Super Bowl 2021 Commercials: Here are the ads that were leaked
Advertising has always been a high-stakes activity, with brands spending millions just on 30 seconds of airtime to get their message across to more than 100 million viewers. But the stakes are even higher in 2021 after a bruised year that included a pandemic, economic crisis, racial justice demonstrations and an attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Some longtime advertisers areof this year’s Super Bowl LV, including veteran players like Coke and Pepsi. Marketing experts point out that advertisers who will appear in the game may have to walk a fine line with their brand message, with Derek Rucker, economics professor at Northwestern University describing the situation as “icebergs in the water”.
“When you go to the Super Bowl, you’re talking to an audience of 100 million or more – you need to make sure you’re not conveying an unintended message that you won’t run into an iceberg along the way,” he said. “There is some concern on the advertiser side – I think they are right to be careful.”
A memorable Super Bowl ad can be worth far more than investing in airtime, which this year is $ 5.5 million for a 30-second commercial. Advertisers with a memorable commercial can stand out from the crowd and help attract customers and build goodwill – like Apple’s famous “1984” ad that helped it in the early PC wars.
But a badly executed Super Bowl commercial can devastate a company, as did the Just for Feet advertisement in 1999, in which white hunters chase, drug and forge shoes on a barefoot Kenyan runner .
“What you saw and what the brand intended are two different things,” Rucker said of Super Bowl ads that misfired. “As a brand, you have to think about the big picture and how consumers might react to it.”
CBS (the parent company of CBS Interactive and CBS MoneyWatch) will air the game on Sunday, February 7th at 6:30 p.m. ET. The network said late last month that ad inventory was “practically sold out,” with some newbies buying ad space while regulars like Coke sit out.
Despite the risks, the championship game remains a great opportunity for companies to grab viewers’ attention, noted Deb Gabor, CEO of Sol Marketing, a brand strategy consultancy. She pointed to Chipotle, which is running its first Super Bowl ad this year.
“You have had a damn positive year behind you,” remarked Gabor. “They were moving towards a model that was geared towards convenience and had a Chipotle app long before the pandemic – they were well positioned for the changing world.”
The ad’s message focuses on green agriculture and ties in with Chipotle’s responsibly sourcing marketing efforts – and Gabor said such “green marketing” is likely to be an issue given mounting concerns about climate change and the environment that scores with many consumers.
Chipotle | Can a burrito change the world? from Chipotle Mexican Grill on YouTube
Another newcomer to the Super Bowl this year is DoorDash, which also saw a boom this year amid the pandemic. As restaurants restrict or sometimes close indoor eating and consumers are concerned about the risk of virus exposure from eating out, millions more consumers turned to delivery apps like DoorDash to order groceries.
While DoorDash didn’t officially pre-release the Super Bowl ad, it does offer a sneak peek through teasers showing Sesame Street characters like Cookie Monster (who, of course, devours cookies ordered from DoorDash) and Super Grover. The teasers appear to be a nod to the pandemic – like Super Grover ordering paper towels – and aim to highlight “local heroes” like small businesses and delivery workers.
DoorDash said it plans to build on its growing brand awareness by earning a spot in the Super Bowl, and also tie the ad to its five-year pledge of $ 200 million to support traders, its workers and the local community. The company said it will donate $ 1 to Sesame Workshop for every order placed on or after Super Bowl Sunday, with the total amount donated at $ 1 million.
“The spotlight is about optimism – giving back to our communities in the hopes of brightening their days and creating good soil for our neighborhoods,” David Bornoff, director of consumer marketing at DoorDash, told CBS MoneyWatch.
“DoorDash is a great example of a newcomer who makes a lot of sense to be in the Super Bowl – they’ve seen a lot of growth over the past year,” noted Rucker.
The stock trading app Robinhood, meanwhile, is also running its first Super Bowl ad, following turbulent weeks when it restricted trading in GameStop and other stocks after some of its users raised stock prices to stratospheric heights. followed by a.
We are all investors | Robinhood: 30 from Robinhood on YouTube
Many customers were upset with Robinhood for limiting their ability to trade the stocks. The Super Bowl advertisement with the message “We’re all investors” could be a way for Robinhood to rebuild its image after a backlash that includes a Congressional investigation into the so-called “meme stocks” mania now infamous with Robinhood is connected.
Another newcomer this year is healthcare company Dexcom, which is airing a spot with pop star Nick Jonas calling for better technology for people with diabetes. Jonas, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as a child, highlights the company’s portable glucose monitor.
Official Dexcom Big Game commercial 2021 with Nick Jonas from Dexcom on YouTube
Bud Light is taking a more direct approach to recognizing the pandemic with its ad for Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade, which uses the lemon metaphor for last year’s crisis. The age-old message of the new brand: If life gives you lemons, make lemonade out of them.
The ad shows people at weddings, parties and other events when lemons rain from the sky – in cases that injure people and damage buildings and cars. It’s meant to be a humorous metaphor for 2020, but it also risks an approach that may not seem hilarious to some viewers amid a deadly pandemic.
Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade – Super Bowl LV – Lemons of the last year from Bud Light on YouTube
“Some silly 18- to 24-year-old men will find this ridiculous and laugh at it,” Gabor predicted. “As a 52-year-old woman, I didn’t find that appealing at all.”
Bud Light parent Anheuser-Busch, meanwhile, is aiming for an emotional corporate pitch that will remind people of the casual moments of compassion and camaraderie that have all but disappeared in the pandemic – having a beer with colleagues, in quiet moments with friends reminisce and share a joke.
Let’s have a beer | Anheuser-Busch Super Bowl LV Advertisement | : 90 from Anheuser-Busch on YouTube
“The insight comes straight from real life as so many people just long to be with their friends and family again,” said Marcel Marcondes, CMO of Anheuser-Busch, in a statement.
Another ad that recalls the lost moments of the pandemic and the appreciation of time with others is a spot by brewer Stella Artois, in which singer Lenny Kravitz can be seen. “We want to inspire everyone to hedge their bets together when they are together,” said Lara Krug, Vice President of Marketing at Stella Artois, in a statement.
Stella Artois | Heartbeat Billionaire from Stella Artois on YouTube
Procter & Gamble’s Dawn and Swiffer brands are broadcasting an ad highlighting the heavier household chores many people, especially women, are doing during the pandemic. Your commercial urges families to share housework more equitably and urges people to “fill the housework void”.
Come Clean to Close the Chore Gap by Dawn Dish Soap on YouTube
“The ‘safe’ approach”
Other advertisers go a more traditional way of delivering humorous spots that aren’t related to the pandemic, the environment, or any other crisis – unlike dirty laundry and stolen snacks.
“Whenever there is something going on in the world, you often see the ‘safe’ approach,” remarked Rucker. “Advertisers say, ‘We’re doing something funny that’s evergreen – unless we’re really missing out, no one is going to hate us.'”
Take Cheetos. In his Super Bowl LV commercial, actor Ashton Kutcher asks his wife, actress Mila Kunis, if she’s seen his bag of Cheetos. Despite her orange fingers and face, she denies being the thief, while Shaggy’s “It Wasn’t Me” provides the soundtrack.
Cheetos | It wasn’t me SUPER BOWL LV OFFICIAL VIDEO from Cheetos on YouTube
Another more traditional ad comes from Tide, in which a mother tells her teenage son to wash his “Jason Alexander Hoodie,” which is embossed with actor Jason Alexander’s face. The teenager insists that the hoodie is clean, but a series of flashbacks with the sweatshirt’s many unhappy facial expressions show that it is far from flawless.
Tides | The Jason Alexander Hoodie | Super Bowl 55 commercial from Tide on YouTube
Pringles is another brand that aims for proven humor. The spot called “Space Return” shows people so busy stacking their Pringles chips that Mission Control misses the return of two astronauts to Earth.
Pringles | 2021 Flavor Stacking Space Return Ad (official) from Pringles US on YouTube
Oikos is promoting its high-protein yogurt product Oikos PRO with a humorous spot with NFL stars like Saquon Barkley and American Ninja Warrior competitor Angela Gargano, who make their “ugly faces” and push themselves athletically.
Oikos Pro #PROFACE: 30s from OikosYogurt on YouTube
Bud Light, meanwhile, will have a second ad that avoids the pandemic but also targets humor, with a spot in which Post Malone, Cedric the Entertainer and the Bud Knight work together to save a shipment of Bud Light beer.
Bud Light Legends – Super Bowl LV commercial from Bud Light on YouTube
The startup Dr. Squatch wants to convince men with its tongue-in-cheek ad on the subject of men’s grooming, in which comedian James Schrader talks about the shortcomings of normal men’s soap and why natural grooming products unlock the essence of masculinity.
Dr. Squatch Super Bowl LV Commercial 2021 by Dr. Squatch on YouTube
“Most brands try to play it a bit lightly and optimistically without polarizing or dividing,” said Gabor.