Politically charged adverts broadcast on US television during Sunday’s Super Bowl prompted calls for boycotts of some of the products featured.
Usually it’s the job of the Super Bowl halftime act to cause controversy – think back to last year and Beyonce’s Black Panthers, or Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” in 2004. This year however, as Lady Gaga turned in a performance that BBC Music called “fairly restrained… by her standards”, it was the advertisements broadcast on Fox during breaks in the action which prompted outrage and counter-outrage on social media.
The biggest stir was caused by one of America’s biggest brands. Budweiser’s minute-long advert told the (heavily truncated and dramatised) story of co-founder Adolphus Busch’s journey from Germany to the United States.
After an arduous journey, Busch is greeted by shouts of “you’re not wanted here, go back home!” He narrowly avoids a fire, slogs through mud, and finally finds a warm welcome in St Louis where a stranger – his later business partner Eberhard Anheuser – buys him a drink.