Intentional or Not, These Super Bowl Ads Became Political

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What many Super Bowl viewers noticed on Sunday was the subtle–and sometimes not so subtle–way that commercials during the game seemed to relate to Donald Trump in one way or another. Recently, his immigration ban has upset leading figures in America and abroad, and on Sunday, 97 U.S. tech companies filed a joint court brief opposing it.

In case you missed them, here are some of the most politically outspoken, and funny, ads from Super Bowl night:


Arguably the most famous American beer, Budweiser, originated from a collaboration between two German immigrants; Adolphus Busch and Eberhard Anheuser. The new Bud commercial tells a dramatized story of Busch arriving by boat to the United States where he is initially heckled and told to go home. He then meets Anheuser who buys him a beer, marking the start of a friendship that produced the first American lager. That Americans wouldn’t have their Bud on a hot summer day if it weren’t for a couple of immigrants, might come as a shock to some. While the ad may not be completely true to the original story, it does tell a compelling story of the important role that immigrants played in American beer industry.


Coca-Cola’s ad is a collection of voices singing “America The Beautiful” in different languages, showing faces from all over the world, and ending with the words, “together is beautiful.” Short and simple but very expressive.

It’s a 10 Haircare

The haircare product line offered a punch at Donald Trump’s famous hairdo with its ad’s opening line: “We’re in for at least four years of awful hair.” The ad went on showing all kinds of hair—old, young, facial, chest, dog hair, and much more.


Airbnb’s ad is a compilation of faces of different ethnicities accompanied by the text, “No matter who you are, where you’re from, who you love, or who you worship, we all belong.” It ends with the hashtag #weaccept. The company didn’t just make a subtle but fairly clear jab at President Trump; it also promised to provide 100,000 refugees with a place to stay and has a longtime goal to accommodate even more displaced people in the coming years.

84 Lumber

Probably the most obvious, and definitely the most tear-inducing, Super Bowl ad came from 84 Lumber, which showed a mother and daughter from a Latin-American country making the long and strenuous journey to the American border. The original ad is almost six minutes long, but Fox News banned the end from airing on TV, arguing that it was “too controversial.” The full-length ad shows the mother and daughter facing a wall, similar to the one Trump has talked about. The ad ends with the text, “The will to succeed is always welcome here.” The construction business relies heavily on workers from Mexico and other Latin-American countries, and an employee shortage will likely drive up construction prices.

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga has been praised for her halftime show during which she was lowered down from the ceiling like Spiderman then proceeded to dance, play piano and keytar, and finally threw the microphone off the stage before jumping off herself. It didn’t seem like a particularly blatant political statement, but if you listen closer, it very well could have been. After starting off singing “America the Beautiful” she quickly switched to “This Land is Your Land,” a song that has also been popular among those protesting Trump’s immigration ban.

Gaga also performed her song “Born This Way,” which is about being who you are and contains the line, “No matter gay, straight, or bi, lesbian, transgendered life, I’m on the right track baby I was born to survive.” During the show, over 800 Texas high school students contributed to the magnificence by waving coordinated lights below the stage while singing the line “Why don’t you stay.” Maybe the show wasn’t a political statement, maybe it was just Gaga being inclusive and herself, but really, that too is a statement.

Emma Von Zeipel
Emma Von Zeipel is a staff writer at Law Street Media. She is originally from one of the islands of Stockholm, Sweden. After working for Democratic Voice of Burma in Thailand, she ended up in New York City. She has a BA in journalism from Stockholm University and is passionate about human rights, good books, horses, and European chocolate. Contact Emma at EVonZeipel@LawStreetMedia.com.



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