Those of you that are familiar with my writing know that I simply answer questions for the most part and rarely write an entire article; however, after yesterday's Super Bowl, I thought I'd weigh in on some of the commercials.
I honestly expected every single one of them to have a political connotation, and really that's my own fault, but to my surprise only a few of them did.
Did you see the Audi commercial? It featured a young girl competing in a soap box derby. It was narrated by her dad who wondered if his daughter would be judged by her gender rather than her talents. The commercial went on to point out that Audi was currently fighting for equal gender pay.
I have no problem with equal gender pay for the same job. I have a problem with a car company telling me that there's a gender pay problem and that the given is the idea that a girl can't win a soap box derby fair and square. Last I checked, the car that finishes the race first gets the trophy, whether it's driven by a boy, girl, or Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer.
Is there a gender pay problem? That's not the point. The point is, I don't need a car company weighing in on the matter. Just make cars. According to Audi's website, all six members of their management board are men, and only two of their 14 person executive board are women. Maybe those women are equally paid to their male counterparts, but with only 10% of these decision makers being women, it doesn't look too good when you're preaching to me about gender pay equality. If I were interested in joining the fight for gender pay equality, why would I ask Audi? Just stick to cars.
The Budweiser commercial? I'm not a beer drinker, never have been, but the beer makers seem to have pretty entertaining commercials, except this one...It starts with Adolph Busch, a young German immigrant who travels to the U.S. to seek a new life brewing beer. He's greeted with shouts of "you're not wanted here," and "go back home!" The commercial ends with Busch landing in St. Louis and meeting Eberhard Anheuser. The two would later pair and create a brewing empire.
The problem? Well, considering the current political landscape, shouts of "you're not wanted here" and "go back home" are part of a rhetoric that is an extremely hot topic. Now why would you make a commercial right now that focused on immigration if you weren't trying to be political?
You see, Mr. Busch came to America legally. He is the true example of the American Dream. He worked his tail off and became a bazillionare. He didn't slip in here secretly from a place that wanted to kill Americans, nor did he climb over a border then move in with his sister and her 14 kids to start receiving welfare. Hey Bud, just brew beer...
Which brings me to the 84 Lumber commercial. This one starts out with a Latino mother and her daughter struggling to fight their way across a harsh Mexican landscape on their way to a new land, one we assume is the U.S. After fighting to survive a long journey on foot, they end up at a huge wall and they are devastated. They've come all this way, fighting for survival, only to find...a wall? The little girl gives her mother a handmade American Flag, crafted by bits and pieces of fabric and trash found along their journey. Gut-wrenching, right?
Yes...but why didn't they travel to a legal crossing point and go through customs? Because 84 Lumber wanted to make Donald Trump's "Wall" the problem. Whether or not you agree with a wall, it's against the law to come here by slipping in and beating the system, the same as it is pretty much anywhere else in the world. Last I checked, most people don't care anything about a lumber company's political view. A huge majority are just looking for a good deal on 2x4's. If I wanted to join the fight on America's immigration laws, should I contact 84 Lumber? No. Just sell lumber.
If your car breaks down do you take it to your tax man? Do you go to the barber when you have a sore throat? No. These businesses serve specific purposes, and we use them for those purposes only. We buy cars, beverages, and lumber from companies that sell cars, beverages, and lumber because they give us the best deal, not for political or other reasons.
And Lady Gaga? Not my style, but she killed the halftime show, like her or not. Those of you on the right that are making this political, stop it. She sang patriotic songs behind a beautiful American-themed backdrop. She just did her thing with no politics involved. During the performance, my friend's 5 year-old daughter said "Lady Gaga singed real good but she's weird." Was some of the show weird? Yes. Political? No. I don't care what her political views are, nor any other musician or performer. Just sing...I'll listen if you're any good.
If I see a sign that says "Buy John's Delicious Hamburgers Here" that's what I expect when I go inside. If I'm greeted by John and he says, "We have hamburgers but first, let me tell you about our effort to stop the abuse of elephants as I try to convince you to donate to our cause," I've just been duped and I guarantee you I'm headed for Bill's Delicious Hamburgers across the street.
So, my plea to car makers, beer brewers, lumber suppliers, and hamburger joints everywhere is to simply do your thing and leave the politics to someone else.