The 2021 Super Bowl is upon us, which means a myriad of big-budget, high-profile commercials to air between gameplay.
This year, the competition for best and worst Super Bowl commercial is unlike anything before, with regular staples such as Pepsi, Coca-Cola and Budweiser sitting this game out, sleepers such as Squarespace, Pringles and Chipotle have come out swinging for the fences.
For such highly coveted ad space, estimated to be $5.5 million for 30 seconds of time in front of the massive Super Bowl Sunday audience, 2021 will see a few high points as well as some startling low points for the price. Even before the big game, some companies have already released the ads that they plan to run during the big game.
To help future generations keep track of what to do and what not to do when crafting such a big-budget ad, below is a rundown of some of the best and worst Super Bowl 2021 commercials that have come out so far:
Leaning on the star power of real-life married couple Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis, the popular snack food company also enlisted the help of singer Shaggy to help the duo with a cover of his hit song “It Wasn’t Me.” As Kunis uses the jam to avoid getting in the hot seat for eating her husband’s food.
The commercial gets high marks for executing a toe-tapper that’s sure to have viewers humming along to the song and craving Cheetos even after the commercial ends.
Former “Saturday Night Live” dynamic duo Mike Meyers and Dana Carvey reunite as their iconic “Wayne’s World” characters to help Uber Eats get people ready to snack for the big game.
The duo reprises their roles from inside Wayne’s basement to discuss how much 2020 was a bummer of a year thanks to the coronavirus while dancing around the legalities of using the term “Super Bowl.” The resulting commercial is a mainline dose of nostalgia aimed right at diehard “SNL” fans’ hearts.
It’s hard to go wrong with your commercial if you lean on reliably crowd-pleasing Dolly Parton. The website-building service is dropping an ad titled “5 to 9,” flipping the script on the singer’s iconic song “9 to 5” about working-class people.
The commercial encourages viewers to follow their passions in their off time by building a website that can turn their hobby into the thing that replaces their regular 9 to 5 job. With an inspiring message and the legendary singer’s vocals, this is an easy addition to the best of 2021 list.
Everyone’s favorite home assistant is getting an upgrade and Amazon is choosing to get people excited about it by showcasing a fake upgrade.
When a woman sees the innovative new product, she can’t help but wonder what would be a better form for it to take. She quickly lands on this year’s People’s Sexiest Man Alive, Michael B. Jordan. The commercial sees her going about her day-to-day while lusting after her robotic new eye-candy around her house — much to the dismay of her husband.
The spot is hilarious and utilizes its celebrity quite well.
Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade
The brand makes hilarious use of the age-old phrase “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”
People stand around an outdoor gathering lamenting the rough year that’s behind us all. As they recollect what happened in 2020, they’re reminded of the deluge of lemons people were given in order to make this year’s lemonade.
People literally look up at the sky as lemons begin pegging them in the face and wreaking havoc on weddings, sporting events, work life and more.
Scotts and Miracle-Gro
One positive thing about Super Bowl commercials is seeing A-List celebrities lend themselves to advertisements they would otherwise be too good for. However, unlike Michael B. Jordan and the boys of “Wayne’s World,” Scotts and Miracle-Gro found a way to pack the most celebrities into any commercial so far without utilizing them well in any way.
Sure it’s fun to see John Travolta doing the dance from “Grease” and “The Office” star Leslie David Baker being grumpy, but it ultimately amounts to a bland ad that doesn’t successfully market the product or remain memorable.
Utilizing neither comedy nor star power wasn’t the right move for Chipotle in 2021. The commercial sees a child muse to his sister about the idea of a burrito changing the world as the camera takes the viewer on a journey of farmland in America picking the fresh ingredients that make up a typical Chipotle burrito.
While the food looks tasty, it’s unclear exactly what the commercial is advertising other than fresh ingredients. It doesn’t draw the connection between sustainable, organic farming and stopping into your local Chipotle that it seems to think it does.
Another commercial that looks to lean on nostalgia, Michelob Ultra takes viewers on a journey through sports history showing some legendary athletes smiling intercut with the occasional modern athlete enjoying a beer. The ad is well done and the message is somewhat inspiring, but it’s far from the memorable commercial that the Super Bowl demands.
Lenny Kravitz teams with the popular beer brand for an animated musical spot that introduces the world to the concept of a “heartbeat billionaire.”
Based on the notion that a human being is born, “with 2.5 billion heartbeats,” Kravits encourages viewers to invest those billions in people and experiences. If that sounds vague and a bit like it doesn’t hold water, that’ because it doesn’t really. However, the animation and music are solid, they’re just packaged in a commercial that doesn’t quite know what it wants to say.
This commercial knows its audience, bringing in a slew of former NFL players such as Eli and Peyton Manning to do small sketches as Marshawn Lynch narrates the poem “‘Twas the Night Before Super Bowl.”
While it’s fun to see some sports celebrities participate in a funny commercial, the spot clocks in at almost 2 minutes, putting it on the longer side of some Super Bowl commercials. The length only allows the viewer to ask the important questions like, why is there a Christmas-themed commercial happening at a game that’s notoriously set in February?