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Super Bowl LVIII Ads Analysis: A Multicultural Perspective (Multicultural Marketing News)

Tuesday, Feb 13, 2024
Multicultural Marketing News February 2024

Super Bowl LVIII Ads Analysis: A Multicultural Perspective

Super Bowl Ads Multicultural Commentary

Super Bowl ads have, once again, provoked commentary from advertising experts in marketing to Hispanic, Asian American, African American, LGBTQ+ consumers and other Multicultural markets. MMR asked top experts, from among those featured in our Source Book of Multicultural Experts Online, to provide their analysis of the Super Bowl ads from a multicultural perspective. Enjoy our 11th annual edition of this newsletter published since 2013. View past issues.

  • Expanding NFL Viewership Leads to More Multicultural Advertising (Ethnic Technologies)
  • Diverse Highlights from the 2024 Super Bowl Commercials (Sparkle Insights)
  • Thoughts on the 2024 Superbowl ads, from an LGBTQ media expert (Rivendell Media)
  • How A Few Super Bowl Ads Embraced Multiculturalism Over Celebrities (C+R Research)
  • Inclusive Storytelling Wins the Super Bowl Ad Game (My Code Media)
  • Celebrity Diversity Dominates 2024 Super Bowl Ad Lineup (Sensis)
  • A Tick Toward Inclusion but Many Opportunities Are Missed (Bold Culture LLC)
Expanding NFL Viewership Leads to More Multicultural Advertising
Super Bowl 58 aired Sunday February 11, 2024. Costing $7 Million for thirty seconds, Superbowl commercials are a huge marketing opportunity (NPR). Are Superbowl ads multicultural? The NFL was the only sports program among the NFL, MLB and the NBA to start their program with African American coaches and players in 1920 according to Richard Lapchick a writer for ESPN.com. The NFL is working to grow its viewership and it is reaching out to women, younger generations, as well as the international community to do this. NYX and ELF both have commercials for the SuperBowl this year. Both brands have inclusive shade range foundations with 45 and 42 shades respectively. These commercials will target women. Women of almost any cultural background can find a foundation at NYX or ELF. Elf sells a color corrector that transforms a similar shade to a perfect match. Both makeup brands serve a younger Gen Z to Millennial customer base. Several brands are targeting these generations in their SuperBowl commercials by using young multicultural talents. Doritos Dinamita showcases Jenna Ortega from Netflix’s Wednesday. TurboTax has recent Emmy winner, Quinta Brunson, from Abbot Elementary.  Addison Rae is a TikTok star shown enjoying Nerds Gummy Clusters in Nerds’ Flashdance themed commercial. PepsiCo’s Starry, a lemon-lime soda, commercial stars Ice Spice. These commercial sneak peaks courtesy of Jameson Fleming in his ADWEEK article. The NFL is also targeting a younger, more family centric audience with a new Nickelodeon viewing option. The hosts on Nickelodeon will be from Spongebob SquarePants’ Bikini Bottom. The NFL is growing viewership with not just a younger, but also a more international consumer. The NFL has its own international commercial that showcases a football player, playing in the streets of Ghana. Michelob ULTRA’s commercial stars Argentinian soccer player Messi. Soccer is a very international sport with a wider reach than football. By using an international soccer star who plays for Argentina and Barcelona’s FC Barcelona teams, Michelob ULTRA catches the eye of a much more international crowd. The NFL is growing in popularity among young European and Asian viewers. Viewers who identify as Latino have increased interest in the NFL rapidly in the last year. Latinos account for 17% of the NFL fanbase according to Eleanor Hawkins’ article on Axios. The NFL is reaching out to a younger, more diverse, fan base to grow viewership. As a result, advertising by the NFL and brands with Super Bowl commercials have become more multicultural.  Your team can reach out to a more diverse audience by using Etech’s GT-ech  and Digital Engagement products today. By Jessica Wilhoit, Product Design Analyst, Ethnic Technologies, jwilhoit@ethnictechnologies.com
View company profile here.
Diverse Highlights from the 2024 Super Bowl Commercials
The 2024 Super Bowl treated us to a spectacular showcase of commercials, ranging from snacks and beverages to movie trailers and beyond. While the star-studded production and visual effects left us in awe, it’s essential to spotlight the representation of diverse stories. In this regard, four standout ads caught our attention. Michelob Ultra: Messi, Marino, and Sudeikis Unite Featuring soccer legend Lionel Messi, NFL quarterback Dan Marino, and Hollywood actor Jason Sudeikis, this Michelob Ultra ad seamlessly blended sports and entertainment. Lionel Messi’s beachside maneuvers brought a refreshing global perspective to the predominantly American football-focused event. Doritos Dinamita: Jenna Ortega and Danny Ramirez Shine The dynamic Doritos Dinamita ad, starring Jenna Ortega and Danny Ramirez, not only delivered humor but also emphasized the importance of family and the strength of women in the household. The playful interactions between young individuals and ninja-like abuelas created an authentic and heartwarming narrative. IF Trailer: Reynolds and “Asian Jim” in a Unique Office Prank In a sea of movie trailers, the IF spot featuring Ryan Reynolds and “John Krasinksi” (played by Randall Park) stood out with its unique storytelling. Leveraging the popular “Asian Jim” reference from “The Office,” this trailer showcased Randall Park in a prominent role, breaking away from conventional character portrayals. Popeyes: Ken Jeong Takes on Sci-Fi with Novelty Popeyes’ ad, featuring Ken Jeong, took a novel approach by incorporating cryogenics and a futuristic theme. Ken Jeong’s character waking up in a world of technology, coupled with the introduction of Popeyes’ new wings, added a creative twist to the narrative. This commercial challenged stereotypes, proving that Asians can shine in the Sci-Fi genre without falling into clichés.While all the commercials were impressive, these stood out due to their distinctiveness in featuring a different sport, authentic storytelling, and unique narratives that challenge stereotypes. It’s a positive step forward for diverse representation in the advertising world. By Iris Yim, Principal & Chief Strategist, Sparkle Insights, iris@sparkleinsights.com
View full company profile here.
Thoughts on the 2024 Superbowl ads, from an LGBTQ media expert
It is no secret that I am not a football fan, but I’ve always been a Superbowl fan. The Superbowl is something so very American and while I wish football would change to be less impactful on the players it is obvious that the Superbowl represents something much more to the American psyche than just a big game. I’ve also always enjoyed the Superbowl commercials as representative of American culture in the same way I enjoy the ads in Vanity Fair almost as much as the editorial in that magazine for it represents a snapshot of our current culture. What I like best about the Superbowl is that it is a LIVE moment where so many are watching at the same time and there are so few of those opportunities in today’s fragmented media landscape. This is the first year in a long time that I just could not really find any LGBTQ representation of any significance. There was Patrick Stewart on Paramount’s commercial, but I wonder just how many Americans even know he is LGBTQ, so it is hard to count that as anything other than coincidence. Then, there was the “blink and you might miss it” lesbian wedding in the VW commercial but doubtful most caught it. As an expert in LGBTQ media and of course an LGBTQ consumer myself- what did speak to me? Well, that Paramount ad, at least showed a “diversity” of content on Paramount and I thought oh they might have something for me.  The T-Mobile ad with Jason Momoa provided a nice relief in stereotyping showing a manly man acting well… not so manly and I enjoyed that as much as I am sure Jason did himself. I have to say, the ad the “spoke” to me personally was the religious ad He Gets Us as every LGBTQ person, no matter their faith knows Jesus has been used and misused to divide people and it was nice, at least for a moment, as a person of faith myself to be reminded that indeed, He does get ALL of us. The people behind the ad? well, I’ve heard they might not be so LGBTQ friendly, but I am looking at this purely as a consumer of media in the moment and the message made me feel good and included. The actual “big miss” for me were the Anheuser-Busch ads for Budweiser, Bud Light, and Michelob Ultra. I felt that with the horrible controversy Anheuser-Busch made last year with transgender TikTok influencer Dylan Mulvaney (which is still fresh in many minds both left leaning and right leaning) that these ads did nothing to win me back and only made me think of all the negativity and division Bud Light caused. I was reminded that Michelob Ultra is also part of the AB group-and so it only reinforced to me the need to skip that brand as well until someday when AB apologizes to the country for not standing up to American values of acceptance and inclusivity. It is a shame that the Clydesdales just don’t carry the same nostalgia without some uniting or tender message and that ad seemed to have been already done before. It you wanted nostalgia, then the Volkswagen ad is a good lesson on how to make that work. AB could have used this moment- to be “the company” everyone talked about- something acknowledging their past anti-diversity kerfuffle as a mistake and uniting the brand under inclusive democratic values.  Instead, as you read this, it is doubtful anyone will be taking about any of those three ads- except to say oh that’s the company that really annoyed me last year. So, as I look at this year’s Superbowl ads (all a bit boring and safe) I really feel a moment was lost as any ad during the Superbowl could stimulate a national conversation and a “uniting” feeling that our country so desperately needs at this time. To do that- to stand out with a message does take courage and I’d say all were lacking in that as they usually are. All in all, this Superbowl 2024 was another lost opportunity for inclusion, diversity and good old belly laughing camaraderie. By Todd Evans, President and CEO, Rivendell Media, todd@rivendellmedia.com
View company profile here.
How A Few Super Bowl Ads Embraced Multiculturalism Over Celebrities
This year’s Super Bowl ads seemed to be competing to see who could fit the most celebrities in an ad. While the answer may be a lot, it was the ads without a huge celebrity presence that put multiculturalism at the forefront and made the biggest impact. Poppi envisioned a future where soda refers to healthy alternatives like their own, not the unhealthy sugar-driven beverages it means today. Their celebrity-free ad featured young people of many races – white, Black, Hispanic, AAPI – drinking Poppi. The diversity they showcase here is especially fitting with their focus on the future, given projections that the white population is expected to become the minority in about 20 years. Some ads, like Toyota’s, also included Spanish in their ad alongside English, while the Doritos ad for Dinamita had a predominately Hispanic cast, which fits nicely with the brand’s strong affinity among Hispanics. Some brands also stood out with ads that include multicultural cohorts that marketers typically overlook. Google featured how their Pixel 7’s accessibility features can help visually impaired people take better photos. Robert Kraft’s Foundation to Combat Antisemitism ran an ad with Dr. Clarence B. Jones calling for people to end the silence and stand up to all hate, including antisemitism. Finally, Volkswagen included a shot of two women kissing in their car after just getting married, the only ad I noticed to include any LGBTQ+ representation besides celebrity cameos. Amidst the celebrity extravaganza of the Super Bowl, a quieter revolution unfolded. Ads like Poppi’s multicultural future, Google’s inclusive technology, and Volkswagen’s celebration of love resonated not with star power but with a commitment to diversity. These weren’t mere moments, but testaments to a growing advertising trend, reflecting America’s changing faces and the power of genuine connection. By Anna Rossi, Quantitative Research Director, C+R Research, annar@crresearch.com
View company profiles here and here.
Inclusive Storytelling Wins the Super Bowl Ad Game
Let’s begin with the clear winner of inclusive storytelling which was “Javier in Frame” by Google Pixel 8. The brand worked with a visually-impaired filmmaker Adam Morse who successfully illustrated for audiences the barriers that can exist in technology and quite literally allowed us a look at his perspective. By including the people and audiences they are trying to serve in the marketing campaign development, the ad was able to hit the mark of authenticity with ease. Toyota had a very clever approach to showcasing diversity for their campaign “Dareful Handle”promoting the new Tacoma truck. Dubbing the passenger side handle the “Seriously, Rob!” handle, the “Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa!” handle and the “No me gusta” handle coupled with decontextualized pairs of people, felt very solidly like Toyota didn’t feel the need to over explain in their Tacoma commercial. These people just are…these reactions just are…and it felt more authentically inclusive because they weren’t screaming “Look at us! We’re being inclusive!” What considerations should brands make when approaching diversity and inclusion? It is imperative the diverse audiences they want to reach are also represented in the room during conception, ideation and execution phases of the campaign. That is how you bring a genuine intent around inclusivity, by making sure there is also representation behind the scenes and at every stage of the campaign. Acknowledging diversity within diverse groups is crucial. Surface level representation feels inauthentic and consumers notice that immediately. The magic is in the nuances and personal stories from individuals from different backgrounds that make the storytelling feel special. It changes the way you may think about something or someone and shows something different than perhaps what we were expecting. By Victoria Jordan, General Manager of Branded Content and Creative, My Code, sales@mycodemedia.com
View company profile here.
Celebrity Diversity Dominates 2024 Super Bowl Ad Lineup
While you could count the number of explicitly multicultural spots with one hand (Doritos Dinamita, Jesus gets Us, Google’s Guided Frame, NFL Programs, Microsoft Copilot—did I miss anything?), the most diverse element of this year’s ads is the countless number of self-deprecating celebrity cameos on display. Seriously, the only thing outnumbering the star-driven spots was the number of celebs crammed within them—sometimes to the point of confusion. While most of the starry gags were fun, I struggle to recall the brands associated with them. (Quick, can you name the one where Jennifer Aniston doesn’t recognize David Schwimmer? Or Glenn Close dresses like Tina Fey? Or LL Cool J drives a train? Or Pete Davison breaks up with a cat? Or the guy with the glasses from Schitt’s Creek wears a letterman jacket in the boardroom? You get my point.) It begs the question if 2024 will mark the year when celebrity cameos jump the shark in terms of Super Bowl ad investment ROI. If I wasn’t overwhelmed by all the pop culture references, I was otherwise confused by their brand associations. (Case in point: CeraVe. It’s a good product, and Michael Cera was funny in Superbad and Arrested Development, but if I’m unfamiliar with either the brand or actor—or both—I’m unlikely to respond to an ad that plays like an SNL spoof of a skin cream ad. Will it drive new customer sales? Perhaps. But I’m not holding my breath.) The only promo standing above the noisy fray (while cleverly leveraging it) was doordash-all-the-ads.com—a celebration of overindulgence which is as true to the DoorDash brand as it is to the Super Bowl itself—that drives you to their website for a chance to win big. Simple. Creative. Memorable. And, most importantly, it sells. By Javier San Miguel, Group Creative Director, Sensis, jsanmiguel@sensisagency.com
View company profiles here.
A Tick Toward Inclusion but Many Opportunities Are Missed
Unfortunately, like every other year, 2024’s Big Game ads made us ask the same question, “where’s the diverse talent?” behind and on screen – and more importantly, does it feel authentic? This year felt the same and while some creatives combined culture, impact, and inclusion and sparked interest, most fell flat as just the same ol’. What is limiting more authentic approaches to diversity? Their creative teams. It is just as important to focus on filling lead roles behind the scenes with diverse talent, as it is in front of the camera. According to Ad Age, of the 49 directors directing Super Bowl commercials this year, only 10 are diverse. The other 39 were white men. How is it expected that these advertisements are developed in authentic ways when a majority of those leading the storytelling are not from diverse cultures? Thankfully, other ads provide a roadmap to success. Doritos featured older Latiné women at center stage in their spot. While their presence was coupled with notable Latiné celebrities, Jenna Ortega and Danny Ramirez, the abuelas were the most memorable in the spot and their presence was based on a true cultural insight of family and generational respect. Black women were at the center of at least three spots during the big game, much too less in our opinion. Quinta Brunson led Turbo Tax’s commercial throughout the night with her amazing charm, wit, and comedic flare. She is accompanied by Ice Spice for Pepsi’s Gen Z-leaning Starry brand and Beyoncè’s literal breaking of the internet–but not Verizon’s network–in a spot that also introduced a Country era, album and singles for the artist. The NFL took a global approach to their advertisement by featuring a Ghanaian child as their prominent talent, mostly featuring Ghanaian people and those across the Black diaspora. It gives a view into the vast cultural practices of a West African community as he races to a football field for practice. His dreams in his mind become a dream in reality in part thanks to the NFL efforts. Driving more authenticity, according to Ad Age,, the spot featured over 400 Ghanaian cast members. We give this ad an A. Google created one of the most impactful advertisements of the night, following a visually impaired man who falls in love. The ad shows the use of assistive technologies to capture moments through his and his love interest’s (a Black woman’s) growing relationship. We’re charging the industry to do more throughout this year leading up to next year focusing on more people living with disabilities, queer and trans people and Black, Latine, Indigenous, Asian, and Pacific Islander communities. Learn more about Bold Culture’s inclusion marketing research and consulting services here. By Ahmad Barber, Chief Creative Officer and Managing Partner, Bold Culture, Ahmad@boldculture.co
View company profile here.
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Multicultural Marketing News (MMRNews), is a free e-mail newsletter published by Multicultural Marketing Resources, Inc. (MMR) and sent to approx. 8,000 subscribers. For a free subscription, sign up here.