A look at the commercials of Super Bowl LV

Did you know some people watch the big game for the game and not the ads? Weirdos, right?

Stock photo of a television
Stock photo of a television (WDIV)

DETROIT – The average price for a 30 second commercial to air during the Super Bowl costs roughly $6 million -- roughly the same price it cost to film the movie “Pulp Fiction” in 1994.

That $6 million price tag does not include the price of producing the commercial, it’s only how much it costs to reserve half a minute of airtime.

Due to the increasingly high costs, marketing departments bring out the big-guns each year. After all, more than 100 million people in the United States tune in to watch the Super Bowl every year.

Some Super Bowl commercials have gone down in history, such as the “1984″ commercial made by filmmaker Ridley Scott that introduced the Apple Macintosh in 1983, Chrysler’s “Born of Fire” spot with Eminem in 2011, that one Doritos commercial where a woman launches a baby with a slingshot (yes, seriously) or the more subtle (and much more iconic) promotion in 1987 where Disney paid $75,000 each to Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway and New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms so the winning quarterback would excitedly reply “I’m going to Disney World!” after the game.

It cost Disney $150,000 to create a cultural staple and tradition that continues to this day.

Wayne’s World returns for Uber Eats

“2020 was a great year... not!

Uber Eats reunites SNL favorites Mike Myers and Dana Carvey in their iconic roles as Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar (respectively). Things must have been rough for the two, as they are still broadcasting out of Wayne’s mother’s basement, which seems unchanged. What has changed is Wayne’s stance on commercial advertising.

“Contract or no, I will not bow to any sponsor,” Wayne said back in one of the best scenes of 1992′s film adaptation.


Bud Light’s own Justice League-styled ensemble

“Bud Light Legends, lets do this!”

Bud Light is huge. Like, however big you think the beer is, it’s larger. According to statista.com, Bud Light is the most popular beer for Super Bowl Sunday, taking up more than 12% of the total beer consumed. Budweiser comes in second with nearly 9%.

With more than a third of all beer drank on Super Bowl Sunday being Anheuser-Busch products, the company has a long legacy of commercials to pull from for this year’s “Avengers” styled crossover piece. The commercial features iconic Bud Light commercial stars such as the Bud Knight, that one guy from the “Oceans 11″ movies who commits identity theft for Bud Light, Post Malone, those fishing guys and even a cardboard cutout from a commercial that had a stadium filled with cardboard cutouts last year because that was a comical idea and not some kind of Anheuser-Busch premonition of things to come. Together, they help clean up a truck that has lost its cargo of Bud Light.


Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade makes a cliche literal

“2020 was a lemon of a year.”

At one point, this Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade’s features cardboard cutouts sitting in an otherwise empty stadium, not as a joke, but because that was a thing that actually happened.

The commercial leans into the “When life gives you lemons,” cliche and puts its own spin on it by showing 2020 metaphorically attacking everything with real lemons.


Michelob ULTRA wants you to be happy

“What if happiness has always been there?”

This spot asks if success creates happiness or does happiness creates success? A much-more grounded spot than its seltzer lemonade storm predecessor, the commercial ends with the message “It’s only worth it if you enjoy it.”

The commercial features several massive athletic stars, with Serena Williams, Anthony Davis, Brooks Koepka and Peyton Manning involved.


Michelob ULTRA Organic Seltzer: ‘Real is better’

“Sometimes, you just want a hard seltzer.”

Anheuser-Busch brings more cameos to its Michelob ULTRA Organic Seltzer spot than it did for Bud Light Legends. Or at least, that’s what they want you to think.

The commercial has a series of celebrity lookalikes appearing to promote the seltzer and then has Don Cheadle actually promote it.

It’s a weird one.


Beer: It’s an apology, or it’s support, or it’s about community or something

“It’s never just about beer,”

Anheuser-Busch made its first Super Bowl ad focusing on the beer giant as a whole, rather than focusing on an individual brand or product.

The commercial features people in unfortunate circumstances -- like being fired or being snowed in -- and with people reaching out and bonding by having a beer together.

“It’s about that simple human truth: We need each other.”

The commercial also features many people drinking while on the job.

Anheuser-Busch will forego promoting Budweiser this year, with the money reserved for its Super Bowl ad donated to coronavirus vaccine awareness efforts.


This hooded sweatshirt has feelings and you should feel bad

“You need to wash the Jason Alexander hoodie.”

How can a company promote a product that removes visible dirt and invisible dirt? Something that looks clean might not actually be clean.

To promote its new Hygienic Clean Heavy Duty pods, Tide introduces the most relatable person in any of the commercials so far: a hoodie with Jason Alexander’s face that is just not having a good time.

One thing is clear: I want that shirt.


Worker’s anthem reworked for Squarespace

“Working 5-9, you’ve got passion and a vision!”

Dolly Parton’s 1980 hit song “9 to 5″ was written for the movie of the same name, starring Parton, Jane Fonda and Detroit-native Lily Tomlin. The movie’s marketing called the film “a tribute to anyone who has been overworked, underpaid and pushed to the edge.”

The song became a smash hit and has been used as an anthem by labor unions, civil rights movements and those pushing for economic reform ever since.

It’s now been updated to celebrate those who make a website for their hobby in their downtime.


Alexa is hot now

“It’s just flawless, isn’t it?”

According to Pew Research, more than half of Americans who own a smart speaker are concerned about the data collected by their smart devices. How can you make consumers more trusting of such a device? It’s clear -- make it a total smokeshow.

In this ad for Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa, an Amazon worker fantasizes about putting Alexa inside award-winning actor and People magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive in 2020, Michael B. Jordan.

It’s unclear how Microsoft’s Cortana or Apple’s Siri would compete with this if it was a real product and I’m pretty sure that escalation is how the “Terminator” movies started, right?


Sam Adams put the horses before the cart

“(unintelligible screams of fear)”

For those who are worried that since there won’t be a Budweiser spot, there might not be Clydesdales, worry no more. Sam Adams has you covered.

The first 10 seconds feature the majestic Scottish breed in all its glory. The following 20 seconds are pure, unbridled chaos. It’s a sobering look at how the nature and urban civilization are at ends with each other and will inevitably -- I’m just kidding, this one rocks.

Sam Adams ponied up for this spot to promote its new Wicked Hazy IPA.


M&M’s Come Together

“I feel bad for kicking your seat on purpose.”

M&M’S can make any situation better. In this spot, the candy is used as an apology or olive branch in an effort to unite everyone.

Dan Levi apologizes to the M&M’S themselves for eating them. They don’t respond positively to the apology.

In the universe that the M&M’S commercials exist in, the M&M’S are conscious, intelligent beings capable of communication and fear. It’s weird that they’d be used to barter goodwill as a means of making amends, right?

We’re lucky we live in the version of reality where they’re only capable of having chocolate and maybe some kind of nut on the inside instead of a soul.


Cheating by eating Cheetos

“Did you steal my Cheetos again?”

This minute-long spot from Cheetos updates the 2000 song “It Wasn’t Me” by Shaggy featuring Rikrok to be about eating Cheetos rather than hiding infidelity.

Featuring Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher and Shaggy, it promotes Cheetos Crunch Pop Mix by showing a world in which Cheetos dust is way way cleaner and less of an issue.


Flatthew McConaughey for Doritos

“Lately, I just haven’t been feeling quite like myself.”

Doritos snagged Academy Award winner Matthew McConaughey for this spot.

In addition to 2D McConaughey, the commercial also features Jimmy Kimmel and Mindy Kaling to promote Doritos 3D.

McConaughey has a major problem and the only solution, like most problems, is Doritos.


GM: No Way, Norway

“I won’t stand for it!”

GM has launched a big campaign for its electric vehicle lineup, planning 30 EVs by 2025, and electrifying their logo.

The new Super Bowl ad features Ferrell, Kenan Thompson and Awkwafina traveling to Norway, sort of, after finding out they are selling more EVs than the U.S.


‘Twas the Night Before Super Bowl

“Can I play? I brought the chips!”

This spot brings together an ensemble of Super Bowl legends. Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Troy Aikman, Terry Bradshaw, Jerome Bettis, Deion Sanders and Marshawn Lynch all make appearances in this Frito-Lay commercial.

The Manning boys have matching pajamas and it is delightful. Wardrobe didn’t need to be supplied because they were pajamas they actually owned.

“It was kind of embarrassing that Peyton and I had matching pajamas,” Eli Manning told People Magazine.

Delightful.


John Travolta can still dance

“He’s still got it!”

Scotts & Miracle-Gro has finally answered the question we’ve all been wondering: How would you feel if John Travolta did a TikTok meme?

And the answer is “Fine, I guess.”

The commercial also features Martha Stewart, Carl Weathers, Leslie David Baker and Kyle Busch to promote the Dream Lawn and Garden Giveaway, in which 42 winners will receive $15,000 and consultation with a lawn and garden expert.


Don’t run with scissors, but you can drive safely with Scissorhands

“Go ahead, try it.”

Timothée Chalamet stars in this Cadillac LYRIQ commercial as Edgar, the son of Edward Scissorhands, and Winona Ryder reprises her role as Kim Boggs.

For some reason, Scissorhands are genetic.

The commercial shows off the Cadillac Super Cruise function, in which the vehicle offers hands-free driving (on compatible roads).

The fine print on this commercial urges customers to never use a hand-held device while using Super Cruise. It’s unclear if Scissorhands count.

Also the idea of driving with Scissorhands is one of the most anxiety-filled things I could ever imagine.


A look at the businesses on “Sesame Street”

‘They’re the people that you meet each day’

The iconic characters of “Sesame Street” learn about the various businesses that can deliver goods and services through DoorDash through a song that’s too catchy for its own good.

...an eight foot tall bird hast to be carnivorous, right? Does anyone know what happened to Bruno the Trashman?


Tracy Morgan, Dave Bautista and Liza Koshy are pretty sure

“I’m pretty sure these hornets aren’t the murdering type.”

Tracy Morgan, Dave Bautista and Liza Koshy break down the difference between “pretty sure” and “certain” for Rocket Mortgage.

The company partnered Highdive, the same agency it partnered with last year for the commercial where Jason Momoa unwinds by taking off his muscles like clothing.


Drake from State Farm

“That makes sense.”

Being one of the worlds top-selling music artists of all time, has moved to his next challenge: insurance.

Well, kind of. Drake from State Farm doesn’t have the same job clearance as Jake from State Farm.

Paul Rudd also shows up for two seconds.


Fiverr reminds us about Four Seasons Total Landscaping

“Success is often right place, right time.”

At the time of this commercial’s airing, it had been exactly three months to the day since the Four Seasons Total Landscaping press conference.

The commercial features Four Seasons Total Landscaping owner Marie Siravo talking about how to build a successful business as she drives a tiny Tesla Cybertruck through what very well could be a Roger Moore-era James Bond villain lair.

Opportunity knocked and Siravo eagerly answered the door.


Mountain Dew wants you to count every bottle for $1 million

“Hi, I’m John Cena and I know how to count.”

PepsiCo may have made what will be the most watched commercial of the entire game.

The commercial promotes MTN DEW Major Melon, a new watermelon flavor of Mountain Dew.

Viewers are asked to count the number of bottles in the commercial and the first person to tweet the correct number will win $1 million.

Viewers get three tries to submit an answer.


Jeep encourages Americans to unite, forgets to include the U.P.

“We will cross this divide, our light has always found its way through the darkness”

Bruce Springsteen narrates and stars in this two-minute spot from Jeep that calls on Americans to come together and mend the rifts that have polarized the country.

The commercial ends with the tagline “To The ReUnited States of America” over a map of the United States that doesn’t have a Michigan Upper Peninsula.

I guess those 320,000 people aren’t invited to meet in the middle.

What’s even more egregious is that the commercial was made by a Michigan-based advertising company.

Jeep also tweeted out a photo of the map, mangled-mitten and all.


M. Night Shyamalan’s next movie is called “Old”

The trailer doesn’t give away much but it seems to be about a beach that causes people to age.

But, like, faster than normal. Not the way that sitting on a beach would age you if you didn’t have sunscreen or something.


Marvel’s “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier” trailer

There hasn’t been a movie in Disney’s MCU since July 2019. That wasn’t supposed to happen.

Disney had released a trailer for “Black Widow” during the 2020 Super Bowl. It was supposed to come out in May 2020. It now has a tentative May 2021 date.

Outside of “WandaVision,” “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier” might be the only MCU content fans get for a long while if that May 2021 date doesn’t hold for “Black Widow.”


“Fast & Furious 9″ is still coming out

The 10th film in the “Fast and Furious” franchise was another 2020 summer blockbuster delayed by the COVID pandemic.

The franchise has made nearly $6 billion worldwide and there’s no signs of it slowing down anytime soon.

There is a shot in the trailer of Helen Mirren laughing as she performs a stunt during a car chase and it has earned my ticket.


This story will be updated and expanded as the game goes on and more commercials air.


About the Author:

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.