Super Bowl is the time of the year when eager Americans enjoy watching the game and commercials, but political influences have changed the tone for this year’s game.
It is also a time of the year when advertisers purchase airtime at very high prices in an effort to convince consumers to buy their products. This year’s game had a slightly different tone: politics.
The NFL addressed the impact of the presidential election outcomes that caused the league’s television ratings to decline. Prior to Sunday’s game, there were speculations that the message of politics would be mixed in with the game itself. Did the infiltration of politics ruin the game?
Lady Gaga took to the stage at halftime to deliver a patriotic performance that many people expected to spotlight women’s rights and/or President Donald Trump’s executive orders on immigration. But she performed “God Bless America” and “This Land is Your Land” as she dropped from the roof, suspended by wires as she made her way towards the stage. She concluded the patriotic portion of the performance with reprising the final line of the Pledge of Allegiance, “One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all” as she finally landed on the stage.
“We’re here to make you feel good,” she said to the audience.
Gaga also performed the LGBTQ rights anthem, “Born This Way.” The song also represented other people of diversity whether “white, black or beige.”
Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton reacted to Gaga’s performance by tweeting, “I’m one of 100 million #SuperBowl fans that just went #Gaga for the Lady, and her message to all of us.” Gaga was an avid Clinton supporter during the presidential campaign.
Prior to kickoff, Trump’s recorded interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly was producing a fluctuating debate because of Russian president Vladimir Putin and Trump’s claim that America’s government has its fair share of “killers.”
Trump’s rapport with the New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, along with team coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady, also contributed to the politically-influenced atmosphere at this year’s game.
Another highlight is the influence of political messages in some Super Bowl commercials, including the reprise of the 2014 Coca-Cola “America the Beautiful” commercial emphasizing diversity that resulted in controversy. The commercial included lines of different languages. It struck a different chord this year as immigration is addressed.
Additional commercials include those from Budweiser that highlighted the founder Adolphus Busch’s role as an immigrant and from Audi that made a plea for pay equity.