It’s that time once again — Super Bowl ad time!
Some automakers really push the boat out during the Super Bowl, and we have another batch for 2021. Some focus on the moment we’re still living in — you know, that one. Others tout the road ahead with cooky commercials, and some car companies focus on ads that tell stirring stories. Here, we’re posting a roundup of the best car-related ads (or at least those put out by automakers) for Super Bowl LV, set to kick off at 6:30 P.M. Eastern tomorrow, as the Kansas City Chiefs take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
This year will actually look a bit different overall, as some big names are sitting the Super Bowl out. Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Budweiser won’t make an appearance. If you’re itching for some Clydesdales, though, don’t worry. Sam Adams is taking full advantage of their rival’s absence. In the automotive arena, Kia announced it wouldn’t air a Super Bowl commercial for the first time in 11 years. Instead, the brand will “expand its charitable initiatives in support of America’s youth.” To wit, Hyundai won’t air a commercial either — they’re focusing on vehicle launches, according to their January statement.
For better or worse, depending on what you thought of it, we won’t see a follow-up to the “Smart Pahk” commercial this year, then.
Ford: “Finish Strong”
Eschewing a screwball approach, Ford’s message is staying in the moment. Their commercial is a nod to those affected as we continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. It emphasizes the company’s efforts in providing PPE and other equipment to nonprofits, local and state governments, schools and first responders. It’s an upbeat commercial, signaling the light at the end of the tunnel we’re all focusing on, as we hopefully will see ourselves clear of COVID sooner rather than later.
GM: “No Way Norway”
“#EVerybodyIn” is General Motors’ message this year, focusing on their efforts to transition toward electric vehicles. To that end, Will Farrell is — um, annoyed? — that Norway sells more EVs per capita than the U.S. “I won’t stand for it!”, he says, and some more chuckle-worthy cameos ensue from there.
Two of GM’s headlining EVs in the ad are the Cadillac Lyriq and the GMC Hummer EV, and the company promises 30 new electric models by 2025. Of course, that’s not the best part, since Will Farrell’s in the ad. It’s worth the watch just for a laugh.
Jeep: “The Middle”
Depending on how you feel about the current climate in America, you may either love or hate Jeep’s showing for this year’s event. The ad “invites us to remember all the ways we are connected as Americans,” by meeting on common ground. Giving that metaphor a bit more teeth, we see a CJ-5 in what’s literally the middle of the United States: a chapel right outside Lebanon, Kansas. There are a lot of different messages you could take away from this one. Or, to quote one YouTube comment that caught my eye: “It’s a Jeep thing. I wouldn’t understand.”
Toyota: Jessica Long’s Story
Each year, Toyota takes out a Super Bowl ad not to prop up its own cars, but to focus on a human element through emotionally stirring stories. This year, the ad focuses on Jessica Long, a double amputee who is a 13-time Paralympic gold medalist. Apart from seeing and hearing her story in a brief one-minute clip, Toyota aims to “show that there is hope and strength in all of us.”
WeatherTech: “Family” Made In USA
This year, WeatherTech didn’t really stray from formula, other than to remind us all about their products and let us know they’re an American company making products right here in the USA. A simple, straightforward message, and you get to see some of the faces behind all the protective gear they make for your car.
Okay, this one’s not car-related, but…Wayne’s World!
All right, since we’re pretty light on car ads this year I’m indulging a bit and pointing out Uber Eats’ commercial. Drivers deliver your food orders made through the app, so I guess it’s car-adjacent? Anyway, if you’re a fan of Wayne’s World, you’ll get to see Mike Myers and Dana Carvey reprise their roles here with none other than Cardi B. You know, because you need a current reference to really make this commercial stick with Gen Z. Let the shameless plugs commence!