Outdoor clothing company Patagonia is protesting against President Donald Trump's plans to reduce the size of two national monuments in Utah with a message on its homepage. "The President Stole Your Land," it reads, and a link lets people tweet to the U.S. administration, with the option to receive texts about protecting public land, and emails from Patagonia. It's not the first time a business has protested political moves in public, some more explicitly than others.
Immigration was a theme of 2017's Super Bowl advertising campaigns, with Airbnb using its spot to put across a welcoming message. Meanwhile, building supplies company 84 Lumber used its ad to show a mother and daughter traveling from Mexico to the U.S., encountering a wall between the two countries. The full version was rejected by broadcaster Fox (its ad guidelines state commercials must not convey viewpoints or advocacy of controversial issues) but has now been watched more than 11 million times online.
"We believe no matter who you are, where you're from, who you love or who you worship, we all belong. The world is more beautiful the more you accept," stated text on Airbnb's Super Bowl ad this year. The ad featured a diverse group of people in a montage of images and came nine days after Trump ordered America's borders be temporarily closed to refugees. The company also published a statement from CEO Brian Chesky, who said it was a policy he profoundly disagreed with.
Audi's pro-equality ad ran during this year's Super Bowl and features a voiceover from a father disheartened by the sexism his young daughter is likely to face in later life. It didn't appear to be directed at a particular policy, but a statement at the end of the spot read: "Audi of America is committed to equal pay for equal work." It was directed by Aoife McArdle who said: "People's merit can't be predetermined on the purely superficial."
The Italian clothing brand's art director Oliviero Toscani is famed for his controversial images, from a newborn baby with its umbilical cord still attached to three human hearts with "white," "black" and "yellow" written on each. He left Benetton in 2000 after 18 years, but is back with a new "Integration" ad campaign showing children from around the world in a classroom. "The future will hang on how, and to what extent, we use our intelligence to integrate with others and to overcome fear," Toscani said in an online statement last week.
The consumer-goods manufacturer aims to get people to "look beyond the things that divide us" with a campaign promoting its sponsorship of the 2018 Winter Olympics. Although the spot does not explicitly target a political policy, it shows a variety of athletes from different backgrounds — including Zahra Lari, the first Emirati figure skater to compete internationally — and P&G Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard stated the ad aimed to help create "a world free from bias."
Not strictly an ad campaign, Starbucks' "Upstanders" is a series of videos produced by founder Howard Schultz and former Washington Post correspondent Rajiv Chandrasekaran that ask "what it means to have courage in today's America." Titles include "A Racist's Rehabilitation," and "Knives, Fire and Opportunity." As part of the initiatives, Starbucks sponsored South By South Lawn, an event held by former President Barack Obama described by the White House as a "festival of ideas, art and action."