote acceptance across the board - well done Airbnb!
And finally, to acknowledge the significance of Lady Gaga's performance. A proud bisexual woman, Lady Gaga has an enormous history of shamelessly, unapologetically, and proudly supporting and campaigning LGBT+ rights (see: The Born This Way Foundation). An LGBT+ icon in her own right, Lady Gaga's performance was flawless and awe-inspiring throughout.
With a catalogue of hits to choose from, it was no mistake that such a unique, bold and iconic verse from Born This Way was included:
"No matter gay, straight, or bi, lesbian, transgendered life, I'm on the right track baby, I was born to survive"
In the current state of affairs, I, for one, felt incredibly gratified to have a proud bisexual woman perform songs about love, acceptance, and being a little bit different - to an audience of millions from all walks of life, and in the face of tense political adversity. Well done, Gaga, and thank you.
Written by Gail Colville, Member and Spokesperson for PrideAM