by William Arruda
Originally published: February 6, 2017
I have been watching Super Bowl ads for as long as I can remember. They’re usually designed to entertain and inspire. In contrast, this year’s crop of ads often communicated a political theme. The recent executive order restricting entry to the U.S. from seven countries sparked a subtle or direct response – whether intentional or not. Jennifer Brown, author of Inclusion: Diversity, the New Workplace & the Will to Change posits that "Organizations are nothing but their people, simply put, and the millennial generation is especially diverse. Almost half are non-white. At their core, they value diversity. The plethora of diversity and inclusion-themed Super Bowl ads demonstrates how many household name companies are recognizing that authentically embracing diversity will help them win - in the war for talent, and in the marketplace."
Here are the ads that are taking a stand on diversity and stirring up some controversy at the same time:
In an overt display of cultural inclusiveness, Coke reprised a previous ad, “It’s Beautiful,” which aired during the pre-game activities. When it was first broadcast in 2014, it prompted a backlash because it featured “America the Beautiful” sung in many different languages, and it included an image of gay parents. It makes a clear statement about diversity and inclusion. In the ad, the patriotic song is sung first in English and then in Hebrew, Spanish, Keres, Tagalog, Hindi, and French. It took courage for Coke to choose this spot from their advertising closet and show it again because they had already seen the adverse reaction it sparked in 2014.