Super Bowl ads get political and spark social media engagement, but do they lead to increased product sales?

If you were hoping to watch some playful, comedic Super Bowl commercials, last night’s ads were different than what we usually see.  The commercials were littered with deeper political meanings, continuing with the current trend of sparking unruly social media commentary.

The above ad is Budweiser’s 2017 Super Bowl Commercial.  It recreates the immigration journey taken on by Adolphus Busch when he immigrates to St. Louis from Germany to meet his business partner.  The ad immediately engages us, as it uses one of Charles Dwyer’s tactics on how to influence others: storytelling.  This is a human story, and we can feel the human connection  throughout the quick one minute clip.  The final line states “When nothing stops your dream.”

There’s a lot of underlying meaning to this ad, touching on Trump’s recent immigration ban and immigration beliefs.  The result?  More debate on social media.

One right-wing comment on Budweiser’s Facebook page reads:  “I drank your product for 30 years and I will no longer drink it you liberal s— heads.”  Meanwhile, a more leftist tweet: “@Budweiser not much of a beer drinker, but I will pick some up on the way home. The husband & I will be toasting to you tonight. Great ad!”

Once again, we watch as political conversations continue in short sentences on social media, creating debate.  As we saw through the Presidential campaign, this type of propaganda worked in winning a Presidential election, largely due to the engagement it lead to throughout all of social media.  But what does it mean for product sales?  Does engaging with the most controversial political topics in our country today sell more beer?  Or is business hurt by aligning with just part of your customer base?

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One Response to Super Bowl ads get political and spark social media engagement, but do they lead to increased product sales?

  1. sydhavely says:

    We’re a nation of immigrants, President Trump’s travel ban to seven Muslim countries notwithstanding. Sorry if some people don’t realize that. Budweiser obviously did. Great post, Nikki.

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