Super Bowl ad fails. Americans don’t want to be lectured on divisive language and girl power.

Super Bowl LIII viewers were subjected to a night of pontificating by advertisers lecturing them on everything from divisive language to “girl power” and the power of the press.

CBS hosted the big game between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams and took the time to tout “girl power” in a spot featuring girls playing football.

“When girls face their challenges, they’re stronger,” Gayle King, host of “CBS This Morning,” said over a CBS Cares public service announcement. When girls work together, they realize their value. When girls get to play, they learn to win.”

The non-profit group, Girls Inc., teamed up to make the spot with CBS, the network that faced the exit of its chief executive, Les Moonves, last year due to multiple sexual harassment and assault allegations.

Sunday’s game was also peppered with politically correct advertisements that included Budweiser’s use of wind power to brew its beers and was sponsored by the new CBS series “Hanna.”

The new “coming-of-age drama” follows “the journey of an extraordinary young girl raised in the forest, as she evades the relentless pursuit of an off-book CIA agent and tries to unearth the truth behind who she is,” according to IMDb.

An ad for Bon & Viv Spiked Seltzer, the first commercial to air during Super Bowl LIII, featured a pair of shirt-wearing mermaids pitching their product to sharks in a play on the popular TV show, “Shark Tank.” The spot got some mixed reactions for the product as it seemed to wag a finger at objectifying mermaids.

“It has two females in a founder position and presented in a different way than we have ever seen alcohol present females characters before,” Chelsea Phillips, vice president of AB InBev, told AdAge. “The strength of these women is very important to me. As a female VP, I want to see more of that representation in this space, but I didn’t want it to be a trope. I just wanted it to feel natural…versus more of an overt statement.”

Google sermonized about divisive language to tout its translation feature in a telling advertisement that featured a segment with police in riot gear.

The politically correct commercials continued to air during the game Sunday even as CBS had rejected Nine Line Apparel’s pro-flag “Just Stand” ad for its obvious patriotism.

The network, of course, cited other reasons for its decision not to run the 45-second commercial narrated by Benghazi survivor U.S. Marine Mark Geist.

One spot that didn’t go over so well with many viewers was delivered by The Washington Post and was meant to highlight the press. The self-serving spot was narrated by Tom Hanks and featured scenes making the point that journalism can be a dangerous but important job.

“The Super Bowl is a remarkable moment to recognize the courage and commitment of journalists around the world that is so essential to our democracy,” CEO Fred Ryan said in a statement on  the newspaper’s website. “We decided to seize the opportunity to make this a milestone moment in our ongoing campaign.”

But the commercial sparked backlash, even among the publication’s own staff.

A staff writer at the paper and co-chair of its union, Fredrick Kunkle, slammed the multi-million dollar spot as an “infuriating expense.”

“The Post is now paying, say, $5M/30 seconds to tout journalistic freedom during one of the glitziest and – given the NFL’s knee-taking protests and concussions – more controversial sports events in our country,” Kunkle tweeted.

With recent layoffs at many news outlets, the spot raised the ire of many who believed spending the millions at this time was a poor decision.

Frieda Powers

Senior Staff Writer
[email protected]

Originally from New York, Powers graduated from New York University and eventually made her way to sunny South Florida where she has been writing for the BizPacReview team since 2015.
Frieda Powers

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