Super Bowl 2017 advertisers spark controversy over equal pay and immigration

If you watched the Super Bowl this year, you may have noticed an increase in the number of political and cause-based ads coming from big brands. Now, we’re all familiar with Coca-Cola’s feel-good ads about bringing people together and teaching the world to sing. And you may remember that these ads received some blowback from audiences at the time. For example:

“One simply does NOT sing America the Beautiful in ANY language but English! Get on board or OUT!”

But those ads are nothing compared to the uproar in response to 2017’s Super Bowl ad lineup! If your nonprofit fights for equal pay or immigration and refugee rights, then these are stories that you may want to jump on. “Piggy-backing” on already-trending subjects related to your cause can lead to tons of new reach and support—no ad dollars needed!

  • Try spinning up a petition in support of these issues.
  • Create a “thank-you” campaign that acknowledges big brands for putting profit on the line in favor of important issues.
  • Create a poll asking your supporters how they feel about this year’s ads.
  • Use donation appeals to fight for these issues.

Using an ActionSprout social action, you can create all of the above ideas and more. All actions collect names and email addresses on completion, so you’ll also be increasing your supporter base!

Now, without further ado, let’s dive into the ads!

Audi USA

Cause: Equal pay for women

Hashtag: #driveprogress


Cause: Immigration and refugees

Hashtag: #WeAccept


Cause: Story of founder’s immigration to America from Germany

Hashtag: None

This ad may have caused the strongest reaction on social media. Many called for a boycott of Budweiser, and soon the hashtag was trending on Twitter.

84 Lumber

Cause: Immigration and souther border wall

Hashtag: None

If Budweiser caused the most buzz on Twitter, the 84 Lumber ad probably won overall for the most outrage caused. Before the Super Bowl even started, things weren’t going well for the brand:

“The company said it had been forced to change its plans for a commercial after Fox deemed its depiction of a Spanish-speaking mother and daughter confronting a border wall between the United States and Mexico to be “too controversial.” It aired an edited version without a wall, directing viewers to watch the whole spot on a website,”

Wrap Up

If your nonprofit fights for equal pay or immigration and refugee rights, then these are stories that you may want to jump on! Most recently, the ALCU has been taking advantage of trending news to raise millions in donations to fight for civil rights and liberties. Your nonprofit could find similar success and increased donations by following their example.