| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Feb 5 With Americans' attention more
finely tuned to the political climate under U.S. President
Donald Trump, brands that dove headfirst into that conversation
generated the most reaction from viewers during Sunday's Super
For most of the game, the chatter around commercials by
Airbnb, Coca Cola Co and Budweiser was more exciting than
the Super Bowl itself.
But late in the game, the New England Patriots pulled off a
25-point comeback to defeat the Atlanta Falcons in the National
Football League's first-ever overtime Super Bowl.
With the game's thrilling finish, viewers could exceed the
114.4 million who watched Super Bowl XLIX in 2015, providing a
massive audience for advertisers who paid more than $5 million
for 30 seconds of airtime.
Though T-Mobile drew the most attention on social media with
celebrity-studded ads that included popstar Justin Bieber, the
brands that sparked the most conversation among viewers were
those that leaned into subjects of diversity and immigration.
Airbnb's ad featuring a diverse group of people touting a
message of acceptance will be seen by many as a criticism of
Trump's immigration policies.
The ad was among the most talked about, generating nearly
70,000 tweets between 6:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. EST, data from
digital marketing technology company Amobee shows.
During the pre-game, Coca Cola re-aired its ad from the 2014
Super Bowl, which featured "America the Beautiful" sung in
different languages, which prompted more than 69,000 tweets.
Budweiser's spot, telling the story of Anheuser-Busch's
immigrant co-founder Adolphus Busch, and Pennsylvania-based
building materials company 84 Lumber's ad were among the most
talked about as well.
84 Lumber's ad had to be reworked after Fox rejected an
initial version that featured a border wall, which was in the
company's full-length online version.
Amobee data found the sentiment for the ads skewed positive.
Advertisers have been grappling with how to reach consumers
in the political climate under Trump, when viewers' increasingly
partisan attitudes make it more difficult to market to a broad
"It's America paying attention to us and really ranking us,
when they so often try to ignore what advertising does," said
Ted Royer, chief creative officer of creative agency Droga5,
which created Sprint's ad targeting rival carrier Verizon.
Trump's November election, and his subsequent action on
immigration and other issues has nearly split the population.
That divide has left the stakes higher for advertisers devising
campaigns for some of the biggest U.S. brands, which typically
avoid politics, for fear of upsetting consumers.
"There's a lot more anxiety, self-inflicted anxiety, in the
country than there has been ever in the past," said Mike
Sheldon, chairman and chief executive of ad agency Deutsch, who
created Busch's first-ever Super Bowl ad.
(Editing by Anna Driver and Clarence Fernandez)