On Sunday, a Super Bowl commercial for Squarespace will present a reimagining of Dolly Parton’s hit, newly titled, “5 to 9.”
As NBC News notes, this marks Parton’s first Super Bowl ad. The outlet writes, “Rather than paying homage to the spirit of the original song, which made no bones about the exploitative nature of the daily grind, the commercial for Squarespace features a tinny ode to the side hustle. Its office workers are portrayed as being overjoyed to continue working after hours, their side hustles are painted as freeing, fun and fulfilling, and the song itself encourages them to ‘be your own boss, climb your own ladder.'”
The commercial was directed by La La Land’s Damien Chazelle.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Commercial Is Receiving Criticism
Even though the commercial has yet to air on national television, 5 to 9 has received criticism from a number of outlets. Slate wrote that while “on the surface, nothing about this ad is that deep,” it is very, “off-key” given the times.
They write, “The commercial will air and the world will move on, but the fact remains that Parton—an artist deservedly lauded as one of the most skillful, altruistic, and generous performers of all time—diminished one of the most potent, and beloved, messages behind her own work while dressing it up as a tribute. And while the new lyrics are clever, the old ones feel far more in step with what many are living through as they file for unemployment in record numbers, turn their kitchens into bakeries, their cars into cabs, their homes into hotels that stay unbooked and empty: It’s enough to drive you crazy if you let it.”
In a separate article, the New York Times wrote that the remake isn’t “quite as empowering as the original.”
The New York Times goes on to acknowledge that women have been disproportionately affected in the midst of a global recession and that working mothers are “coming apart at the seams.”
Speaking to the outlet, Marianne Cooper, a sociologist at Stanford, shared, “That ad speaks to a demographic that I’m not actually sure exists right now in the pandemic. It’s great to hustle to achieve your dreams. It’s another if you have to hustle just to get by.”
‘What Do 100 Million People Want and Need After the Gauntlet of 2020? Hope.’
In the ad, Parton’s lyrics have been tweaked to align with the arguably modernized commercial:
“Working 5 to 9, making something of your own now,
And it feels so fine to build a business from your know-how.
Gonna move ahead, and there’s nothing that you can’t do—
When you listen to that little voice inside you.”
When Muse by Clio spoke to Squarespace’s vice president, Ben Hughes, he discussed the intent behind the spot.
“Super Bowl advertising is as mass as it gets, so it forces you to think broader than your usual audience. What do 100 million people want and need after the gauntlet of 2020? Hope. Optimism. Something transportive. This ad is a modern version of a classic movie musical. It’s a spectacle, but one that’s anchored by a message anyone can relate to: You deserve to follow your dreams and be happy.”
He added, “Studies have shown that more than 50 percent of Americans feel disengaged from their jobs, which is not great considering how much time we spend working. One solution that more people are considering is entrepreneurship. But rather than treating it as an all-or-nothing proposition, they’re looking at it as something you gradually transition into over time.”
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