A 25-point Patriots comeback made Super Bowl LI one for the history books, but even a game for the ages couldn’t drown out politics. Major brands traded animals and humor for calls for acceptance and equality (but yes, there were a fair share of laughs along the way).
Morgan Freeman has a knack for popping up in every movie, so it was only natural he’d appear in a Super Bowl commercial. In his highly recognizable voice, the 79-year-old actor took on Trump’s travel ban: “There are those of us who like to venture to the unexplored, those of us who go out there with a sense of wonder. Reaching worlds; finding delight in our differences. If you are one of us, and you want to explore more of this great planet…we’re ready to take you there…it’s time.”
Airbnb’s commercial featured faces of several races, ethnicities and ages to promote acceptance. “No matter who you are, where you’re from, who you love, or who you worship, you deserve to belong,” the ad states. The company used the spot to announce its goal to provide short-term housing for 100,000 people in need over the next five years, including refugees, disaster survivors and relief workers.
After making headlines for her performance at Scott Spicer on Saturday Night Live the day before, Melissa McCarthy had people ROTFL once again as an environmental activist for Kia. The Bridesmaids star tried to save whales, trees and ice caps, but ended up crashing into boats and falling off trees into the icy water, proving that no good deed goes unpunished. The moral of the story, though? “It’s hard to be an eco-warrior, but it’s easy to drive like one.”
Automative giant Audi ran a gender pay equality spot. In the ad, a father watches his daughter race downhill in a car and thinks about the ways she will be judged because she is a female. At the end of the one-minute ad, the father is hopeful that he’ll be able to tell his daughter (who beat a boy to win the race) that she’s valued as much as a man.
Bai Antioxidant Infusions
In one of the non-political ads of the night, Christopher Walken and Justin Timerblake starred in a spot for this emerging soft drink company. The camera begins zoomed in on a deadpan Walken, who reads the lyrics to *NSYNC’s 2000 hit song “Bye Bye Bye,” then pans to reveal Timberlake in a velvet tuxedo, who manages to draw laughs without saying a word.
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