1      The Super Bowl is the annual championship game of American football. It usually attracts the most television viewers of any broadcast of the year, which makes it VERY interesting for advertisers. Companies go all out in producing their ads and they’re almost as fun to watch as the game (or even more so, for those of us who aren’t big football fans).

2       Against the background of Donald Trump’s recent inauguration, the Super Bowl ads this year seemed to emphasize diversity, equality, immigration and multiculturalism. Budweiser, Airbnb, Coca-Cola, Google, and Audi all ran spots along these lines. 

3       The building supplies chain 84 Lumber broadcast a particularly pointed commercial featuring a mother and daughter undertaking an arduous journey to the U.S., only to be temporarily stymied at the border by a wall (reminiscent, of course, of Trump’s proposed barrier). Fortunately, they discover an enormous wooden door in the wall (which, we can only assume, was built with materials from 84 Lumber). Fox, the conservative network which hosted the Super Bowl this year, deemed 84 Lumber’s original version of the ad too controversial. The company chose to show a shortened version during the game, directing viewers to watch the conclusion of the journey on its website. Millions did so, creating so much traffic that the site almost crashed. 

4      Coca-Cola re-ran a 2014 ad with a multilingual version of the song America the Beautiful. Budweiser highlighted the immigrant background of its founders, getting in what many interpreted as a dig at current anti-immigration policies.

5      The streaming service Hulu advertised its upcoming television series based on Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale, starring Mad Men’s Elisabeth Moss. Unfortunately, there is no word yet on when or where it will be available in Europe.

6      There were also lots of fun ads, for example one for Kia starring Melissa McCarthy as a bungling environmental activist. John Malkovich made a self-referential one for the website creator Squarespace. And several ads showcased football players, including a great ad for Buick with Cam Newtown and supermodel Miranda Kerr.

7      Other lighthearted ads included one for Mexican avocados featuring a group of not-very-mysterious cult members, a commercial for hair-care products that takes aim at Trump’s hair, and an energetic spot for Nintendo’s new Switch game console.


0–2   viewer Zuschauer – broadcast Sendung; s.w.u. to broadcast senden – advertiser Werbekunde –to go all out (fig) alle Register ziehen – against the background of s.th. vor dem Hintergrund von etw. – inauguration Amtseinführung – to emphasize betonen – diversity Vielfalt – equality Gleichheit – to run a spot einen Werbespot zeigen – along these lines in diesem Sinne

3       building supplies Baubedarf – to broadcast senden – pointed direkt; spitz – to feature; s.w.u. to showcase in den Vordergrund stellen – arduous schwierig – temporarily vorübergehend – stymied gehindert – border Grenze – to be reminiscent of s.th. an etw. erinnern – to propose planen – to assume annehmen – to host h.: ausstrahlen – to deem s.th. … etw. für … halten – conclusion Ende

4–7   to highlight hervorheben – founder Gründer – to get in a dig at s.th. gegen etw. sticheln – current aktuell – policy Politik – to be available verfügbar sein – bungling stümperhaft – self-referential auf s. selbst beziehend – lighthearted heiter