Super Bowl 55 is right around the corner, like clockwork every first Sunday of February. This year, the championship game will take place in the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. Football fans around the world will gather to watch the Kansas City Chiefs play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Super Bowl Sunday isn’t just about the championship game, however. It’s also known for its celebrity commercials, which have become a cultural phenomenon over the years. In fact, this event is advertising’s favorite day of the year. Since Super Bowl games fall under the most watched televised broadcasts, its ads follow the same category. Last year for Super Bowl 54, the average cost for a 30-second ad slot cost roughly $5 million. In that respect, these ads often become the face of worldwide recognition, public scrutiny, meme hype, and controversy.
Major brands like Doritos, Coca Cola, and Budweiser are repeat callers every year. Here are some of the ads to look out for, as well as the ones will sit the Super Bowl out this year.
CHEETOS x Shaggy, Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher: It Wasn’t Me
This Cheetos ad includes Shaggy’s classic hit, “It Wasn’t Me,” which is a melodic and surprisingly cheery song about infidelity. In the ad, celebrity couple Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher adorably have a cat-and-mouse chase over this delicious snack. They each voice some of the song’s lyrics, and so does Shaggy himself. Kunis is caught eating all the Cheetos, and Kutcher keeps asking her questions about it. The running gag is Kunis’ response to these ‘allegations’ as she coyly exclaims, “It wasn’t me.”
DORITOS x Matthew McConaughey: Flat Matthew
This ad starts off with famous actor Matthew McConaughey saying that he hasn’t been feeling like himself lately. A scene shows him brushing his teeth in the bathroom with his body looking 2-dimensional. This is when he also quips, “life used to feel…fuller.” He gets lost in coffee shops, his body keeps getting sucked in by his vacuum, and he can’t control his dog on their walks. Comedian Mindy Kaling and talk show host Jimmy Kimmel also make a cameo.
The light at the end of the tunnel appears when McConaughey approaches a vending machine filled entirely with…Doritos! As he takes a bite from a chip, it appears as if his body is starting to get back to normal. Once in full recovery, he pops out – but he remains trapped in the vending machine.
LOGITECH x Lil Nas X: Defy Logic
This Logitech ad features ‘Old Town Road’ rapper Lil Nas X, echoing a “we, the people” type of mantra. Promoting technology for creators, thinkers, makers, groundbreakers, streamers, and dreamers, this ad intends to capture the attention of all visionaries. He voices “we defy expectations, perceptions, and misconceptions. We defy what logic says we should look like, sound like, be like. We defy genres, algorithms, and entire industries.”
This part actually completely resonates with the rapper, as his first hit made waves when it first came out. ‘Old Town Road’ isn’t really tied to a genre, as it has a bit of country flair as well as trap. With that regard, the song faced backlash from traditional country artists who didn’t deem the song as ‘country material.’ He ends by saying that “to create the future, we must defy the logic of the past.”
UBER EATS x Wayne’s World & Cardi B: Shameless Manipulation
Uber Eats partnered with Wayne’s World (Michael Meyers and Dana Carvey) and rapper Cardi B for this hilarious commercial that doesn’t really have anything to do with Uber Eats. Set in Wayne’s parents’ basement, just like in the Wayne’s World film, we see Meyers and Carvey attempting to create a jingle for the ad.
With humor and irony, the two men go on about how they’d never manipulate us the way these other commercials do. As they say that, the screen shows milliseconds of an Uber Eats ad, as well as a short, slow-motion clip of Carvey’s hair being majestically blown. Then, they each hold their own look-alike babies on their laps as they say “that’s totally sad. Yeah, we’re better than that. We’d never shamelessly rely on a celebrity cameo, right Cardi B?” This is where the famous rapper comes in and yells, “Yeah! Eat local!” The ad reaches an end once the three stars jump on the latest trends, making Tik-Tok trend videos, and doing a metal-edition of an Uber Eats x Wayne’s World jingle.
SQUARESPACE x Dolly Parton: 5 to 9
Squarespace, a popular website building and hosting company, features country queen Dolly Parton in this ad. Parton’s famous ‘9-5’ song about hustling through the demands of a job is playfully recreated in the ad as ‘5-9.’ This is relevant to most people, who are now forced to work on their laptops from their homes, breaking the conventional ‘9-5’ standard. Also, by a simple title reversal for this song, it also indicates how the ‘quarantine effect’ has turned the world upside down. The ad ends by displaying their slogan on the screen, “Make your 5 to 9 full time.”
Super Bowl Newcomers
With the Super Bowl, it’s both in with the old AND in with the new. This portion is a little bit about some of the new advertisements that will hit your screen this Sunday. Food chain Chipotle, the food delivery app Doordash, and stock-trading app Robinhood make their first ad appearances this Sunday.
DoorDash claims to donate $1 to Sesame Workshop for each order that is made at the start of this Sunday. It wants to grow its brand and spread awareness of its support for local communities. DoorDash’s head of consumer marketing, David Bornoff, had some remarks about the company’s role this Sunday. “The essence of the spot is about optimism” Bornoff tells CBS. “Giving something back to our communities in hopes of brightening their days and building groundswell for our neighborhoods.” Chipotle took an environmental approach to their ad, with its focus on agriculture and responsible food sourcing.
Thanks to a PR crisis revealing Robinhood’s efforts in prohibiting purchases of Gamestop and other companies, Robinhood has had a rough few weeks lately. We talked about it here, if you missed it. After its Gamestop disaster which led to a plunge in both value and ratings, the company relied on a Hail Mary: making a Super Bowl ad.
With Robinhood being new to the Super Bowl ad game, it might very well be the most anticipated commercial this year. Many viewers expect the company to have a mea culpa ad – to share remarks, explanations, or apologies for what went down.
Tony Calcao, executive director of an ad company called CP+B, tells CNN “An effective apology ad addresses the elephant in the room. If you want to get those customers back, you had better acknowledge that you screwed up.” However, the company decided to take a different approach with their message. Instead, Robinhood’s slogan is about how we make investments daily, and how we are all born investors in its ad, “We are all investors.” Did Robinhood zig when it should have zagged?
Brands Who Sat This Super Bowl Out
Coca Cola, Budweiser, and Pepsi are some of the biggest repeat companies known for their iconic Super Bowl ads. This year, however, they have decided to direct their money elsewhere. Big decisions were made to accommodate for the unprecedented times that are still our current reality.
Anheuser-Busch, the ad company responsible for Budweiser commercials, says it will donate money to coronavirus vaccination awareness efforts this year. In a statement to CBS News, the company remarked, “Later this year, Budweiser hopes to support recovery on-premise at bars and restaurants by accelerating COVID recovery so people can reunite again.”
On the same topic of the pandemic, Coca Cola was also already severely affected. Social distancing guidelines forced movie theaters and stadiums to shut down, and these locations are known to sell this brand at a high price. With that being said, Coca Cola aims to “invest in the right resources during these unprecedented times” rather than feature their traditional ad. PepsiCo will still be advertising Mountain Dew and some Frito-Lay products. However, it won’t be running its usual Pepsi ad, for the same reasons as Coca Cola and Budweiser.
Where To Stream The Game
If you’re looking for some ways to watch the game from home, then look no further. You can stream the Super Bowl 55 on CBS and ESPN Deportes. As far as apps go, there’s the NFL app, CBS Sports app, and the Yahoo Sports app. If you want to tune in through audio only, there’s Gamepass, SiriusXM, Westwood One, and Entravision.