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In divisive political times, and days out from the Super Bowl, how should businesses position themselves?




A Best Buy customer looks at a display of flat panel televisions at a Best Buy store February 1, 2007 in San Francisco.
A Best Buy customer looks at a display of flat panel televisions at a Best Buy store February 1, 2007 in San Francisco.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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The Super Bowl is once again upon us and in addition to what is expected to be a high-octane football game, there’s also the annual Ad Bowl, where companies try to out-advertise one another for the unofficial title of best Super Bowl ad.

The tone that companies will be taking this year promises to be interesting, thanks to the current divisiveness of the American political climate. Budweiser is already previewing a Super Bowl ad that tells the story of Anheuser-Busch co-founder Adolphus Busch and his journey from Germany to America to brew his beer.

Budweiser 2017 Super Bowl Commercial | “Born The Hard Way”

Corona, made by Cerveceria Modelo in Mexico, is airing an ad calling for unity among people across North America, though it's not clear whether the ad will air during the Super Bowl.

Corona Ad "America Great Again"

With tens of millions watching across America and the world, it will be interesting to see whether more companies go political and risk being depressing and anxiety-inducing on a celebratory day or stay completely out of the fray and focus on the escapism we’ve come to expect from some companies’ super bowl ads.

How are businesses positioning themselves in the midst of divisive politics? What are the pros and cons of doing so? What risks are associated with going political?

Guests:

Rama Yelkur, Ph.D., dean of the School of Business at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY

Sasha Strauss, founder and managing editor at Innovation Protocol, a management consulting firm focused on brand marketing and a professor at UCLA & USC; he tweets @SashaStrauss