The first ever Super Bowl commercial addressing domestic violence and sexual assault is here and already has everyone talking about it. The ad is subtle and understated with the camera only panning through a seemingly unkempt house. By the time it is revealed that the female soundtrack ordering pizza on 911 is a victim and it’s not another prank call, it quantifies the effect of the powerful message, “that when it’s hard to talk it’s up to us to listen”. They have taken almost word for word from a Reddit thread about 911 operators that went viral last year.
The total value of airtime donated by NFL, including the Super Bowl spot is about $50 million. The ad may be viewed as a knee jerk reaction of the NFL to the widespread flak it received last year for its handling of domestic violence cases especially the initial two game suspension of Ray Rice, of Baltimore Ravens, for beating his then fiancee unconscious and suspension of Adrian Peterson, of Minnesota Vikings, for hitting his son.
While they may have successfully swept it under the carpet, the enormous mass of fans and also the general public who don’t watch Super Bowl will hopefully be positively impacted and moved enough to quit being criminal bystanders and take proactive steps to reach out for those in need.