Last night was the Super Bowl and the New England Patriots did their thing to score a come-from-behind victory over the Atlanta Falcons.
But the football is never the important part of the Super Bowl.
No, the real stars of football’s biggest game are always the snacks (nachos and chili cheese fries at my house!), the halftime show (Lady Gaga killed it!), and the advertisements.
While I could go on all day about Gaga’s amazing wardrobe, make-up, singing, and dancing, I want to talk about the ads instead.
Probably the conversation starter of the night was Lumber 84’s cinematic story about a migrant family trying to reach America and confronting a cement and steel wall at the end of their journey. All seems lost until they find a door in the wall — wooden, because it’s a lumber company ad — and make their way in.
The whole ad, which was gorgeous, came across as a jab at anti-immigration forces at work in our government.
But construction suppliers weren't the only ones sending a message of inclusion. Another spot that received a lot of attention was for Coca-Cola, and featured shots of beautiful American landscapes and beautiful, multi-cultural people, singing "America The Beautiful" in a variety of languages. AirBNB ran an ad with a montage of multi-cultural faces and a message of inclusion, ending with the hashtag #WeAccept.
Even the ads that weren’t going for a hard hit on the acceptance front were cast with diverse-looking actors and actresses. The Google home ad, for example, had a rainbow cast (and even a rainbow flag!). Even standard beer ads (including one featuring the ghost of Spuds Mackenzie, because hey, why not, right?) made sure that the groups of friends drinking up looked like a representation of actual census data.
All of which is to say, our corporate overlords see us all.
While the pundit class is still talking about what white working class voters want and how best to pander to their interests, corporations have moved on and are embracing who America really is in 2017. We are a nation of immigrants and their descendants, people of all shapes, sizes, colors, and preferences, and we all have a place here.
Sure, corporations really hope that that place is in line at the store to by their stuff, but still. Not too many years ago, ads were as white as Casper the Friendly Ghost. This is progress.
If you are a non-white person in America, you belong. I know it, you know it, and the drivers of engine of our economy know it. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.