6 Woke Super Bowl Commercials From Last Night

I don’t generally watch the Super Bowl, but I’m glad I did today. More specifically, I watched for the commercials.

Now, to be clear, these organizations are advertising. They want your moola. Your cash, dough, cheddar. But this year, several companies figured that if they were going to fork over a mountain of money to get a featured Super Bowl ad, they were going to create one that did more than promote lumber, beer, soda or airline tickets. Here are some creative ways companies [attempted to] fight back against xenophobia and sexism during last night’s game.

1. Coca-Cola


Coca-Cola’s ad, entitled “It’s Beautiful,” is a recreation of its previous Super Bowl ad that features people from all ethnicities and nationalities coming together to sing “America the Beautiful.” It is sung in seven different languages including French, English, Tagalog, Hindi, Senegalese, Hebrew, Spanish and Keres (which is an indigenous language spoken by the Keres Pueblo Native American tribe.) Coke’s ad effortlessly illustrates the beauty of America: our diversity is easily the most gorgeous feature of our country.

2. Audi


Audi chose to deliver a simple message about dad’s love and girl power. A young girl, her face dirty and determined, races a bunch of boys in a soap box derby as her dad narrates. Several boys try to knock her out of the race with some cheap moves, but she perseveres and wins. Her father asks, “What do I tell my daughter? Do I tell her that despite her education, her drive, her skills, her intelligence, she will automatically be valued as less than any man she ever meets? Or maybe, I’ll be able to tell her something different.”

Audi closes the ad with the young girl triumphantly walking away with her trophy and delivers a message about wage inequality between the sexes, and Audi’s commitment to equal pay.

3. Turkish Airlines


This one wasn’t moving or heartwarming in any way other than it had more than one Morgan Freeman in it, but we here at Muslim Girl feel it’s important to point out that an airline from a Muslim-Majority country (granted, not one that made the ban list) had a featured ad a the Super Bowl. Clap back, Turkish Air, clap BACK!

4. AirBnB


AirBnB also went for simple and elegant. The online Bed-n-Breakfast service makes its millions by creating a platform for strangers to rent their own homes out to travelers, so it comes as no surprise that their message was one of welcome and acceptance. Showing diverse faces–young and old, male and female–from all races, Air BnB’s simple ad was a short and sweet slap in the face to the current administration’s travel and immigration ban.

5. 84 Lumber

This commercial takes the cake. The entire commercial did not air during the Super Bowl because its content was deemed too controversial for television. Perhaps it’s right that in order to “complete the journey,” one would have to travel to their website because otherwise, we would all have been sobbing into our halal chicken wings.

I won’t spoil much of the ad, because it really deserves to be watched, shared and watched again. I will tell you that this ad follows a mother and her daughter through a perilous journey that is threatened by Trump’s proposed wall and that the incredible solution to their conundrum presents itself in the form of a good samaritan with a little lumber and a lot of compassion.

This commercial really hit me hard. Living in San Jose, California, I am in the center of a thriving Mexican community. Here, there are people who have lived in this valley, speaking Spanish and making the best food you’ll ever eat, for hundreds of years, since the time when California was still Mexico. In addition to native San Joseans, you will also find a great many people who have journeyed here, risking and sacrificing everything just to survive.

I grew up with friends who were carried across this border, this imaginary line that divides the legal from the illegal, as babies. These friends of mine know nothing but life in America, but understand the sacrifices their parents made, over mountains and across deserts, to bring them to the land of freedom and promise. These are the most sincere, kind-hearted, hardworking, and disadvantaged people I have ever met in my life, and every day is a fight to remain and survive in America.

84 Lumber’s final statement was elegant and heartbreaking. It encapsulates perfectly the strife and strength of those threatened by this administration’s xenophobic and anti-Mexican policies. Mexican immigrants such as the mother and daughter featured in the ad come here seeking safety and contentment for themselves. Through their industriousness, intelligence and determination they drive all of America to be better; they create the only America I would ever want to live in.

“The will to succeed is always welcome here.”