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DJ Super Bowl LV: See the Ads Released So Far

· 02/05/2021 07:00
By Nat Ives

The Super Bowl commercials marketers have released before the game this year make only a few allusions to the pandemic that upended the globe since the last National Football League Championship.

Far more often, the advertisements give viewers scenes of a world without masks, social distancing or Zoom fatigue.

Here are many of the 2021 Super Bowl commercials, arranged loosely by theme.

Pandemic ads

Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade

"Last Year's Lemons" depicts everything that was bad about 2020 as a year-long hailstorm of lemons -- useful as a segue to introduce the new lemonade flavor of Bud Light Seltzer.

Scotts Miracle-Gro

"Ah, the backyard -- it's had quite a year," a man says at the beginning of this commercial for Scotts Miracle-Gro Co., one of several Super Bowl advertisers that did well during the pandemic's lockdowns. "I say let's keep this backyard thing going."

Oblique references

Anheuser-Busch

Anheuser-Busch Cos. flagship and Super Bowl mainstay Budweiser didn't get its own ad in the game this year, saying it would put the money toward Covid-19 vaccine awareness. A-B's first corporate Super Bowl commercial doesn't bring up any of that, but it does present scenes of people sharing a beer in hard times.

M&M's

Mars Inc. brand M&M's might be winking at the divisions in the U.S. with these vignettes of reconciliation, including a woman's apology for calling someone "Karen," in an ad titled "Come Together."

Uber Eats

Uber Eats, the online food-delivery service owned by Uber Technologies Inc., bought its first Super Bowl ad following a surge in business during 2020. The ad makes no specific reference to that fact, but urges viewers to "Eat Local," part of a broader program to help restaurants hurt during the pandemic.

Alternate realities

Robinhood

The first Super Bowl ad from Robinhood Markets Inc. ignores the reason the online brokerage was in the news around the world before the game: its leading part in the GameStop Corp. stock-trading frenzy.

Squarespace

Dolly Parton rewrites her classic song "9 to 5" for this ad from website platform Squarespace Inc. Almost as striking is the ad's start in a bland office full of people at their desks -- something many office workers haven't seen in person since the pandemic began.

Nostalgia trips

Bud Light

Perennial Super Bowl advertiser Bud Light is back in the ad roster but instead of rolling out new comedic characters, the Anheuser-Busch brand brings a case full of past hits.

Cheetos

Frito-Lay, a unit of PepsiCo Inc., turns Shaggy's 2000 hit "It Wasn't Me" into a new story of domestic suspicion, starring married couple Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher, accompanied by a wry Shaggy.

Saving the world

Chipotle

The debut Super Bowl commercial from Chipotle plays up the chain's sustainability efforts.

General Motors

General Motors Co. goes to the Super Bowl to make sure nobody misses its commitment to electric vehicles. Actor and comedian Will Ferrell delivers the message, aided by Kenan Thompson and Awkwafina, with the nation of Norway as the foil.

Celebrities (and friends)

Doritos

Frito-Lay's ad for Doritos 3D Crunch stars a two-dimensional Matthew McConaughey -- "Flat Matthew" -- with cameos by Mindy Kaling and Jimmy Kimmel.

Michelob Ultra

Michelob Ultra brings (mostly) celebrity lookalikes to its Super Bowl ad, "All-Star Cast."

Tide

Jason Alexander from "Seinfeld" provides the distressed faces on a hard-used sweatshirt in the latest Super Bowl ad from Procter & Gamble Co.'s Tide.

Celebrities (sports edition)

Frito-Lay

Previous Super Bowl stars including Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Deion Sanders, Joe Montana and Jerry Rice excitedly eat Frito-Lay snacks in an ad narrated by running back Marshawn Lynch.

Michelob Ultra

Michelob Ultra uses champions kicking back when they are not in competition to argue that winning can't be the only thing.

Skechers

Former quarterback Tony Romo and his wife Candice Crawford take things further for shoe marketer Skechers USA Inc.

Offbeat

Dr. Squatch

In an unusual Super Bowl appearance for a direct-to-consumer marketer, personal-care brand Dr. Squatch Inc. brings the jokey vibe of its YouTube videos to TV screens.

Jimmy John's

The so-called Chicken Sandwich Wars get all the attention in fast food; Inspire Brands Inc.'s Jimmy John's tries to shift the focus to a new "sandwich war."

Technology and e-commerce

Amazon

Michael B. Jordan stars as Alexa's perfect vessel, at least for one Amazon.com Inc. employee.

DexCom

DexCom Inc. delivers one the most explicitly health-focused ads of the Super Bowl with this rant by musician Nick Jonas about finger sticks for people with diabetes, and promoting DexCom's alternative.

Klarna

Maya Rudolph stars as a quartet of quarter-sized cowboys to illustrate Klarna Bank AB's buy-now, pay-later service, which splits purchases into four smaller payments.

Logitech

Lil Nas X helps computer peripherals maker Logitech International SA pitch its products as tools for artists and activists.

Mercari

The Mercari Inc. online marketplace announces itself in straightforward fashion; an unwanted popcorn popper finds a new home.

Vroom

Online car seller Vroom Inc. channels horror movies to make traditional dealerships look scary.

Inspirational

Toyota

Olympic sponsor Toyota Motor Corp. tells the story of 13-time Paralympic gold medalist Jessica Long.

Indeed

"The Rising" continues the long history of job-search sites in the Super Bowl, although Indeed Inc.'s debut big-game ad skips the humor of predecessors like Monster.com.

WeatherTech

WeatherTech Direct LLC, a Super Bowl regular that makes car floor-mats and other auto accessories, returns with two ads emphasizing its U.S. manufacturing.

Space

Pringles

Astronauts suffer when people get distracted combining Pringles flavors in "Space Return," the latest entry from the Kellogg Co. brand.

Shift4 Payments

Shift4 Payments LLC, a payments technology platform, offers Super Bowl viewers a chance to join a planned trip to space. But it isn't the first or even second Super Bowl advertiser to promise such a thing: Super Bowl commercials for Axe body spray and auto maker Volvo made similar pitches in previous years. In both cases, the brands eventually wound up giving their contest winners money instead of the ride on a rocket.

Taxes

TurboTax

The Internal Revenue Service may have delayed Tax Day last year because of the pandemic, but taxes never really go away. So Intuit Inc.'s TurboTax returns to the game, promising expertise in the minutiae.

Write to Nat Ives at nat.ives@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 05, 2021 07:00 ET (12:00 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.