Come for the football, stay for the commercials.
The Super Bowl has become synonymous with ads through the years, with no shortage of commercials making into the annals of the TV hall of fame, whether it’s for their humor or emotion or technical innovation. This is no secret anymore, but the Super Bowl 55 ad space is going to be a bit different.
This year, some heavy hitters are passing on the opportunity to promote their product: Budweiser, Pepsi, Coca-Cola and Ford all are opting to not to air ads for their products for various reasons, but chiefly, because organizations are opting to spend money elsewhere, including sending money to ad agencies to help promote Americans receiving the coronavirus vaccine.
MORE: The 25 best Super Bowl commercials of all time, ranked
The money to spend on ad space during the Super Bowl has increased exponentially. The asking price for ad space this year is well over $5 million for a 30-second spot during Super Bowl hours, maximizing the amount of eyes on their product during one of the country’s biggest TV events of the year. Last year, over 102 million people tuned into the Chiefs win over the 49ers in Super Bowl 54.
So, to catch you up and show all your friends at the (virtual) water coolers, here are this year’s Super Bowl commercials:
Super Bowl commercials 2021
Tide ‘Jason Alexander Hoodie’
Believe it or not, Tide is back with its latest, pretty funny offering for the 2021 Super Bowl ad cycle: the Jason Alexander hoodie.
Interestingly enough — and definitely not a coincidence — the commercial features the theme from “The Greatest American Hero,” which was riffed on by Alexander’s George Costanza an iconic episode of “Seinfeld.” Time is a flat circle.
Chipotle, ‘Could a burrito change the world?’
The answer: Probably not, but Chipotle takes a deeper look at how their burrito could change the world.
Whether or not a burrito can change the world is up for debate, but what isn’t is how delicious they are. Mmm. Burritos.
Bud Light, ‘Legends’
While Budweiser is keeping the Clydesdales in the stable this year, they’ll be promoting other brands, including Bud Light.
In this teaser for a commercial — that’s right, a commercial for a commercial — Bud Light is teasing the return of many legendary But Light spokespeople, including Post Malone, the Bud Knight and the “Real Men of Genius” singer David Bickler. This should be legen(wait for it)dary.
Pringles, ‘Space Return’
Playing off of Pringles commercials past, this chip ad features the return to Earth of a couple of astronauts, only to discover that people are still finding new and intricate ways to stack the oblong chip.
Barbecue Pizza Pringles don’t sound too bad.
Mercari, ‘Unused Things’
Mercari, a mobile app designed to help you sell your unused goods, is here to remind you that you absolutely do not need Big Mouth Billy Bass on your man-cave wall anymore. It’s not 1999. Also, you may also want to sell your Playboy pinball machine. Your in-laws have always disproved.
Michelob Ultra, ‘Happy’
Oh, you thought you were going an entire Super Bowl Sunday without seeing someone from the Manning Family on your TV? How sorely wrong you are, friend.
In this Michelob Ultra ad (a brand owned by Anheuser-Busch), the narrator questions: What comes first, the winning or the happiness? (We know the answer to that. But good effort nonetheless.)
Bud Light, ‘Last Year’s Lemons’
When life gives you lemons, make Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade.
This ad reminds us of just how crappy 2020 was, with little references to some of the trends of the year taking center stage: at-home haircuts, disastrous airports and cardboard cutouts in empty Dodger Stadium all making appearances.
Vroom, ‘Dealership Pain’
Listen, buying a car is typically a very un-fun experience, and Vroom perfectly encapsulates that in their Super Bowl ad, with a dude being tortured in a dealership like a scene out of a James Bond movie.
“Do you expect me to lease?”
“No, Mr. Smith, I expect you … to buy.”