(CNN) — On Super Bowl Sunday, there is one thing that matters almost as much as the game: the commercials.
And this year, they delivered.
Although some popular brands were conspicuously absent, such as Budweiser, which opted to donate the millions it would have spent on an ad to raise awareness of the Covid-19 vaccine, many others did participate.
CBS would have charged $ 5.5 million for a 30-second ad, a little less than last year, but not exactly the change you have in your pocket.
Sure, watching the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Kansas City Chiefs was the main event. But here are the announcements that we think really made the long game even more enjoyable.
It was hard not to love the company’s Super Bowl commercial, which served as an ode to the neighborhoods. It also featured the Sesame Street characters singing and Daveed Diggs. How to resist?
This commercial wins out of sheer narrative ingenuity. Will Ferrell stars as someone who hates Norway because it sells more electric vehicles per capita than the United States.
The ad takes the opportunity to showcase GM’s new ultium battery and advocate for alternatives to gas-guzzling cars, all while following Ferrell’s trip to Norway, with cameos from Awkwafina and Kenan Thompson. With those three, this ad was bound to be a winner.
This State Farm commercial, like many State Farm commercials, was packed with stars: it featured Aaron Rodgers, Paul Rudd, and Patrick Mahomes (right after we’d just seen him play!).
Then Drake appeared, introducing himself as “Drake from State Farm.” We couldn’t be more interested in insurance than this time.
Toyota’s commercial with American Paralympic swimmer Jessica Long is one that is sure to touch the heartstrings. Long, a 13-time gold medalist at the Paralympic Games, shows “the hope and strength in all of us,” Toyota says of the announcement, which describes Long’s adoption story. And while we’re not really sure how it relates to cars, we felt our eyes briefly filled with tears.
Babies are obviously insanely cute, so they are guaranteed to win us over. Huggies’ ad shows how universally loved babies are by showing short clips of babies doing things like toilet flushing, licking their toes, and eating. In a way, Huggies had an unfair advantage. Who doesn’t love babies?
Oatly: Sure, the CEO’s song it may not have been a hit for everyone. But after the ad ran, the company gave away (now out of print) T-shirts that poked fun at the ad’s awfulness. That, my friends, is a good marketing strategy.
Reddit: Super Bowl ads are, as we discussed, expensive. So the Reddit ad was only 5 seconds long and maybe that was more effective for them.
What just happened? pic.twitter.com/DypRp6DeQt
— Reddit (@reddit) February 8, 2021
Cheetos: Who among us has not stolen our roommate / partner / spouse’s snacks? In this ad, Mila Kunis keeps stealing Ashton Kutcher’s Cheetos and honestly, we can relate.
Jeep: Regardless of what you have thought of this ad, was one of the first to hint at the fact that the country we live in is quite divided right now. Sure, he makes an awkward attempt to convey unity, but at least he acknowledged that even a great American pastime can’t hide the fact that we’re anything but united.