It’s Time for the Super Bowl Ads

By Matthew McMullan
Feb 04 2021 |
Prepare the snacks: The Super Bowl is this Sunday. | Getty Images

It’s Super Bowl week! The Super Bowl is this weekend! We’re gonna get some American-made ads!

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YES I am ready, Hank Junior! I may not have any rooting interest in the NFL championship game since Green Bay lost* – had the Packers beaten the Buccaneers I would have rooted for either the Chiefs or the Bills, or a freak tsunami wave to put the city of Tampa under 10 feet of water before halftime – but let’s not fool ourselves: This is an annual cultural event. An unofficial American holiday! And I like watching football. Once, I even drove all the way to Kansas City to see my team, the Bears, play from the upper deck of Arrowhead Stadium (Chicago, naturally, lost by four touchdowns and immediately fired its coach after the game). This is a long way of saying: I’m gonna watch the game on Sunday.

It’ll be a little different this time because the coronavirus pandemic will make this Super Bowl the most subdued in years. There will be more cardboard cutouts in the stands than actual fans in the stadium. I won’t eat a pound of seven-layer dip at a party, because health officials are imploring people to avoid gathering for the big game. There are even possibilities that some players might not be available because of positive COVID-19 tests.

But, despite it all, there will still be big budget Super Bowl ads.

Used to be you’d have to wait until game day to see the ads with the Budweiser frogs or the one where Jordan and Bird play horse for a Big Mac. But buying a TV ad spot during the Super Bowl – which is always among the most watched television broadcasts of the year – is a story unto itself. Here’s AdAge’s write-up preview of two 30-second WeatherTech ads, both of which drive home the Michigan auto parts company’s Made in America message that it’s featured in Super Bowl ads past. This is one of the new ones:

GM’s got a 90-second advertisement ready, too – this one starring actor Will Ferrell that promotes the company’s recently announced plans to significantly green its vehicle lineup by 2025. This, of course, dovetails nicely with President Biden’s goal of basically replacing the federal government’s massive fleet of automobiles with American-made electric vehicles. Here’s the ad:  

Will there be any more ads that hug American manufacturing outright, like WeatherTech’s, or nod at it, like GM’s? Let’s see on game day!

*Postscript: Matt’s editor, who by marriage owns one share of the Green Bay Packers, would like to remind him of this play.