Let's get the bad news out of the way first.
The New England Patriots—professional sports' most annoying franchise and President Donald Trump's favorite football team—staged a come-from-behind rally to defeat the Atlanta Falcons 34–28 in overtime at Super Bowl 51.
Fortunately, Super Bowl Sunday wasn't just about football. It was also about selling stuff, and hoping that we, the viewing public, buy stuff. And this year, advertisers across the spectrum had a unique pitch for their prime time ad slots: trolling Trump.
Now, it's probably true that most huge corporations didn't set out to antagonize the president of the United States. But these days, merely saying you don't hate immigrants is a political provocation.
There was the "Avocados from Mexico" ad, whose mere presence served as a not-so-subtle reminder of Trump's hostility towards America's neighbor to the south.
There was AirBnB's #WeAccept spot, which not only highlighted a broad spectrum of diversity, but came as part of the company's pledge to "provide short-term housing over the next five years for 100,000 people in need." Those people included “refugees, disaster survivors, and relief workers," many of whom would directly suffer as a result of President Trump's repressive immigration crackdown.
Super Bowl mainstay Budweiser's "Born The Hard Way" spot was an ode to the company's immigrant origins, highlighting founder Adolphus Busch's journey to the United States to create a brew that would eventually change it's name to America. Get it, Donald? Immigrants gave us beer—something right wing Twitter apparently has a problem with.
Carmaker Audi's "Daughter" commercial tackled the gender pay gap, reminding viewers, per the company, that "progress doesn’t belong to any one group. Progress is for everyone." That's the sort of message one would have likely seen on a sign at one of the recent Women's Marches.
Coca Cola brought back its 2014 commercial featuring a multilingual, multicultural rendition of America the Beautiful, which took on an added air of significance in the midst of a presidency that seems intent to divide, rather than unite.
But of all the commercials with messages aimed at the heart of the Trump administration, none was quite as powerful as one for lumber. Yes, lumber.
Building supply chain 84 Lumber caused waves with their immigration-themed ad even before the spot hit the air, thanks to reports that the Fox network had forced the company to retool their commercial—which focused on the journey of a Latinx immigrant mother and daughter trying to enter the United States—so that it would not depict President Trump's border wall.
While the version of the ad that did run during the Super Bowl was redacted as per Fox's request, 84 Lumber posted the full commercial on their website—which saw so much traffic, it crashed.
Of course, Trump trolling aside, all these ads are designed with one simple purpose in mind: To get us to spend money on products.