The Best (& Most Expensive!) Commercials Of The Year!
Super Bowl LV may be over, but we're still analyzing the commercials! Our agency eagerly awaited the high priced ads that feature celebrities and other big names on TV’s most expensive night, but not as many people got to see them live this year. Compared to 2020, viewership dipped to 96.4 million, with a cost of $5.5 million for a :30 second ad, and CPM of $57.05 – versus $54.90 for 2020’s Super Bowl.
Last year, brands paid a record $5.6 million for a 30 second spot. Although the cost did not rise for 2021, the $5.6 million does not include the high price tag of celebrity cameos, famous directors, or a longer 45-second or one-minute ad. In this blog, Hollywood Branded dives into the 25 brands that used celebrities to enhance their 2021 Super Bowl LV Commercials.
Cadillac: Timothée Chalamet, Winona Ryder
Cadillac brings back the 90's with Edward Scissorhands. Timothée Chalamet stars as Edward Scissorhand's son alongside Winona Ryder, who reprises her role as Kim.
Agency: Leo Burnett
General Motors: Will Ferrell
Will Ferrell stars in General Motors’ commercial along side Keenan Thomson and Awkwafina to promote electric vehicles. In the ad, Ferrell is disappointed that the US is behind Norway in electric vehicle rankings, and attempts to “crush those lugers” with the help of Thomson and Awkwafina. The commercial aims to market electric vehicles as fun, clean, and safe.
Agency: McCann Worldgroup
Jeep: Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen stars in Jeep’s 60 second spot, which takes place at US Center Chapel in Lebanon, Kansas. The ad aims to remind people that the hope and spirit of America lives within the land and we must remember that the soil we stand on is common ground.
Although a few big beverage brands such as Coke, Pepsi, and Budweiser are foregoing their spots this year (for the first time in two decades!), several stars made appearances across four beverage commercials. Pepsi won’t totally be on the sidelines, as they are sponsoring this year's halftime show.
Bud Light: Post Malone, Cedric the Entertainer
In their 60 second spot, Bud Light reunites characters from classic past commercials. The Bud Light Legends who save the day include Post Malone, Cedric the Entertainer, Dr. Galazkiewicz, the “Real Men of Genius” singer, and the “I love you man” guy.
Agency: Wieden + Kennedy
Michelob Ultra: Serena Williams, Peyton Manning, Anthony Davis, Brooks Koepka, Jimmy Butler, & Alex Morgan
Michelob Ultra partnered with the Environmental Media Association for sustainable protection as the first large-scale Super Bowl advertiser to do so. Their commercial poses the question “Are you happy because you win? Or do you win because you’re happy?” Throughout the commercial, famous athletes are seen sharing cold beers with their loved ones.
Agency: Wieden + Kennedy
Michelob Ultra Organic Seltzer: “All Star Cast”
Michelob Ultra promotes their new organic seltzer with cameos from a variety of “celebs” in their 60 second spot. However, things are not as they seem when actor Don Cheadle reveals that all the “stars” are look-alikes!
Agency: Foote, Cone & Belding (FCB)
Mountain Dew: John Cena
A game within the game. Put on your counting hats because Mtn Dew says it will give $1 million to the first viewer who can correctly guess the amount of bottles shown in their 30 second spot. Mountain Dew uses John Cena to promote their first new permanent flavor in ten years, Major Melon.
Agency: TBWA, Chiat, Day New York
Tide: Jason Alexander
Seinfeld’s Jason Alexander is the face of Tide’s one minute ad, literally. Alexander’s face is featured on a teenage boy’s hoodie as viewers look back at how dirty the sweatshirt really is. After seeing the journey of the hoodie, Tide’s new Hygienic Clean Heavy Duty 10x detergent is promoted, because it’s dirtier than it looks! This is Tide’s fourth appearance in the Super Bowl in the last five years.
Scotts Miracle-Gro: Martha Stewart, John Travolta, Leslie David Baker, Kyle Busch, Carl Weathers, Emma Lovewell
In their first ever Super Bowl appearance, Scotts Miracle-Gro is offering a promotion sweepstakes in which 42 people will win their dream lawn and garden. However, Martha Stewart ensures viewers that her garden will always be superior. Throughout the 45 second ad additional celebrities such as John Travolta and his daughter, Leslie David Baker (aka Stanley from The Office), NASCAR driver Kyle Busch, Carl Weathers, and Peloton instructor Emma Lovewell show off their lawns.
Agency: Vayner Media
Skechers: Tony & Candice Romo
Skechers’ 30 second spot stars former star quarterback Tony Romo and his wife, Candice. The couple is seen taking their lives to the “max” with sky high sandwiches and mile high mattresses to promote Sketchers Max Cushion shoes.
Agency: Skechers In-House
DoorDash: Daveed Diggs, Big Bird, Cookie Monster
DoorDash’s 60 second spot features Hamilton star Daveed Diggs along with Sesame Street Muppets Big Bird, Grover, and Cookie Monster. The commercial celebrates local neighborhood vendors providing offerings including ramen, paper towels and cookies of course!
Agency: The Martin Agency
UberEats: Mike Myers, Dana Carvey, and Cardi B
Wayne’s World is back! Mike Myers and Dana Carvey reenact their SNL characters and encourage people to buy takeout from local restaurants. They assure viewers that they would never try to manipulate their audience with predictable tactics such as cute babies, glamour shots, or celebrity cameos. However, they end up doing all three. Cardi B appears and encourages everyone to eat local as well.
Agency: The Special Group
Cheetos: Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher, and Shaggy
Married couple Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis join Shaggy to promote a combination of Cheetos Crunchy and Cheetos Popcorn known as Cheetos Crunch Pop Mix. Shaggy coaches Mila on how to tell Ashton she did not steal his snacks using his 2000 hit song, It Wasn’t Me.
Agency: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners
Doritos 3D Crunch: Matthew McConaughey, Mindy Kaling, Jimmy Kimmel
In their 60 second spot, Doritos promotes Doritos 3D Crunch with help from Matthew McConaughey. The commercial follows #FlatMatthew who is struggling with his new look. In one scene he is a guest on Jimmy Kimmel along with Mindy Kaling. Luckily, McConaughey is able to get back to his normal self by eating Doritos 3D Crunch, an update to 1998’s Doritos 3D.
Agency: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners
Frito Lay: "Super Bowl Legends of Yester-Year"
This year, Frito Lay rounded up many NFL greats such as Troy Aikman, Deion Sanders, Peyton and Eli Manning (and even their father!), and more. Marshawn Lynch narrates The Night Before The Super Bowl as fans watch past stars munch on their favorite Frito Lay snacks including Lays, Tostitos, Cheetos, and Doritos.
Hellman's: Amy Schumer
Hellman’s Mayo’s 30 second spot features "Fairy Godmayo" Amy Shumer. Schumer shows viewers how to save leftovers and reduce food waste with the help of Hellman's.
Agency: Wunderman Thompson
Jimmy John's: Brad Garrett
Comedian Brad Garrett stars as Tony Bolognavich, the self proclaimed "King of Cold Cuts" in Jimmy John's 30 second Super Bowl debut. When Bolognavich discovers that Jimmy John's are invading his sandwich shop turf, he is not impressed by their high-quality, low-priced subs.
M&Ms: Dan Levy
In their sixth Super Bowl appearance of the decade, M&M’s goal for their 30 second spot is “connecting people and finding ways to bring people together, especially coming out of a pretty strange and tumultuous year,” according to Schitt’s Creek star Dan Levy. Levy makes an appearance in the ad, promoting M&M’s as a way to apologize for inconveniences.
Agency: BBDO New York
Klarna: Maya Rudolph
Klarna’s western-themed ad is their first ever Super Bowl spot. 4 Maya Rudolphs on horseback show viewers how they can split up payments without paying interest in this 30 second ad.
Rocket Mortgage: Tracey Morgan, Dave Bautista, Joey
In both of Rocket Mortage's 60 second spots, Tracey Morgan shows viewers the difference between being pretty sure and being certain.
Agency: Highdive Advertising
StateFarm: Drake, Paul Rudd, Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers
StateFarm Insurance ran their first ever Super Bowl commercial featuring Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers, and of course Jake from StateFarm. It also features their stand-ins for the commercial: Drake as Jake and Paul Rudd as Mahomes.
Agency: The Marketing Arm
Dexcom: Nick Jonas
Nick Jonas, who has been open about his experience with Type 1 Diabetes, represents Dexcom in their 30 second commercial. Dexcom is a glucose monitoring system for Diabetes management. Unlike traditional finger sticks, Dexcom’s technology is more futuristic, as explained by Jonas.
Agency: Marcus Thomas
Amazon Echo: Michael B. Jordan
Amazon’s 60 second spot shows a female executive fantasizing about Alexa taking on a new form in Michael B. Jordan’s body.
Agency: Lucky Generals
Logitech: Lil Nas X
In their first ever Super Bowl spot, Logitech uses Lil Nas X and his new song “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” to promote their gaming company. Their 60 second Defy Logic commercial theme showcases creators, artists, and activists who are defying logic and exceeding expectations to change the world.
SquareSpace: Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton’s classic hit “9 to 5” gets a remix in Squarespace’s minute-long ad directed by La La Land’s Damien Chazelle. “5 to 9” is used to describe after-hours side hustles. The ad communicates how the use of a Squarespace website can turn your passion project into your main gig!
Agency: Squarespace In-House
T-Mobile: Adam Levine, Gwen Stefani, Blake Shelton
In one of T-Mobile's 60 second ads, The Voice judges experience spotty cell phone service, which causes a miscommunication.
T-Mobile: Travis Kelce, Anthony Anderson
T-Mobile shows that you can share family drama with good phone service. However, they can't help Anthony Anderson when the opposing team gets a little help from Travis Kelce in a game of family football.
Fascinated by Featured Celebrities?
Did we miss any? Shoot us an email if you think so!
And if you're interested in seeing celebrity features in past Super Bowls, check out our other blogs:
- The Most Effective Celebrity Endorsements For Super Bowl 2020
- The Most Effective Celebrity Endorsements For Super Bowl 2019
- The Most Effective Celebrity Endorsements For Super Bowl 2018
- The Most Effective Celebrity Endorsements For Super Bowl 2017
- The Most Effective Celebrity Endorsements For Super Bowl 2016
- The Most Effective Celebrity Endorsements For Super Bowl 2015
- Hiring Movie Directors To Create TV Ads For Super Bowl 2017
- Super Bowl Crowd Funding Brand Advertising Increases Brand Awareness
If you'd like to learn more about how celebrity-driven social campaigns can engage consumers, watch the webinar below!