In between Tom Brady collecting his seventh championship ring and The Weeknd’s euphoric vocals echoing around Raymond James Stadium, the country watched from home consuming the most expensive advertisements of the year. Between the media professionals and the average football watchers, it can be assumed many people had the same question on their minds, “how did the pandemic affect this year’s advertisements?”
The advertisements to this watcher did not seem to be that different than those of years prior. If you look at it with the lens of COVID-19 and social distancing, many adverts did show shots of only small groups of people or focused on one person-centric shots. Many of the ads portrayed a life outside of the pandemic and a sense of the old “normal” whereas some focused on moving on from the year 2020. From Cardi B making a guest appearance on Wayne’s World with Wayne and Garth focusing on the importance of local restaurants for Uber Eats to Dolly Parton remaking one of her iconic songs for Squarespace’s “5 to 9” advert focusing on the new world of work.
With many different celebrity cameos from Timothee Chalamet, Tracy Morgan, Daveed Diggs and more, it was apparent many companies were trying to shine a cheerful light on the year to come. Things to celebrate in spite of the year prior, and things to look forward to as the audience is still at the beginning of the new year. While that may have been the overarching theme there was an absence of some kind of the known names in advertising for this year’s big game.
“According to The Associated Press, a 30-second spot in this year's broadcast costs $5.5 million. After a down economic year due to the coronavirus pandemic, some brands — including Coke and Pepsi — are not producing Super Bowl commercials,” ESPN said.
One of the most familiar big names on the night of the Super Bowl gone missing being Budweiser. The company said a statement to CBS News that instead of spending money on an advertisement this year, the company would be providing relief funding to bars and restaurants that took a financial hit in the pandemic.
"Later this year, Budweiser hopes to support recovery on-premise at bars and restaurants by accelerating COVID recovery so people can reunite again," the statement read. If you missed your chance to catch some of these Super Bowl advertisements check out out the video below to view some of this year's football advert highlights.