Out: Sexism In Super Bowl Ads. In: Brands Supporting Pay Equality And Women in Tech

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For the past couple of years Super Bowl ads have taken a decidedly different turn, with several brands losing the sexism that drove their earlier advertising campaigns. While there are still a handful of offenders, we are making some progress.

So what can we expect to see on Sunday? At least a couple of those previous offenders taking a step in the right direction, one of which is Audi. Finally realizing that women control a huge amount of consumer spending, they’ve turned their focus from targeting men at the expense of women to this year’s theme… pay equity.

In a 60-second spot called “Daughter,” Audi delivers an important message.

In a press release the company says:

Audi of America is committed to supporting pay equality, inclusivity, and the growth and development of all employees.

This is a story of a young girl competing in a downhill cart race in her hometown. As the fearless daughter weaves her way through a field of competitors, her father contemplates whether his daughter’s worth will be measured by her gender through a series of provocative questions. It is a reminder that progress doesn’t belong to any one group. Progress is for everyone.

While it’s a great ad, we are more impressed that the company isn’t just talking the talk, they are walking the walk, by developing programs to support their commitment to “women’s pay equality in the workplace and to foster a work environment that drives equality for all employees.”

Another brand that’s infamous for incredibly sexist Super Bowl ads is GoDaddy, who has been working to overhaul the company’s image by dumping their old formula of portraying women “as an object” to “somebody who represents a vast population of Americans.”

The new 30-second spot called “Good Morning,” introduces a new character who “personifies the Internet,” with a message that no one knows the Internet like GoDaddy. The ad is packed with hidden references to this past year’s viral stories.

In a press release about the new ad, GoDaddy explains that the concept is designed to appeal to women and men of all ages, and include cats on Roombas, a sneezing panda and our favorite… a subtle shout out to women in tech with a nod to the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC is the world’s largest gathering of women technologists). You really have to know what you are looking for to catch the reference (:11), which comes in the form of a #GHC17 button attached to the protagonist’s backpack.

Although the reference is very subtle, the overall tone of the ad is far from the sleazy, offensive ads the company previously built its brand on.

While we don’t expect all of the ads to be sexism free, we do sense some progress…“little by little, a little becomes a lot.” (Tanzanian proverb)

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