domestic violence super bowl ad 2016

Big Superbowl Ads Duel: Drunk Driving vs. Domestic Violence


Two Super Bowl Ads running today. It comes down to this question – drunk driving or domestic violence. And Los Vegas handicappers, the very day of the big game are silent on the issue.


That leaves us accidental Ad critics, albeit earnest public health purveyors, left to call the game.


On one hand you have Dame Helen Mirren talking trash to a would-be drunk driver.  You are… “short-sighted, utterly useless, oxygen wasting human form of pollution….”  Sponsored by Anheuser Busch

Helen Mirren in Super bowl ad about drunk driving






domestic violence super bowl ad 2016

On the other side, a mundane, everyday, text chat that turns ominous.  A friend’s text urging a girlfriend to come over to the Superbowl party.  The response.  “Don’t think it’s a good idea”…”Jake is in one of his moods” Sponsored by  

So what’s the spread for today’s game.

Anyone want to call it?

7 replies
  1. Nevila Bardhi
    Nevila Bardhi says:

    This Helen Mirren commercial about drunk driving with a beer in hand is not pretty. We are used to see Helen Mirren in fine roles full of sophistication to mind come movies like “Queen Elizabeth”. Seeing her with a beer while offending drunk drivers is just against what she is preaching for. She is saying drunk driving is nasty while enjoying a beer. She simply does not suggest with her action that drunk driving is bad while drinking herself. I simply don’t agree with this ad. Is simply suggesting ” Don’t do what I do, but do what I say…”

    • ChrisZ
      ChrisZ says:

      I wonder if they made it clear – “I’m having a beer here ( at the restaurant) and I WILL NOT BE DRIVING home” – would that have been ok?

  2. Norma Reza Santos
    Norma Reza Santos says:

    Due to the astronomical cost to by AD time on the Super Bowl the commercials have to be quick, to the point, engaging and “edgy”. They are usually in an amusing setting and carry the message with a sense of humor.
    On all of the points, I believe the commercial about drunk driving was successful.
    Drunk driving has been presented over many years from car crashes, ambulances to mothers of children killed by drunk drivers, to friends leaving a party convincing one to of them to leave his keys, …etc. They all have had some effect-but the problem hasn’t gone away.
    This commercial is a 180˚ change.
    From the actor, the British accent, tone of delivery to the setting. An older distinguished, sophisticated actor who commands her stage.
    Assuming the target market is teen-age to young adult, then having a peer deliver the message would only be moderately effective-just is when peers give serious advice to each other on anything. If the message is delivered by an adult of their parents’ age, it would have little to not effect-as it is when their parents are talking to them. Actually parental guidance can sometimes have a negative effect depending on attitudes each have toward the other and the way the subject matter is presented.
    However, if the message is delivered by a senior like their grandmother the dynamics are totally changed. Grandmother’s are sources of experience, education and reason. Words of wisdom are always available upon the asking-and sometimes without asking. We always listen, and they have a way of cutting to the heart of the matter.
    Helen Mirren does not appear as a typical grandmother(weak and soft spoken)-but neither do most grandmother’s when there is an important/life threatening issue at hand.
    Mirren’s delivery grabs attention for the gravity of the issue. I found my self watching with the same engaging intensity as she was delivering it. I didn’t think of her as a grandmother character but did feel the intensity of an experienced older adult and I needed to listen.
    Remember, “Grandmother knows best.” We can always expect good advice, quick and to the point.
    Helen Mirren delivers. The commercial delivers.
    It was only in the closing moment I wondered as she sipped the beer-how’s she going to end her night? Who’s accompanying her out of the bar?
    Maybe the commercial writers and producer wanted to assert her independence personally, would have linked a text from her cell regarding the car service coming for her.

    Budweiser beer and a taxi company as Uber working together-can be one of the solutions.

  3. Naomi Gewirtzman
    Naomi Gewirtzman says:

    I felt both commercials were good, but I liked one more than the other. The one with Helen Mirren seemed aimed at older adults while the domestic violence commercial seemed to target a younger demographic. I say that because I personally felt I could relate more to the texting commercial as I text more and am on my phone much more often than in a car. The nomore domestic violence ad could have been anyone having a conversation with a friend; and the 3 dots at the end after the friend’s question of “are you ok?” made it seem so real and scary. The don’t drink and drive was also effective. Helen Mirren is belittling those who choose to drive drunk and is making a statement that they should be embarrassed and feel like scum if they do choose to drive drunk. It was a good day and avenue to run the Budweiser commericial since superbowl sunday is often synonymous with drinking. I felt both of these ads were good and sent their messages effectively. If I had to choose, I think the nomore domestic violence ad sent a stronger message than the beer commercial.

  4. Jordan Cuby
    Jordan Cuby says:

    I personally felt that this ad played on the fact that people need to feel guilty about drinking and then making the decision to drive, instead of saying why it is important why not to drink and drive. I feel that the use of curse words and insults was very dis-tasteful, and the ending with the hash tag of #giveadamn was very unbefitting. I suppose that this add is more a sign of the times, where people need to be shamed into doing the right thing in the view of public opinion, instead of choosing the more responsible alternative because its simply the right thing to do. The other ad dealing with domestic violence was very real to me. She asked her friend if she was coming out and she said no because her boyfriend was in “one of his moods”. This ad was also a cliffhanger, thanks to those beautiful three dots on iMessage that let you know when someone is texting. The bad part about domestic violence is that until a person gets tired of being in that situation, no coercion by an outside party is ever going to be enough to make them leave a violent situation. I enjoyed this ad much more than the first.

  5. Clarissa Padilla
    Clarissa Padilla says:

    Tough call. The NoMore domestic violence ad, I believe will resonate most with younger adults as they are constantly on their phones and the commercial serves as a reminder that those avenues are ways which we can spot a person being victimized in their relationship. It still sends a powerful message without the rather candid speech that was in the Beer ad. Although, I think the Helen Mirren ad is great as adults need tough, hard doses of reality when it comes to drinking and driving. Not to say young adults won’t get the same message. I think the beer ad reminds us the drinking and driving is a selfish act and you will need to be reminded of this especially on Superbowl Sunday when so many forget themselves. Both great ads.

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