Branding Tips

Why Brands Get Political

Brands are increasingly being held accountable for their views on social issues and legislative decisions that affect their customers' lives. It's no surprise that this year's Super Bowl ads had an overall theme with their messages. Brands are responding in mass with commercials promoting inclusiveness, diversity, acceptance unity and positivity.

In part, these companies are reacting to the current political comment. It may seem that these brands are becoming "too political," but in reality, they are reiterating the core values that make up the foundation of their brand. Huge household names such as Airbnb, Coca Cola and Budweiser are taking the opportunity to communicate with their customers in a meaningful way. These brands are more than just the products or services they sell — they stand for something.

Airbnb's last-minute advertisement showed that the brand is putting their money where their mouth is. The spot is quite simple, showing the faces of people of various backgrounds and ethnicities. “We believe no matter who you are, where you’re from, who you love, or who you worship, we all belong. The world is more beautiful the more you accept.” The day after the ad aired, Airbnb sent users an email explaining their five-year goal to "make sure 100,000 people have short-term housing during urgent times."

The Coke ad that aired this year might have given you a bit of deja vu. "It's Beautiful" first aired in 2014 and received quite a bit of criticism for having "America the Beautiful" sung in various languages, including Hebrew, Spanish, Keres, Tagalog, Hindi, and French. Coca-Cola, a global brand, takes the stance that we can be American and embrace our differences – we don't need to erase our individual cultures. Despite the previous backlash, Coca-Cola recycled the ad for this year's Super Bowl, making it apparent their stance on inclusiveness and diversity is still alive and well.

Budweiser released one of the most talked about advertisements this year and the timing made it more of a political statement than they might have ever intended.The one-minute segment portrays the immigration story of Adolphus Busch, co-founder ofAnheuser-Busch. Busch makes his difficult journey from Germany to America in the 1850's and isn't welcomed with open arms. Though the advertisement was filmed way before recent immigration controversy, its timing offered a glimpse into the background on one of the biggest brands in America. Though the movie-like segment of the American dream journey offended some longtime fans (#boycottBudwiser was a trending topic on Twitter), Budweiser stayed true to their ideals.

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