India's ongoing farmers' protest has drawn attention from the international media as well as well-known public figures from across the world. Now, the protest has gone "viral" after a group lending support to the agitation took out a Super Bowl ad on the farmers' protest.
For football fans in the US, the National Football League (NFL) championship game between the champions of the National and the American Football Conferences is one of the biggest events of the year. And each year, the Super Bowl advertisements are a sight to behold - as the biggest companies put forth their most expensive advertisements, often featuring major celebrities. Over the years, the Super Bowl commercials have become a cultural phenomenon by themselves. In 2021 however, the Super Bowl ads are making news headlines for a different reason.
"India take back the farm bills," reads the opening slide of the advertisement. The short clip features Mayor Jerry Dyer of California's Fresno, and names pop star and businesswoman Rihanna who sparked off the international discussion.
There are however some baffling aspects to the clip, beginning as it does by informing the audience that " hundreds of thousands of farmers have shut down access to the Punjabi capital. Calling it the "largest protest in history", the video also holds the Indian administration accountable for seven human rights violations - from cutting off internet access to "arresting journalists" and "beating protestors".
While the short clip does not provide much by way of context or details about the Indian protests, it has certainly become a talking point online. The clip has been shared and remarked upon by many international personalities who had previously lent their support for the protests.
While it remains unclear as to who made the clip, or who paid for the expensive advertisement slot, the clip was reportedly aired in states beyond California. Going by prices from previous years however, it is likely to have been an exceedingly expensive venture. Reports suggest that a 30-second ad slot can cost up to $5.5 million (in 2021).
A Twitter post by the Kisan Ekta Morcha indicates that the ad was the work of the Fresno City community. "Fresno City community put that ad during the Super Bowl. This is great work by community to aware people regarding Farmers Protest. Thank you Fresno Sikh Community," the tweet adds.