It was a bit odd that the Rhianna concert was interrupted by an American Football game, but what was more odd was the jarring Tubi ad. The ad in question although hailed as being a marketing genius by many online who were admittedly fooled by the ‘joke’ was, from many women’s perspectives, a dangerous and ignorant move. Tubi, a new streaming platform, advertised itself seemingly during the actual Superbowl game – an interruption many fans watching thought was at the hands of their partners.
a ‘day of dread’ for women was worsened if not initiated by TV advertisement
Frantically telling everyone in your home to get up to see if they’re sitting on the remote can, of course, be comedic. However, the reality expressed by women online afterwards depicted a different kind of frantic behaviour. When it comes to sports, unfortunately, domestic violence comes hand in hand as what’s been described as already a ‘day of dread’ for women was worsened if not initiated by TV advertisement. I suppose the ad did its job as it’s all anyone can talk about but I have yet to see Tubi or the people involved apologise or make any statement about the consequences of their marketing prank.
Most shocking, is how this comes so recently after the impeccable Women’s aid TV advertising ‘He’s Coming home’ which highlighted the impact sports have on women. When you are faced with statistics confirming how domestic violence rates increase, regardless of the actual outcome, it’s clear more needs to be done to soften the blow in any way we can – and that means not antagonising the audiences. Warwick’s very own business school researchers discovered that domestic abuse and violence increased by 47 per cent on days when England won a World Cup or European Championship game. Anna Trendl, a researcher at Warwick Business School, said: “It is important to recognise that for victims, domestic abuse does not occur once every two or four years following a football match. It is a lived experience of constant fear. Although there has been much debate about the legitimacy of domestic violence spikes which largely reduced ‘early research on the issue’ accounting women’s experiences to that of simple ‘feminine hysteria’ when it comes to the Superbowl and accountability, it’s evident via social media claims and conversation that this ‘hysteria’ was and continues to be very real and something the Tubi team should not have overlooked.
the world we live in doesn’t always allow for cleverness without consequence
Admittedly, yes, the advertising was ‘clever’ but unfortunately, the world we live in doesn’t always allow for cleverness without consequence. What’s disappointing is how a simple TV advertisement could ever cause such an impact, that a football game which holds un memories for so many growing up is the home of so much fear and dread for partners.
When you’re trying to sell something, it’s not the best port of call to isolate and impact so severely half of your market, who I’m sure all really want to watch Mr and Mrs Smith. Incredibly, the person supposedly responsible was a woman themselves, although not all women have experienced physical abuse from people within their homes, it’s incredibly naive to have made such an advertisement when women’s safety, and sports included, has been a prominent conversation and activist topic in recent years with protests and social media advocacy groups. During an interview with AdWeek, Nicole Parlapiano (Tubi’s Chief Marketing Officer) stated how “We can’t be forgettable in this moment”. Well, I think you succeeded as for millions of domestic abuse victims, the Tubi ad will never be forgettable.