The Super Bowl is America’s biggest sporting event and it has the world’s most expensive advertising slots — so we normally see some wonderfully creative ads.

But this year we also saw far more brands using the platform to make a political statement — especially about President Trump’s immigration policies.

So, when is it OK to get political in your advertising?


Here are some key take-outs:

  • The team discussed the 84 Lumber ad. You can see it here. While the ad might have upset some who support Trump’s immigration restrictions, it was targeted at potential employees and showed the company’s brand values. It wasn’t about selling lumber.
  • Budweiser’s ad was considered less successful. Sarah said it didn’t tell an honest story.

“Don’t try to tug on my heartstrings and say, ‘We understand this refugee issue and why it’s so emotive because these are our roots’, because those are not your roots.” — Sarah


  • Here’s Audi’s Super Bowl ad, which is really about equal pay for women. For Audi it’s about the commentary that comes after the ad has aired. It’s a good association for the brand.
  • And here’s Michelin’s ad. It’s very multi-cultural. Michelin is really stepping up and saying “this is who we are” but it’s very subtle.

“We also talk about not going for the hard sell and always really telling a good story, but some of these ads as I was watching them I thought ‘I have no idea what they’re selling’. At $160,000 a second, you want to get your message across.” — Nic


  • If you know your audience and you’re not worried about offending people who aren’t in your audience, go ahead and get political. Connect with your audience.

“Be authentic. Don’t stand up for something you don’t believe in.” — Nic


On My Desk

  • Sarah recommended entering the Content Marketing Awards.  
  • Nic recommended using Canva for graphics.
  • James recommended a podcast called The Art of Charm. You’ll find it here


Like what you’ve heard?

Last week the team discussed influencer marketing and whether deals should be disclosed.


And recently they spoke about attack marketing:


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