Google, WaPo Super Bowl Ads Send Powerful Messages

Brands used Super Bowl Llll to send some powerful messages -- not all about the brands themselves.

One of Google’s Super Bowl ads salutes men and women in the military. The 60-second commercial promotes a search feature that initially rolled out in August 2018.

The ad was designed to make it easier for veterans to find civilian jobs related to what they did in the military by entering a military branch code like MOS or AFSC to find relevant civilian job openings that match their skills.

Initially the coded, cryptic message in the Super Bowl spot doesn’t make sense. But those who have served will recognize the numbers such as “21E” or “11B.”  

"To most of you, these codes don't mean anything; you've probably never seen them or heard them," the narrator says. "But seven percent of you have. The seven percent that have spent weeks or months away from family. The seven percent that sleep in the cold. Sleep in the rain and sometimes, don't sleep at all. The seven percent that keep us safe."



Google's ad, in my opinion, speaks in direct contradiction to the arrogance of NFL players who choose to take a knee during the game, in protest of police brutality, racism and equal rights in America -- which I view as an abuse of power.

About 32% of those watching the game said the Super Bowl was political, while 58% of fans don’t think Super Bowl ads should tackle political issues, according to a survey from Qualtrics, an experience management company.

Google's second Super Bowl spot highlighted Google's translate app. More than 100 billion words get translated with Google Translate daily: words about food, Words about friendship, about sports, belief and fear. Words that can hurt and sometimes divide, the narrator says.

It connects those who don’t speak the same language, but may feel the same aspirations in their heart. “The most translated words in the world are how are you, thank you, and I love you,” per Google.  

Nonetheless, there was a whole lot of rhetoric going on during the game. The Washington Post aired an ad narrated by Tom Hanks.

The ad, with a "Democracy Dies In Darkness" tagline, memorializes Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, whose murder was reportedly ordered by Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman.

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