A Rundown Of Our Favorite Commercials At This Year’s Super Bowl

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The Super Bowl XLIX was pretty damn cool! And we’re not even talking about the Patriots beating the Seahawks!

It seems as if the rise of female empowerment and feminist over last couple of years is coming to fruition in the media and pop culture. Starting with the Golden Globes and even the Sundance Film Festival, women are finally being given the recognition they deserve and not just in an objectified manner.

And the big game this year had a decidedly empowering streak to the entire broadcast. Every year people look forward to seeing all the cool, clever commercials, and they never fail to disappoint. But sadly the objectification of women always seems to be present in these commercials. We’re not focusing on those because they aren’t news, at all!

Here is a list of our favorite commercials that had a strong message about empowering women, or were positive and entertaining without making gender-based jokes.

The first was from women’s health product co. Always. Remember their ground-breaking ‘Like A Girl’ commercial from 2014 which examined why insulting someone using the term “you throw like a girl” is harmful AND false? Well their message just got a whole lot bigger with their Super Bowl spot:

“Super Bowl XLIX is the perfect platform, allowing us to reach more than 100 million people, and to ask them to join our cause. Together, we can all empower our young girls, and change the meaning of #LikeAGirl to be the ultimate compliment,” said a statement from Always.

The original video has been viewed more than 80 million times, and with the Super Bowl audience easily averaging over 100 million US viewers, it means even more people get the message.

Nationwide’s Super Bowl commercial featured comedian Mindy Kaling and explored the notion of being invisible. The message was that you as a customer are not invisible or ignored by this insurance company, and you matter. It was kinda significant that Mindy was picked, as she has spoken of how she got over negativity about her looks or ethnicity in the past. In a sense it was a statement to the world that Indian women, or women of color, are not invisible.

Matt Damon’s cameo in this was cute too!

In an earlier post we mentioned how this year’s run of Super Bowl commercials were going to make history. That’s because for the first time ever, a domestic violence PSA was shown, which also was a very serious nod to all the controversies that have dogged the league quite intensely this past season (not to mention news reports of domestic violence over the years).

It was an issue the NFL could no longer ignore, and the gesture of the league donating airtime and paying for the production costs of this 30 second PSA made by Nomore.org was at least a step in the right direction.

Our final fave commercial was made by Toyota. It featured badass Paralympian Amy Purdy who, in case you didn’t already know, made history at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic games by becoming the first double amputee to compete at an Olympic level. She is a snowboarder extraordinaire who won a bronze medal at the games, and was a finalist in ‘Dancing With The Stars’ proving that there is nothing an able-bodied person can do, that Amy can’t.

She contracted bacterial meningitis as a teenager and as a result had to have both legs amputated. It was a devastating loss for her (at first) because she thought her dreams of becoming a world champion snowboarder were done. Eventually she forced herself out of bed and out of her depression to create her own sports company for fellow amputees called Adaptive Action Sports where she and her team make custom-built prosthetics for other athletes.

Her powerful TED Talk from 2011 titled ‘Living Beyond Limits’ is a great reminder that nothing in life is an obstacle unless we allow it. Instead we can see difficulties as a launching pad into greatness, which was the message of the Toyota Super Bowl commercial.

The spot was called ‘How Great I Am’ and features Amy driving a car (of course) and carving up the mountain like the snowboard champion she is. The video features iconic words by Muhammad Ali which serves as the perfect motivational narration.

According to Mic.com more women watch the Super Bowl than Oscars, Grammys and Emmys combined so commercials like this and the aforementioned really show how much advertisers are starting to listen to their female audience.

“Although almost half of professional athletes are female, yet they receive significantly less media coverage than men. In fact, women only get 4% of total airtime and if they do get exposure, they are more likely to be portrayed in an objectifying or sexualizing light,” writes Elizabeth Plank.

“With a such a huge audience, the Super Bowl is the most watched television event of the year. That means that this message of female empowerment won’t just be reaching sports fans, it will be reaching a massive and much broader demographic.”

Our final fave moment of the Super Bowl isn’t actually a commercial, but it was simply incredible. Katy Perry’s halftime performance got a massive dose of female music pioneer badass when singer, rapper and dance Missy Elliot came on stage in the middle of the Halftime show and performed 3 of her biggest hits “Get Your Freak On”, “Lose Control”, and “Work It”.

The whole show was filled with Katy Perry’s signature brand of female empowerment and girly girl power. But when Missy Elliot joined her, she added a more fierce element to the whole show. No female music producers have ever won a Grammy Award but in our eyes, this performance sorta made up for that because it is arguably the biggest stage a performer could appear on. Watch her do her thang from 7:40-10:11.

Overall it was an enjoyable broadcast for us because it gave us hope that the representation of women in pop culture and media is slowly improving, and executives are taking note!
 

3 Comments

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