Moving forward from overt sexual innuendos and slapstick comedy, SuperBowl XLIX advertisements took a refreshingly serious turn this year by treating a range of somber subjects with inspiring messages of empowerment.
In addition to NO MORE, whose PSA we featured last week, UltraViolet also addressed the often sidelined subject of domestic violence. Their 15-second spot, with the hashtag #GoodellMustGo, singled out National Football League (NFL) commissioner Roger Goodell who has been criticized for being an enabler of domestic violence within the football fraternity.
Feminine hygiene brand Always instigated a viral conversation around women’s empowerment by asking viewers to redefine antiquated connotations associated with the phrase #LikeAGirl, while Toyota starred world-class snowboarder and 2014 Paralympic bronze medalist Amy Purdy conquering the streets, slopes and dance floor to the triumphant words of Muhammad Ali.
Toyota’s second ad in the same series highlighted the importance of a father’s influence on the choices his children make, a sentiment echoed by Dove For Men, who payed tribute to loving dads at all stages of life.
Spotlighting technology, Coca-Cola tackled digital bullying and Internet trolls with #MakeItHappy, while Microsoft introduced the world to Estella Pyfrom, a remarkable woman who uses her ‘Brilliant Bus’ to empower young, underprivileged students by giving them access to digital resources and jubilant affirmations.
Why all the seriousness amidst a celebratory atmosphere? Because “marketers are trying to win over Millennials”, advertising executives tell The Wall Street Journal, “who researchers suggest are more likely to be drawn to brands that have a history of giving back to their communities.”