In addition to the matchup between the NFL's best two football teams, one of the most anticipated aspects of the Super Bowl each year is the commercials, which have been known to be some of the best and most expensive.
The Fox Sports Network, which controls which ads get approved to run during the big game, tries their best to keep overly political messages from getting through. Sometimes that even includes forcing companies to edit ads that have political overtones that the group considers over the line.
However, one company, German auto maker Audi, did get approval to run a political ad during the game.
The one-minute ad focused on the alleged pay disparity between men and women in the United States. In a tweet promoting the ad, Audi said, "Women are still paid 21% less than men. As a brand that believes in progress, we are committed to equal pay for equal work. #DriveProgress."
The ad features a young girl racing a group of boys in a downhill soap box car derby. During the race, despite starting last, the girl finds her way to the front by out-maneuvering her competitors, who are all boys. At the end of the race, the girl is able to narrowly win the race.
During the ad, the narrator says:
What will I tell my daughter? Do I tell her that her grandpa is worth more than her grandma? That her dad is worth more than her mom? Do I tell her that despite her education or drive or skills or her intelligence, she will automatically be valued as less than every man she ever meets?
Or maybe, I'll be able to tell her something different.
The ads ends with copy that reads, "Audi of America is committed to equal pay for equal work. Progress is for everyone."
The ad, quite controversial given its assessment of the American workforce, was quickly questioned and denounced by many on Twitter.
Many apolitical experts argue that the gender wage gap is a myth and, instead, contend that a "gender earnings gap" exists due to the career paths and choices women make in the workplace and in life.
Harvard economics professor Claudia Goldin, who served as the president of the American Economics Association, explained last year that the vast majority of scholarly studies show that women and men typically earn the same right out of high school, college or graduate school. But it's the choices that men and women make in the years that follow that contributes to the differences in pay. She also explained that men favor competition in the workplace, which makes them work harder and longer, while most women tend to focus on having kids and raising a family later in life, which takes their focus away from their career.
According to CNN, women even make more than men in some industries, including: social work, fashion merchandising, research, social media work, communications and many parts of the health care industry.
Still, many Democrats and progressives, including former President Barack Obama, like to point out that women only make 77 or 78 on the dollar compared to men, despite data showing that not to be the case.
Further, paying women less than men for the same is illegal, which one person pointed out to Audi on Twitter:
That's when Audi took the bait and responded, proving that the gender discriminatory pay gap really doesn't exist, saying, "When we account for all the various factors that go into pay, women at Audi are on par with their male counterparts."
As one Twitter user put it, "Hi @Audi, Thank you for debunking the pseudo economic feminist gender pay gap so eloquently."
— Harry Khachatrian (@Harry1T6) February 4, 2017
In addition, Twitchy points out that, despite their political messaging, of Audi's 14 American executives, only two are women while the other 12 are men. Further, only one of the executives is not white.