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TV Takes a Stance: Emmy Nominations for Outstanding Commercial

September 5th, 2017   ||    by Callie Wheeler   ||    No Comments

This year’s Emmy nominations have been announced, and the Oustanding Commercial category provides brands the recognition they deserve for creative storytelling in advertising. Television is still one of the highest-quality advertising channels—and as comScore’s Top 10 Burning Issues in Digital report highlights, invalid traffic and non-viewable impressions continue to plague digital channels.

The advertisers taking advantage of television’s quality and reach are producing creative that doesn’t just advertise a product, but also comments on current events and speaks to brand values as well. Here are our takes on this year’s nominations.

Social Commentary

The Ad Council’s “We Are America” commercial featuring professional wrestler John Cena—which is part of its “Love Has No Labels” campaign—offered a timely message during last year’s Independence Day. Cena’s speech on the meaning of patriotism noted who the average American really is, citing statistics on the number of Muslims in America (more than three times the number of active armed service members), the proportion of Americans who are women (51 percent), the number of disabled Americans (27 million), and more. Going beyond gender, sexual orientation, religion, and ability, the commercial provided a fitting commentary on unity and patriotism in the United States.

The Ad Council also received a nomination for another ad in the series, “Fans of Love,” which used a kiss cam at the 2017 NFL Pro Bowl to spotlight same-sex couples, multiracial families, those with disabilities, diverse groups of friends, and others. Both ads came as welcome messages of unity in a year of division and unrest.

Current Events

A couple of ads in this year’s nominations were tied into current events. “Why I March,” a PSA created by agency McGarryBowen and led by Intel global creative director Teresa Herd, spread the message about the Women’s March that took place on January 21. The PSA used a diverse group of women, men, celebrities, children, veterans, and more to give a voice to the movement born out of the events surrounding the presidential election.

Google’s “Year in Search 2016” was a summary of the year’s events, including Brexit, the 2016 election, the Orlando terror attack, tragedy in Syria, and the division across America. But in a show of unity and love, the ad also featured heartwarming and encouraging events, from pop culture moments to the Cubs’ World Series win to inspiring words from Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Super Bowl Spot

Squarespace’s Super Bowl ad starring John Malkovich received the final nomination. While certainly less socially and politically charged than the other nominees, the ad is a deft mix of pop-culture references, creative storytelling, and branding for the web services company.

All of the nominations utilize compelling storytelling and creative visuals, which helps the ads connect with audiences on a deeper level. The winner will be announced September 16 during the Creative Arts Emmys, but which is your pick to win?

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