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.
MORE: How much does a Super Bowl commercial cost in 2021?
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.
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:
MORE: The 25 best Super Bowl commercials of all time, ranked
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 in 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 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, the company will 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 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.”
Stella Artois, ‘Heartbeat Billionaire’
The luxury beer brand (if there is such a thing) dives into the Super Bowl ad space this year with Grammy-award winning musician Lenny Kravitz and his hit song “It Ain’t Over (Til It’s Over).”
At just 30 seconds, it’s palatable, which is about 40 bpm of those 2.5 billion heartbeats. Spend them wisely.
Squarespace, ‘5 to 9’
Make your side hustle your main hustle — that’s what website-builder Squarespace and Dolly Parton want you to know.
In a re-recording of her hit song “9 to 5,” the music icon belts out a bit of motivation for folks to make their hobby their gig, in a colorful song-and-dance number in this ad.
Ford, ‘Finish Strong’
Slicing off a nice bit of American pie, Ford sends a message with their minute-long ad ahead of Super Bowl 55: Don’t get tired of the pandemic, and finish strong.
Featuring bull-riding, mask-wearing barbershop visits and medical personnel, the commercial provides motivation for America to stay strong in the face of adversity. What’s more ‘Murrica than that?
State Farm, ‘Game Plan’ teaser
You’ve heard of the Patrick Price and the Rodgers Rate, but State Farm is ready to introduce a whole-new alliteration-based discount this coming Sunday.
In a teaser for a blockbuster commercial coming your way this Sunday, State Farm is calling its shot with Jake and his khakis booking a massive guest for the spot.
Oikos Pro, ‘#GAMEFACE’
If you haven’t seen the inside of a gym in nearly a year now because of, well, everything that’s going on, Oikos has you covered.
Featuring really ugly weight-lifting faces of a few star athletes (and SpongeBob Squarepants), the yogurt company is here to make sure you get your protein in.
Skechers, ‘The Romos to the Max’
If you ever wanted a deeper look into the life and times of one Tony Romo, then Skechers has you overed.
Featuring Candice Crawford and her husband Romo, the funny ad gives you a peek into the Romo household, featuring a gigantic bed, a sandwich as tall as a skyscraper and a monster truck. Who doesn’t love monster trucks?
Indeed, ‘The Rising’
Whether you’re young or old, searching for a job can be daunting. Indeed’s debut Super Bowl ad tugs at the heartstrings of all those looking for employment, in a warm and emotional ad ahead of Super Bowl 55:
General Motors, ‘No Way Norway’
What do you get when you add Will Ferrell, Kenan Thompson and Awkwafina together in a commercial? Hilarity — and messed up directions to European nations.
In this ad, the trio of comedians team up to take the fight to Norway for their propensity to sell electric vehicles.
Dawn and Swiffer, ‘Come Clean to Close the Chore Gap’
In Proctor & Gamble’s dual ad this year, they want viewers to do what they can to help each other keep your place clean. And no, emptying the dish washer does not count as a chore accomplished.
Jimmy John’s, ‘Meet the King’
The sandwich stop wants you to meat — er, meet — the king of cold cuts, Tony Bolognavich, who has dominated the lunch industry for, apparently, some time now. Now, he has to worry about the rise of Jimmy John’s, which is invading his turf — and kitchen.
Klarna, ‘The Four Quarter-Sized Cowboys’
Don’t have enough at the moment to put down on those new cowboy boots? No bother. Klarna and Maya Rudolph (four of her) are here to let you know that you don’t need all the cash up front to make that purchase. Also, Payment No. 4 bringing an exceptional amount of soul to the performance.