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A Super Super Bowl; A Super Opportunity to Talk about Global Issues

By on February 9, 2017

Millions of people—111.9 million people, to be exact—tuned in to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday, making it the third most watched broadcast in TV history. For many, the commercials that air during the game are as anticipated as the game itself, and this year’s crop didn’t disappoint. The most buzzed about ads had one thing in common: They addressed important global issues that deserve to be not just on the TV screens, but radar screens, of the world.

“The Big Game’s most discussed ads courted controversy with bold statements on immigration, equal pay and inclusiveness,” writesAdweek.

Just take a look at these three Super Bowl ads, among the most talked about of the night:

Airbnb’s #weaccept ad, which promotes inclusion.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qUTYHnLz2g

Coca-Cola’s “America the Beautiful” ad, which features the patriotic song performed in many different languages.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewBNyIQr4hg

And “The Entire Journey” from 84 Lumber, which follows migrants trying to reach the U.S.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPo2B-vjZ28

 This kind of brand activism will only continue, brand consultant (and a global mentor I follow) Simon Mainwaring says. “The most successful advertising campaigns of 2017 will look beyond self-interest and offer solutions for social change by embodying the principle that prosperity is the well-being of many, rather than the wealth of a privileged few.”

Organizations large and small are taking the lead and engaging with the public on these issues.  From businesses to governments to philanthropies and schools, it is clear that in today’s world, one of the best way to influence the world around you or advocate for positive change is to make clear, and loud, your support for social issues.  The United Nations continues its work around these same efforts, most notably with building support for the Sustainable Development Goals, or Global Goals as they are sometimes referred to, and also with programs to help refugees, support women’s rights, and more.

The Super Bowl is just one moment (or four hours) in time, but the conversation about global issues continues. And it’s always a good time to think in smarter ways about communications that resonate in new and different ways. What will the rest of the year bring? It depends on how we keep the conversation going.  This is true for public relations professionals and marketers, for people using their social media feeds and for leaders of communities large and small.  Whatever your opinion of U.S. football, or which team you supported during the Super Bowl, it is clear that our modern, connected era is a super opportunity for smart communications on important global issues.

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Aaron Sherinian
Washington, DC

I am a Communicator, Dad and Global PR guy who is inspired by the fascinating people in my life. I love the challenges that a new world of communications means for those of us who work across borders and time zones to try and create powerful conversations that will make the world a better place.

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