With an estimated 100 million viewers tuning in to Super Bowl LIV, advertisers went all out, shelling out up to $5.6 million for 30 seconds slot. Even if you’re not a die-hard football fan, we can all agree that Super Bowl commercials are a particular highlight of the event– and this year was no exception.
Nostalgia was a big theme this year, with Bill Murray, Bryan Cranston, and Winona Ryder lending their familiar faces Jeep, Mountain Dew, and Squarespace respectively. But it wasn’t all laughs. Google forfeited star-power for sentiment, with its poignant spot about an aging employee, who uses the company’s technology to remember his wife.
In the days leading up to the big game, brands such as McDonald’s, Amazon, and Doritos looked to generate some pre-game buzz with catchy ads. As ever, celebrities are the big draw, with Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, Lil Nas X, Post Malone, Missy Elliot, Maisie Williams, and many more repping major brands in the TV spots.
Meanwhile, things got weird when Pringles enlisted Rick & Morty to introduce its new chips flavor, while Microsoft got us in our feelings in an emotional ad about the first woman to ever coach in the Super Bowl. Elsewhere, PETA’s controversial Colin Kaepernick-inspired ad raised several questions about activism.
Tragically, the news of Kobe Bryant’s sudden death last week has cast a dark cloud over this weekend’s celebrations, causing several brands to pull or edit their commercials to respect the late NBA star. For instance, a helicopter scene was cut from John Legend and Chrissy Teigen‘s Super Bowl ad in the week leading up to Super Bowl LIV.