On February 6th, 2016, during Black History Month and one day before her Super Bowl halftime show performance, Beyoncé dropped the song and video for “Formation” on her YouTube channel and on Tidal, Jay-Z’s streaming service. The song's lyrics are characterized by Beyoncé reframing stereotypes traditionally used in a derogatory way towards African-Americans into empowering statements which celebrate Blackness. For instance, she states:
In this 2007 advertisement for the 2008 Cadillac GTS, actress Kate Walsh is driving the car through a modern city landscape. In a voice-over, she describes the various luxury features of the GTS, but says that the most important feature is, "When you turn your car on, does it return the favor?" and then speeds off into the night. Walsh is most known for her roles on the ABC medical drama Grey's Anatomy and its spin-off, Private Practice, which centers on her character, Dr. Addison Montgomery, a world-class neonatal surgeon.
Keeping Up with the Kardashians is a reality television show that first premiered on E! in 2007. It centers around the upper-class lives of the four Kardashian siblings, their mom and extended family. The show has been critiqued primarily for a “superficial focus” on famous people who “doing nothing but be famous”. In this clip, Kim Kardashian is set up by her sister and mother, who suspect she is addicted to shopping. They challenge her to come to the mall with them and not buy anything, and ultimately they catch her sneaking off to try on clothes. Although the show is shot to appear candid, it is unclear how much of the show and its storylines are staged.
"The L Word," created by Ilene Chaiken, aired on Showtime from 2004 to 2009. Set in West Hollywood, a prominent gay community in Los Angeles, the show traces the fictional lives and loves of middle class, hip and trendy lesbians in the contemporary age. This opening sequence blends animation and live action footage to introduce the characters, all set to an upbeat song. The sequence starts with a woman waking up naked in her bed, and moves through images of the women going about their day, riding a motorcycle, jumping rope, singing on stage, tanning by the pool, shooting a video, talking on the phone, etc. It intersperses these images with figures of the women posing for the camera, and more intimate images of women kissing or interlacing fingers.
This Mercedes Benz commercial from 2007 features a young, attractive blond woman at a library. She is shown trying to place an order for fries, a burger and a milkshake from a relatively plainly dressed, brunette female librarian. The librarian says, “this is a library.” The blond woman looks around, then repeats her order in a whispered voice. The library scene then ends and the words “beauty is nothing without brains” flashes across the screen, followed by the image of a car, the Mercedes-Benz E-Klasse.