Over the last year, several US brands have branched out and diversified their advertising by featuring Muslim stories and characters. This was a potentially risky move: the ads have aired in an increasingly tense political climate, with numerous anti-Muslim sentiments being circulated, particularly in the lead up to the presidential election in November.
Now, the nation is even more divided along political lines under US president Donald Trump after his executive order to ban residents of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US. As a result, some experts believe that advertisers will back off from making political statements—even though a number of political ads promoting diversity and open borders that played at the 2017 Super Bowl might make viewers feel otherwise.
“I anticipate that, given the climate, most brands will play it safer this year,” Derek Rucker, a marketing professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management told the Chicago Tribune. “In general there’s going to be extra scrutiny. This is not the year to do something that offends half the audience or worse.”
Watch the video above to see the ads, and hear advertisers and ad critics discuss what impact the political climate will have on advertising in the year ahead.