If you bothered to watch the big game (NFL Super Bowl XLVIII) on Sunday (personally, I fell asleep at least 3 different times), the good news to report is that there are no standout racist ads against Asians to report. Unlike previous years, where there were ads that were blatantly racist, the ads this year have swung to the opposite end of the pendulum where Asians were almost completely invisible in the ads. (See all the 2014 Super Bowl ads here)
The one time that Asians are called out, perplexingly, is in the Chrysler/Bob Dylan ad where he says, “Let Asia assemble your phone.” Some people thought this line was racist, others interpreted it as Dylan “praising sweatshops” (what?).
The only other major time I noticed any Asian presence in the advertising was in the strangely controversial “It’s Beautiful” Coca-Cola ad, which showed a bit of diversity while “America the Beautiful” played in various languages including Tagalog and Hindi (as well as English, Spanish, Keres, Senegalese French and Hebrew).
The invisibility of Asian Americans in the advertising was (partially) made up by the fact that Bruno Mars was the halftime headliner. Mars was the youngest artist to ever serve as a sole halftime show headliner.
Opening the Super Bowl halftime show with an intense drum solo for “Billionaire,” Bruno Mars and his band also performed “Locked Out of Heaven,” “Treasure,” “Runaway Baby,” and “Just The Way You Are.” He was also joined by the Red Hot Chili Peppers in “Give It Away.”