Superbowl ads are fun to watch, but they can also give us a window into public opinion. Corporate America is of course very tuned to public attitudes and unlikely to run messages that upset their core buyers.
With that in mind, I was heartened that Kia ran an ad during Sunday’s game that seemed to accept the science of climate change. The bit comes at the end, when comedic actress Melissa McCarthy tries to “save the polar ice caps”:
Granted the ad doesn’t make clear the connection between human activity and melting ice caps, but even just acknowledging the problem for a mass audience is encouraging.
Meanwhile, another ad related to climate change indicates that Toyota is definitely all-in on it’s plans for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, as an alternative to petroleum-fueled vehicles:
As I’ve blogged before, I think these passenger vehicles and the hydrogen fueling infrastructure needed to power them are basically a waste of money. Sales figures are incredibly weak and dwarfed by battery electric vehicle sales, and it’s an energy inefficient way for people to get around.
But the investment in airing a Superbowl ad shows Toyota is serious. We’ll see how the sales figures shape up as a result. But in the meantime it’s at least another reminder for a mass audience that technologies exist to solve the climate problem Melissa McCarthy was trying to address. Only with hopefully a less painful result.