Advertising rates for NFL’s Super Bowl LV are set at a whopping US$5.6 million for 30 seconds.
With the ads featuring a variety of well-paid performers, it is hard to put a final figure on cost and value, but the 30-second videos get a lot of publicity for the companies being promoted.
And an estimated 100 million viewers watch the Super Bowl broadcast annually.The Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9 in Tampa, Florida, to give Tom Brady his seventh Super Bowl title in a final played before a crowd of humans and cardboard cut-outs.
Back to the advertisements, the best and funniest, that are a cash cow for the NFL.
Arguably the best commercial was Cadillac’s clip starring Timothée Chalamet as Edward Scissorhands’ son, with Winona Ryder, 30 years after she and Johnny Depp starred in the film. The ad was for the automaker’s new all-electric SUV.
Want to see more #Scissorhands? Watch the full version of our #BigGame commercial for the #LYRIQ https://t.co/YHYvxx3Mid pic.twitter.com/ojzUMFILOf
— Cadillac (@Cadillac) February 8, 2021
Jeep had a two-minute ad in the second half of the game starring music legend Bruce Springsteen. The rock singer’s own 1980 Jeep CJ-5 features in the commercial, which focuses on common ground, connection and bridging the political divide. “It’s no secret the middle has been a hard place to get to lately,” he narrates. “We need the middle. We just have to remember the very soil we stand on is common ground so we can get there.”
In contrast with Jeep, M&M’s had a much lighter take on the “come together” message. A bag of M&M’s is the perfect apology for mansplaining, calling someone a “Karen,” having a gender reveal party accident and other contemporary faux pas. Dan Levy of Schitt’s Creek fame apologises to the M&M anthropomorphic characters that are Super Bowl mainstays and says he promises not to “eat any more of your friends.”
Will Ferrell, Awkwafina and Kenan Thompson were paid by GM to go on a madcap cross-country dash to promote the brand’s Ultium battery.The trio attempt to travel all the way to Norway, the capital of electric vehicles, but Ferrell ends up in Sweden and the other two end up in Finland.
GM: Really great premise and solid casting with Akwafina, Will Ferrell and Kenan Thompson. Took one little fun fact—Norway sells more EVs than America—and turned it into a mini-sketch that felt on-brand for the talent in the spot.#BigGameReviews pic.twitter.com/dzzOy7hUKn
— Adweek (@Adweek) February 8, 2021
There was a welcome sign of more diversity and without question, Amazon’s Alexa ad was right up there. When a woman says she can’t imagine the Alexa device looking any better, she then sees an image of Black Panther star Michael B Jordan’s picture on the side of a bus. She retreats into her imagination and Alexa becomes a husband’s worst nightmare.
Most brands used household names on their Super Bowl ads but Swedish oat-milk manufacturer Oatly used its CEO. “Wow, wow, no cow,” sang CEO Toni Petersson, as he played a keyboard in a field of grain.
The bizarre song received mixed reactions on social media, which appears to be the point. Moments after it aired, the company started promoting a T-shirt featuring the words, ‘I totally hated that Oatly commercial.’
If you just watched our CEO sing in an oat field on the big game, we can’t give you back those 30 seconds but we can give you a free t-shirt that lets the world know where you stand on our attempt to promote Toni’s singing skills to a wider audience. https://t.co/5s9EoK2ALW pic.twitter.com/XDcxPckvys
— OatlyUS (@OatlyUS) February 8, 2021
DoorDash was one of more than 20 first-time Super Bowl advertisers this year. It used Sesame Street’s Muppets to convey the message that DoorDash can deliver goods from local stores, not just restaurants. Hamilton actor Daveed Diggs gave a peppy version of the children’s song ‘People in Your Neighborhood’ that morphed into a rap.
“It’s a nice example of how an ad can blend entertainment for different generations and product messaging effectively,” Kim Whitler, marketing professor at the University of Virginia, told AP News.
Uber Eats was another first-timer and used celebrities from different generations – rap artist Cardi B and Wayne World’s Mike Myers and Dana Carvey, the stars behind Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar. It’s a fun way to spend a lot of money and has drawn more than 11 million hits on YouTube.
An ad that caught a lot of interest was Doritos 3D, which saw a flat-Stanley like Matthew McConaughey looking to find something that will make him live in 3D. It also featured The Office star Mindy Kaling and late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel.
Smartphone-based stock market investment service Robinhood bought its Super Bowl spot in December after a successful year, unaware that it was about to make global headlines. Robinhood users were among the small investors who shocked Wall Street last month. A social media frenzy briefly pushed up shares of troubled video-game retailer GameStop by 1,600 per cent at the expense of hedge funds that were betting it would lose value. The stock frenzy also brought customer backlash to Robinhood and scrutiny from Congress and regulators after the company restricted some types of trades in response to the overwhelming volume.
Verizon targeted gamers with its Super Bowl ad on Sunday. The spot featured a CGI version of actor Samuel L Jackson taunting player avatars for blaming their video game losses on lagging internet. The ad introducedVerizon 5G Ultra Wideband and ends with a reference to Jackson’s movie Deep Blue Sea as an avatar of football player Juju Smith-Schuster rides a massive shark that eats Jackson whole.
The other companies to pay for an ad were: Disney Plus Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Pringles, Bud Light, Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade, Michelob Ultra, Chipotle, Mountain Dew, Dexcom, Indeed, State Farm, Scotts, Skechers, WeatherTech, Rocket Mortgage, Huggies, Toyota, E*Trade, Hellman’s, TurboTax, Mercari, Tide, Dr. Squatch, Vroom.com, Jimmy Johns, T-Mobile, Paramount, AT&T Fiber, Reddit, T-Mobile, MicroBan 24, Fiverr, Cheetos, WeatherTech, SquareSpace, Klarna, Bass Pro Shops and GuaranteedRate.
Mountain Dew offered a US$1 million prize in their ad which featured John Cena. The first person who could tweet the correct number of bottles of Mountain Dew Major Melon used in the ad.