Last year about this time I found myself in a self-imposed experiment: watch the entire Superbowl from start to finish and really look at the advertisements between play. No pre-game show, thanks – it was enough of an investment for me to simply sit through 3 hours of American football.

I had asked the general public for volunteers who wanted to scope out their local beer retailers to make observations on the beer displays they found. Thanks to Joanna in Orlando and Leslie in Monterey among them for contributing their thoughts.

Overall their thoughts were what I’d call positive: no huge gender influence or sexism. YES! It’s a small victory for women and beer and I hope that continues for a long time.

What have you seen for beer ads so far? Displays in your grocers or alcohol stores?

So what was the result of my watchings?

Well, it was a large variety of companies and purposes. You can watch them here. The most profound one to me was the domestic abuse commercial, based on a real chilling phone conversation of a woman calling 911 – unbeknownst to whomever was in the house threatening her – under the guise of ordering a pizza.

They ranged from tax service companies to cars to TV programs to snack foods and, of course, ubiquitous beer ads. I loved this one from Reebok, as it was suited to the event and focuses on their core message and strength of everyone. Kudos!

As it stood, Budweiser was the beer sponsor of the event so it only makes sense to only see their ads. How much does an ad cost during the game? Find out here – and you better be sitting down.

What I was glad to observe was that, while there were certainly questionable ads as far as sexism goes, the offenders were other than beer. I’d give them a pass (the other companies) and say they were simply silly, wondering why they even put the particular ad up during Superbowl. Yet that would lessen the overall message of making sure sexism in all forms is banished and inappropriate no matter the products and services advertised. So I won’t.

A few head scratchers were:

  1. Why was there a male voice over for the female Paralympian Amy Purdy? Why wasn’t a women chosen?
  2. Why the sexed up animals in the tortoise and hare ad?
  3. No females in any of the car ads.

Women make between 75-85% of all purchases. Who’s forgetting this fact? A whole bunch of people working for a whole bunch of different companies apparently. Those who remember will see benefits far and wide in so many ways. Most importantly for building equality for all, the globe over.

The Superbowl is on iconic televised event – those advertisers could help change the world for the better by promoting gender equity and respect instead of the same old tired sexist forays.  What an incredible opportunity for those who can see the forest and the trees!

If you decide to watch the bowl this weekend and want to share your thoughts on the ads, I’d love to hear it all.

I’ll thank my family (again) for participating in the exercise with me last year. It won’t happen anytime in the near future, though I’m sure I’ll still be curious about the ads as many of us are.

Categories: Beer, Events, Marketing, Women and Beer

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