Super Bowl 50 Ads: Finally, a Gender Role Reversal!

Ladies rejoice - watching the Super Bowl was more entertaining this year than ever before. Not only did we get to watch buff men from the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers battle it out on the playing field for hours, we also saw more than a few Super Bowl 50 ads that were geared towards women (YASSSS!).

Just based on a few of the Super Bowl 50 commercials that I saw, it's apparent that a gender role reversal is emerging. After years of watching sexy female models prance around in bikinis while eating burgers, or elegantly washing cars with their bums, women are now seeing ads that are finally catered towards them.

Sexy male celebrities, adorable "wiener" puppies and family values were being portrayed more than ever before in this year's Super Bowl commercial line up. Take for instance Hyundai's new Super Bowl ad featuring Ryan Reynolds. If you haven't seen it yet, I highly encourage you to check it below. The theme of the commercial is "a car that doesn't get distracted," and features 2 ladies driving around as they glance out the window to check out Ryan Reynolds:

Super Bowl 50 Ads: What Women Want

I certainly found Hyundai's ad to be entertaining and appealing, and I'm clearly not the only one. Spot Trender, an industry leader in cloud-based ad-testing technology, recently announced the results of their third annual Super Bowl Ad Performance Test. Conducted for Super Bowl 50, Spot Trender's test examined themes relating to sexuality and gender roles. On February 4, Spot Trender conducted a scientific poll with 1301 participants in a national representative sample. Each participant saw one commercial and completed an online questionnaire through Spot Trender's platform.

The Hyundai ad was included in Spot Trender's survey, followed by this question:

Please indicate whether you agree or disagree with the following statements about the ad: (strongly agree, somewhat agree, neither agree nor disagree, somewhat disagree, strongly disagree)

• Were the jokes funny?
• Were you offended?

The conclusion was that both female and male participants found the Hyundai ad to be funny, yet interestingly enough more males were actually offended by it than females. 82% of male and female questionnaires thought the Hyundai ad was funny, while 13% of males either "strongly agree" or "somewhat agree" that the Hyundai ad was offensive. Only 4% of females either "strongly agree" or "somewhat agree" that the Hyundai ad was offensive.

Other notable commercials I saw during Super Bowl 50 were Starbucks and Death Wish Coffee. Both of these ads can be compared to examine "masculinity" in advertising. The Starbucks commercial, for example, portrays a mother making herself a cup of Starbucks coffee on a lazy weekend morning, as she watches her children play. The Death Wish Coffee commercial takes an entirely different approach to advertising their coffee, and instead features a group of Vikings groaning and grunting at one another in accordance to the commercial's theme, "fiercely caffeinated."

Spot Trender's survey also tested both the Starbucks and Death Wish Coffee commercials, asking the research question: "Does having a masculine brand help Death Wish sell more products compared to the more gender neutral Starbucks brand?" The results showed the answer to be 'No,' and that Starbucks performed much better than Death Wish Coffee did, which is an overwhelmingly masculine brand compared to Starbucks. Other results from the survey include:

• Starbucks' ad performed much better with females in term of branding than Death Wish
• 67% of females "strongly agree" or "somewhat agree" that Starbucks is "the brand for me"; 65% of females said it "fits my needs"; 47% of females said it was "affordable"; 76% of females said it was "premium/luxurious brand"; and said 79% of females said it was a "high quality product"

Gender Norms are Indeed Changing

The Hyundai, Starbucks and Death Wish Coffee ads are just some of the many commercials I saw that resonated with me during Super Bowl 50. While advertisers have expressed some of their best ideas to capture your attention, I'm almost certain that women will continue to notice more than a few ads that portray a gender role reversal. However, when in doubt, we can always turn to the raw hard data to back up this theory.