Tom Brady won the Super Bowl. Again.
Are we shocked?
Are we ready to talk about the shiny ad moments that took place amidst the chip-dipping and Weeknd memes?
For the most part, brands kept their big game day spots light. Some key players, however, like Coca-Cola, PepsiCo., and Budweiser opted to donate their usual budget to coronavirus relief, vaccination efforts or simply invested the time and money in other resources altogether. But for those who stayed off the bench and in the game, it was humor and nostalgia that won viewer’s hearts.
The past year has been, as Bud Light Seltzer would put it, a lemon. To cure that sour, bitter taste in our mouths, many spots tapped into times when masks were reserved for Halloween and before Game of Thrones deeply disappointed us all.
With that, here’s a look at the Super Bowl spots that took us back to simpler, more light-hearted times:
Cheetos served up their own rendition of the early 2000s jam, It Wasn’t Me by Shaggy, and it didn’t disappoint. Featuring Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher, and Shaggy himself, the 60-second spot contains clever lyrics and many unexplained Cheeto-dusted fingerprints. There was no tear-jerking, pull at your heartstrings kind of message, but the cheeky humor and homage to music not yet forgotten certainly delivered.
Throwing it back previous game days, Bud Light’s, Bud Light Legends, relied on appearances of fan-favorite characters such as Post Malone, Cedric the Entertainer, and, of course, the Bud Knight. Together, the group helps to save the world from a Bud Light shortage. We are certainly no stranger to shortages this year (looking at you, Cottonelle), but regardless, this spot offered viewers an intimate, nostalgic connection by paying homage to their friends from years prior.
The commercial also introduced the new Bud Light Legends Program, which encourages fans to join for exclusive rewards and custom merch.
Mike Meyers and Dana Carvey revived their beloved roles of Wayne and Garth to star in the Uber Eat’s spot, Eat Local. Broadcasting from a 90s-esque local public access show, the iconic duo was joined by everyone’s favorite person, Cardi B. The three totally did not manipulate viewers with subliminal messages to support local restaurants and eateries through Uber Eats. The convergence of humor, nostalgia, and a slight nod to modern trends (Tik-Tok, Okurrrrrr) was a welcome one.
Tide brought their A-game with the 60-second spot, The Jason Alexander Hoodie. It begins with a teenage boy’s mother telling him to wash his Jason Alexander hoodie, to which the boy responds, “It looks clean to me”. Cut to a series of gross, unfortunate incidents the hoodie has faced – complete with Jason Alexander’s changing horrified facial expressions.
The best part? The song featured in the spot, Believe It or Not by Joey Scarbury, is the same song that Seinfeld’s George Constanza remixes for his own phone’s voicemail message.
The other best part? You can win a Jason Alexander hoodie for yourself.
Finally, Cadillac took us back to Tim Burton’s classic 1990 film, Edward Scissorhands, with their 60-second spot, ScissorHandsFree. To promote Cadillac’s innovative hands-free LYRIQ technology, Timothée Chalamet played Edward’s son, Edgar, and starred in the ad alongside Winona Ryder, who played Edgar’s mother.
The spot featured soft orchestral music, pink-pastel houses, and perfectly manicured topiary that nods back to Burton’s timeless film and the struggles of having, well, scissors for hands.
That’s a wrap on notable Super Bowl spots that stirred up nostalgic feelings and gave us a couple of well-deserved laughs.
Perhaps the above examples paired with Brady’s seventh Super Bowl victory is a sign that we’re unwilling to let go of the past. Or maybe it’s an affirmation of that age-old saying: the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Regardless, when the world is looking a bit like a lemon, it’s nice to be reminded that sweet moments are out there. And most likely, so are more wins from Tom Brady.