It’s Time for a Change: Diversity in the Super Bowl Ads

History will be made on February 2 as two Latinas take the stage for the first time ever for the most-watched musical performance of the year.

Photo of Steph Conti

Steph Conti

Associate Director

History will be made on February 2 as two Latinas take the stage for the first time ever for the most-watched musical performance of the year; Jennifer Lopez and Shakira will headline the Pepsi Super Bowl LIV halftime show in Miami Gardens. As a plus, another Latina, Demi Lovato, will perform the national anthem. This display of representation and diversity is a welcomed change to the NFL and Super Bowl.

Like the halftime show, the commercials during the Super Bowl are highly prized and anticipated. The sense of competition is just as strong off the field among advertisers as it is on the field between teams. This is a make-or-break moment for brands, and each year after the game is over and before the dust has settled, the ads are critiqued just as much as the plays that are called. Hopefully, this year the marketers will follow in the NFL’s footsteps and include more diversity in their commercials.

In the past, commercials during football games have notoriously displayed non-inclusive themes. Luckily, most brands have listened to consumer sentiment and implemented more inclusion and diversity in creative. As we become more globally connected , audiences are becoming more critical and unforgiving. To target a savvy audience with a heightened global mindset on such an important stage like the Super Bowl, brands need to be mindful about inclusion. At Moore, we focus on how best to reach and appropriately represent multicultural and diverse audiences across our work.

Inclusivity is not just character casting; just because you feature a diverse group of people in your advertising does not mean that you will be successful. To ignite change and drive an audience to act, you must build an authentic and trusting relationship with the demographic. For the Super Bowl ad creators, this starts with creative that resonates and is inspiring. The themes of these commercials are critical – women should be used for more than just displaying a home setting or for sexual appeal, and minority groups should be used in the forefront and not just as background characters.

With this year’s Super Bowl taking place in one of the most diverse places in the U.S., now is the time to ask yourself, “how am I planning to respectfully and appropriately reach a diverse audience?” We are here to help you navigate this more inclusive world.

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