The stereotypical view of football has never had much to do with women, unless they made an appearance to force their husbands to turn off the TV and go grocery shopping. Recently, however, it’s become obvious that women watch football too (which shouldn’t really be so shocking), and that not acknowledging this is a pretty big marketing fail.
So all that said, did Super Bowl commercials step up to the plate this year, and acknowledge the many women tuning in to the action?
For the most part, the answer is actually yes. In past years some ads, and indeed the entire mood of the ads, has been downright hostile towards women. While the absence of that hostility probably shouldn’t be considered a huge victory, it is certainly nice to see it gone.
Many businesses made ads that were clearly for (or supportive of) women. GoldieBlox, a toy designed to encourage girls to build and innovate, was the most obvious of these, and has been making waves since their ad aired.
In this Subaru ad, a young woman changes the tire on her car, with encouragement from her father.
Making an appearance again this year was David Beckham for H&M, a departure from the usual scantily clad women aimed at men in place of a scantily clad man aimed at women.
Other ads went for a “feel good” vibe, and while this may not have been done to specifically attract women, it probably didn’t alienate them either. Some of these ads chose more progressive themes that would likely attract a younger demographic of women as well.
Examples include this Cheerios ad, again featuring the interracial couple that caused a stir, and then much support, last year.
An ad by Coca Cola used the song “America The Beautiful” sung in various languages, and showed imagery of the diverse group of people who call America home.
Budweiser got a lot of attention from everyone by using cute puppies and their classic Clydesdales.
Finally, even some companies who traditionally thrived off of the raunchy and racy toned it down this year.
Axe body spray kept the women in their ad clothed, and promoted their new Peace product with the message of “make love, not war.” The new product even supports the Peace One Day organization.
GoDaddy also used a fully clothed woman, and had her quit her job (live) in pursuit of the dream job her website helps her promote.
Overall, there were less bikinis and more women acting like real women do. While football still may not be seen as a sport that can be enjoyed by everyone equally, this year was a step in the right direction.