Super Bowl advertising is going to look a lot different this year
The big game, happening for the first time in history without many fans in the stadium, will feature spots with socially-distanced characters, and people staying home.
Why it matters: While some ads will try to be light, the gravity of the pandemic will still be felt.
- Mercari, an e-commerce platform, will run its first-ever Super Bowl ad featuring a couple sitting at home selling unused home goods on their phones.
- Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's will run a spot showing ways the outdoors can be a relief during the pandemic.
- Bud Light will show a spot for "Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade" that pokes fun at how chaotic 2020 was. "2020 was a lemon of a year," a character says.
A slew of first-time advertisers that have seen pandemic-related business gains will flood this years‘ airwaves.
- Robinhood, despite a rocky few weeks, will run an ad about democratizing trading.
- Chipotle will run an ad about ways burritos can change the world by bringing environmentally-friendly jobs to farmers.
- Vroom, an online car buying app, has an ad mentioning contact-free car delivery.
On the flip side, several automobile brands will be missing this year, as the pandemic has taken a particularly tough toll on their business.
Yes, but: For some classic advertisers, the sensitivity around advertising during a pandemic may draw too much attention, so they’re sitting it out.
- Budweiser, the sister brand of Bud Light, is giving up its iconic in-game Super Bowl airtime for the first time in 37 years, and will instead donate $1 million to the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative’s Vaccine Education Initiative.
- Coca-Cola, Hyundai and others will also sit out this year's big game and provide money for charity instead.
The Super Bowl has always been a moment for brands to make a statement, but increasingly, the game has become an opportunity for brands to talk more about their values than their products.
The big picture: With roughly 100 million households expected to tune into the event, the Super Bowl has been one of the most visible advertising opportunities every year.
- This year, ads are going for about $5.5 million for 30-second spots.