Television viewers of the recently held annual Super Bowl football championship in the United States had their breaks dotted with 'political' commercials from companies like Budweiser, Coca-Cola, Airbnb and 84 Lumber. These ads that focus on diversity and immigration made their appearance just over a week after President Donald Trump's travel ban order.
While the Budweiser spot has especially attracted a lot of attention, all the ads have sparked calls for boycotts on their products by some viewers, while others have praised them.
The minute-long Budweiser commercial titled 'Born The Hard Way', tells the dramatised story of its co-founder Adolphus Busch's journey from Germany to the United States. The ad, apart from getting millions of views has also prompted attacks by a section of viewers who are calling it a pro-immigration rebuke to President Trump.
Budweiser has said that it had been working on the ad for months, much before Trump's travel ban order came into action. Also, in a statement, Ricardo Marques, vice president of Budweiser, says, "The powerful thing about the story is the fact that it's a human story and the human dream resonating. Of course, it would be foolish to think the current context is not putting additional eyeballs (on the ad), but that was absolutely not the intent and not what makes the spot as special as it is."
Coca-Cola has also come under the troll radar for its commercial (reprised from 2014), featuring people of different ethnicities. While the ad had its share of controversy in 2014, this time too some viewers called for a boycott.
Home-stay network Airbnb's 30-second Super Bowl targeted ad, also featured a diverse array of faces with words like 'The world is more beautiful the more you accept', along with the hashtag #weaccept. Some observers have called it a rehash of an earlier ad that was created to play up the company's 'Community Commitment' - a response to alleged discrimination by Airbnb hosts.
American hardware company 84 Lumber was also among those flung into the midst of the above debate with their immigration-centred Super Bowl ad.