Monday, February 06, 2017

Superbowl ads outspeak Lady Gaga

If the world was expecting (and hoping for) some political fireworks from Lady Gaga's half-time performance at yesterday's Superbowl - the biggest single platform in America's television year, and one with an audience profile skewed notoriously to the right - then all they actually witnessed was a proverbial damp squib.
After Beyonce's politically-charged performance last year, and given Lady Gaga's usually outspoken persona (especially on LGBTQ issues), and the recent election of one of the most politically divisive and reactionary presidents in US history, I think most people were ready for her to push the envelope at least a little. The closest she came, though, was the predictable inclusion of her song "Born This Way", just one of several mega-hits she covered in the performance, and so well-known and mainstream now that it fails to shock.
Perhaps surprisingly, the half-time commercial ads were probably more politically uncompromising than Ms. Gaga's performance. AirBnB's ad (with its message of: "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."), and 84 Lumber's story of a Central American family's journey to US citizenship, were both more poignant and edgy than anything Lady Gaga presented.
So, did she bail, or was she pushed?

Gaga's safety-first performance has done her no harm - apparently her sales have surged 1000% after the Superbowl. What's a mega-star to do?

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