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The Super Bowl in addition to being a national treasure of a sports fest provides some of the hottest advertising ‘real-estate’ available if you are a business owner. But, In a murky mid-covid landscape, leading brands competing for the spotlight had to really get creative this year. Pepsi and Coke the halftime show sponsors adapted their usual spiel in response to the pandemic we are hardly going to share a Coke these days. As Amanda Kooser said over at cnet there was no shortage of ingenuity. Some opting for humor as laughter is great medicine and others going for an uplifting or heartwarming approach. There was plenty of entertainment alongside the NFL action between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs. With a tonne of unexpected cameos that kept us on our toes too, Paul Rudd, Aaron Rodgers, Tony Romo, and Maya Rudolph to name but a few.

We’ve prepared a round-up of some of the best and the most uplifting ads from this year’s Super Bowl. We’ve also prepared a compilation of some of the best car ads, including some top-flight celebrity appearances. 

T-Mobile

T-mobile gave us a giggle with a Super Bowl ad set around the premise of a bad cell connection. In it, we saw Adam Levine set up Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton as a result of their dodgy signal. Being as they are a real-life couple the humor was in great spirit. You also get some sweet vocal chops as a little bonus extra.

Huggies

Huggies have it pretty easy when it comes to showing off their diapers, the format rarely needs more of a brainstorm than ‘cute kids’ period to work. This year they tugged a few heartstrings by adding brand new-footage last minute to their pre-recorded Super Bowl ad. The footage was welcoming brand new babies born that very day Feb.7.2021.

Uber Eats

Uber eats chose to build its brand hype with a nostalgic throwback ad. In a homage to Saturday Night Live, they cast Mike Myers and Dana Carvey from the 90’s show Wayne’s World to revisit their slacker-characters. As you might expect there was an immediate breaking of the fourth-wall for advertising purposes typical of the basement public-access show. Encouraging viewers to support eating locally via Uber Eats with an official seal of approval in the form of Cardi B.

Fiverr

For the Superbowl this year Fiverr released an extended version of its big-game commercial. Centered around the Fours Seasons Total Landscaping company that was launched into notoriety following a now-infamous 2020 Trump press conference. 

Rocket Mortgage

Rocket Mortgage went for straight-up comedy, choosing Tracy Morgan to deliver a series of totally random cut-scene misadventures. We saw murder hornets and Dave Bautista bare-knuckle boxing. All while in the pursuit of trying to determine whether one is “pretty sure” or “certain”.

DoorDash

DoorDash found a great balance focused on the strong community messages we were raised on with Sesame Show on our T.V’s. The company took neighborhood themes and booked actor/rapper Daveed Diggs alongside the much-loved muppet cast for some musical persuasion to get customers to support local deliveries.

State Farm

NFL stars Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes were cast alongside their hilarious cameo ‘doppelgangers’ in this great State Farm insurance ad. The NFL pair moan about how little their stand-ins look like them whilst long-time mascot “Jake from State Farm” has no stand-in until we are hit with a somewhat cheesy but self-deprecating bit of banter from singer Drake.

Chipotle

Do you think a burrito can change the world? With this unusual question, a restaurant chain Chipotle arrived at the Super Bowl this year. Chipotle seems to think so.

Inspiration4

Inspiration4 is a new name on the scene. The all-civilian-centered SpaceX Dragon mission that could launch in the fall is partnered with St. Judes Children’s research and Shift4Shop. The ad directed by Bryce Dallas Howard bore some eerie similarities with Marvel’s up and coming Fantastic Four so much so some were questioning on Twitter whether it was a deep fake. The ad is in fact a genuine advertisement for a SpaceX raffle giving ordinary civilians the chance to go to space.

Guinness

Guinness stuck to Superbowl themes with their ad with legendary NFL player Joe Montana giving a calm pandemic-inspired pep talk to us all. It was artistically cut with memorable footage of his glory days for good-measure.

Dawn and Swiffer

During the pandemic times an issue of chore inequality at home, when one person is responsible of doing more housework than another has gained even more importance. Procter & Gamble chose to address this serious issue with an ad connected to its Come Clean to Close the Chore Gap campaign. Skechers

In a commercial for cushioned Skechers shoes Dallas Cowboys’ great and current broadcasting star Tony Romo and his wife, Candice Romo, give their feet a break. The ad is filled in with visual gags, from a monster truck to giant sandwiches.

Dr. Squatch

Dr. Squatch was already well-known for their viral marketing success. This year, a men’s hygiene company steps into the Super Bowl with a humorous ad encouraging gentlemen to get clean (and let their daughters braid their hair).

Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s

Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s stuck with a more serious tone. At a time when most of us are feeling restricted or confined, they portrayed outdoor activities and soaring views to encourage us all to get some fresh air albeit while socially distancing ourselves. Scenes were pitted nicely with a gentle piano track to complement the imagery.

Anheuser-Busch

Anheuser-Busch downplayed its usual Budweiser brand presence debuting its first company ad instead. They opted for a cinematic approach directed by David Fincher (Gone Girl and Fight Club) Who kept it simple with a near-heart-wrenching reminder of our pre-covid lives. People in good company drinking beer, what more did it need?

Klarna

Saturday Night Live star Maya Rudolph made an appearance in a western-themed ad from shopping app Klarna. 4 Maya Rudolphs sang a choral rendition of ‘These Boots’ before purchasing said boots in an instant.

Samuel Adams

Samuel Admas took a clever dig at Budweiser featuring the Clydesdale horses breaking loose to wreak havoc. The ad only aired regionally being a little brazen as it was but funny none-the-less. Viewers in New York and Boston were treated to the tongue-in-cheek chaos.

Indeed

Indeed was another newbie to debut a Super Bowl ad. Featuring a cover of Andra Day’s Rise Up sung by rising TikTok star Christian Shelton. The ad reflected the rollercoaster of emotions that go hand in hand with a job search. 

Michelob Ultra Organic Seltzer

Michelob challenged viewers to spot the ‘organic’ celebrity among a sea of celebrity doppelgangers in their Super Bowl slot. With Don Cheadle the star among the fakes calling his lookalike out and kicking him off of his boat.

Jimmy John’s

Jimmy Johns still has their full-blown Super Bowl ad up their sleeve but they did grace us with an extended teaser. In a classic mobster inspired ad we see a territory war begin between two competing sandwich shops. Brad Garrett features as the “King of Cold Cuts”  and the sandwich war is on.

Scotts and Miracle-Gro

Scotts went for a star-studded cast leaning heavily on celebrity power to help shift its Miracle-Gro plant fertilizer. The ad, definitely aimed at the recent growth in millennial gardeners featured plenty of names enjoying their outdoor spaces. From Emma Lovewell working out to Martha Stewart in her veggie patch, there are plenty of familiar faces but none more enjoyable than John Travolta dancing TikTok challenge style with his daughter Ella.

Bud Light

The Bud Light Super Bowl ad gatherer all of it’ previous marketing campaign favorites for a joint effort in saving a truck full of beer together. It featured the Bud Light Knight and Cedric the Entertainer and was a bit of a walk down memory lane for those who were watching the heroes try to help out with the overturned truck.

Frito-Lay

We saw a long list of Super Bowl stars, feature in Frito-Lays rendition of A visit from St. Nicholas. Fans enjoyed former Seattle Seahawk Marshawn Lynch narrating the rewritten classic reimagined as ‘Twas the Night Before Super Bowl. The Manning brothers, Jerry Rice, Troy Aikman, Terry Bradshaw, Jerome Bettis, and Deion Sanders all had an appearance in the ad that ran before the coin toss. 

Squarespace

There was also an extended version from Squarespace featuring Dolly Parton’s reworked version of 9 to 5 ‘5 to 9’. The ad simply showcases a bunch of skilled entrepreneurs working their side gigs after their regular mundane working day is done. Perfect for the brand and modern times.  We also get a satisfying shot of a landscaper’s giant topiary squirrel whilst viewers are encouraged to make their part-time hobbies a full-time dream come true.

Amazon

Throughout the years Amazon has put out quite a few different Alexa devices and all of them had different looks. This year’s Super Bowl ad from Amazon asks the question, “What would be the ideal body for Alexa?” The answer is Michael B. Jordan, star of Black Panther and Creed. 

Doritos

Who didn’t want to see a 2D version of Matthew McConaughey bowled over by a football? Next, the poor soul gets into trouble with a robot vacuum before a bag of Doritos 3D chips restores him and brings safety.

Cheetos

Mila Kunis is almost caught red-handed, well orange-fingered at least after Ashton Kutcher accuses her of eating his Cheetos Crunchy Pop Mix. In a silly musical-mash-up ad from Cheetos. Shaggy is also in the mix.

Logitech

Logitech had a powerful ad to highlight the important part technology plays in the creative processes of artists. Given the arts have suffered during the pandemic it was a nice shout-out to those with a creative-side to unleash. The ad saw music star Lil Nas X among a selection of digital artists, photographers, and music-makers defying the logic of the past to cross boundaries towards the future.

Pringles

Pringles took us out of this world with an imaginative space-inspired story about lost astronauts. Turns out mission control was too busy stacking chips to rescue them.

Tide

Tide laundry detergent may just take home the crown for the strangest advert. The ad starred Jason Alexander’s face on a dirty hoodie. They then explored some pretty surreal ways to get it clean again. Yes, really!

Anheuser-Busch

As we mentioned Anheuser-Busch gave some airtime to Bud Light and Michelob as well as its first corporate commercial. This turned out to be an enlightening look at its community efforts. Their usual in-game Budweiser air-time forgone, they chose instead to donate the funds toward public awareness and education for COVID-19 vaccination efforts. 

Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade

On the subject of Anheuser-Busch, they went for a fun-spin on how rubbish 2020 has been for the majority of us with their Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade, slot. They showcased their low-calorie beer in an advert loaded with last year’s lemons.

Michelob Ultra 

Peyton Manning and Serena Williams among other sports stars made a brief cameo in this thought-provoking Michelob Ultra pitch. The ad asked us about whether happiness is the end-goal or a vital part of the journey and sacrifice of working towards the win. Set to a chilled mash-up of Lou Reed’s Walk on the Wild Side with a dash of Can I Kick it echoing the brand’s‘ nature of happiness’ theme.

Stella Artois

In the Stella Artois ad musician Lenny Kravitz stepped up with an introspective message tackling the idea that humans get around 2.5 billion heartbeats in a lifetime.

Coors Light

Honorable mention: Although Coors Light didn’t actually run a Super Bowl ad we give them a mention because they instead launched their Big Game Commercial of Your Dreams campaign. The idea being, to encourage their demographic to dream about their beer.  Armed with the help of a psychologist they developed a dream-inducing video for viewing on Feb 3. Could it possibly trigger Coors Light dreams?

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