• Donya Mansoorian

Super Bowl Ads in 2021: For the 55th game, $5.5 million could go to something better

Updated: Mar 2, 2021

On Sunday, February 7, millions of people across the nation will watch Super Bowl LV. Whether you’re a fan of the Kansas City Chiefs or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, watching your team win or lose will shock you just as much as this year’s commercials.

Many big-name brands have decided against creating commercials for the 2021 Super Bowl. Hyundai, Pepsi, Coke and Budweiser are just a few of the major companies that have opted out of buying a 30-second ad slot, which goes for approximately $5.5 million.

Without a doubt, 2020 was an extraordinarily difficult year. As the world continues to battle a global pandemic, some companies are taking this time to reallocate funds to ensure long-term sustainability. The Coca-Cola Company, for example, has had to cut costs after the pandemic caused its main sources of revenue to close (i.e, restaurants, bars and movie theatres). Other companies donated the millions that would’ve gone towards their Super Bowl ad to COVID-19 relief funds or backed out to provide smaller businesses with the opportunity to secure an ad spot.

In an article for Market Watch, Nicole Lyn Pesce explained why Anheuser-Busch chose to not air an ad during Super Bowl LV.

“This week, Anheuser-Busch announced that it is foregoing its traditional in-game Super Bowl airtime, and plans to use that money to support COVID-19 vaccine awareness, instead. While the company wouldn’t give an exact dollar amount, a spokesperson told MarketWatch that the total donation to vaccine education and awareness will be on par with the cost of advertising in the Super Bowl, calling it a ‘multimillion-dollar commitment.’"

While brands such as Anheuser-Busch are sitting this one out, smaller brands such as Chipotle, DoorDash and Huggies are ready for their Super Bowl debut.

Contrarily, several major companies believe their involvement in this year’s Super Bowl is more important than ever before. In an interview with News Channel 3, Kellogg’s provided a statement explaining its choice to purchase a Super Bowl LV ad spot.

"Kellogg Company has a tremendous philanthropic track record, helping to address society’s most fundamental challenge of hunger for 115 years. For example, Kellogg and its charitable funds have now donated $18 million in food and funds to support ongoing global COVID-19 hunger relief efforts. We know this has been an unprecedented year, but sports and the Big Game specifically can be a small moment of escape for consumers. It's something they look forward to."

Super Bowl LV will be filled with firsts. Not only is this the first time smaller brands, such as Chipotle and DoorDash, secured an ad spot, but the Bucs are the first team to play in a Super Bowl at their home stadium. It’s safe to say that this year’s Super Bowl is one you won’t want to miss.

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