Domestic violence awareness campaign No More just made waves again at one of the biggest sporting events of the year. Despite the fact that the majority of Twitter was more than happy to critique random companies for their seemingly insensitive big game spots, this domestic violence Super Bowl ad was more important (and more appropriate) than the rest. Created to bring attention to the realities of domestic violence and the importance of talking about the issue publicly, "Text Talk" created an important, uncomfortable reprieve from the lighthearted product spots in the best way possible.
Crafted to look like an ongoing text conversation between two friends, the ad opens with one woman messaging "Jess" to invite her to a Super Bowl party. "Millie is PUMPED!" the woman texts, posting a photo of her cat in a tiny football jersey. "Cute," Jess replies.
From there, the conversation devolves into a series of awkward sidesteps, with Jess maintaining that she can't make it to the party because of her significant other. "Plenty of game left — R u sure you can't make it?" the first woman asks.
"Don't think it's a good idea," Jess replies, before adding, "Jake is in one of his moods... I should prob not go out." When Jess' friend pushes her on the subject ("Again? Are you okay?" she texts), Jess chooses not to reply, leaving an open-ended, gray "typing" notification blinking on the screen.
The ad was a stark reminder of the fact that domestic violence is often underrepresented in public conversations, or hidden from view by victims who feel too embarrassed to talk about their situation or whose family and friends don't notice the warning signs. It's not the first ad No More has crafted for the big game either, with 2015's impressive 30-second "phone call" spot still lingering in the back of everyone's minds. Given how many domestic violence accusations and charges the NFL sees each year among its players — seemingly with very little change year to year, despite increased efforts to stamp out the problem — tonight's follow-up message was especially important.
While it's totally okay if you loved those frolicking dachshunds or singing sheep, No More's "Text Talk" ad should be the one you take away from the most this Super Bowl weekend.