The Superbowl’s commercials are almost as highly anticipated as the game itself. This year, Budweiser  ran an ad focussed around the journey of a one of its founders from Ireland to the United States. One of the greatest myths provided in the advertisement is when the immigrant’s visa is stamped, as the clerk states “Welcome to America!” The mythology here includes both the object to be decoded, the visa, and the ideology to be analyzed. The visa itself is a representation of the legal way in which Americans are supposed to enter this country. Why this object is misrepresented in this video is the fact that in 1857, when this ancestor made his journey to America, there were not many distinctions between illegal and legal immigration procedures for Europeans. Thus, an ad that is implicitly supporting and ideology of legal immigration, uses an object that has false historical ties. Sandoval speaks to this point, explaining that in semiotics “Instead, the image and its (historically and materially situated) meanings are appropriated—to signify (unashamedly) something else.” In this example, the immigration card, which at the time was meant mostly to document citizens, is being appropriated in order to shame immigrants today who do not come through the system legally. The man (Busch), after going through much hardship and struggle, meets whom we know will become his business partner (Anheuser). This commercial then feeds into the stereotypical American Dream, that any immigrant who comes here legally can become incredibly successful. This immigrant becomes dispossessed of his previous histories, such as the struggles he faced in Ireland in order to feel the need to emigrate, and the intense discrimination that he faced in America, as he becomes transformed into what Sandoval describes as a “gesture;” “an index that points toward another concept and a new history,” which in this case, is the pursuit of the American Dream through legal immigration.


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