Super Bowl Commercials 2021: Latest Ad Costs for Casual-Fan Entertainment

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistFebruary 5, 2021

Actor Will Ferrell attends the premiere of
Arthur Mola/Associated Press

For NFL fans, Super Bowl LV will be all about the on-field battle between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. However, the Super Bowl isn't just an event for NFL diehards, and more casual fans may view the game itself as merely part of the equation.

For some of them, the parade of innovative and entertaining commercials may be just as big of a draw on Sunday.

Last year, Brad Adgate of Forbes reported that 20 percent of women and 13 percent of men said that the commercials were the most important part of the Super Bowl experience.

Naturally, advertisers know this and spend big to put their products in front of the millions of viewers who stick around between the plays. According to Rick Suter of USA Today, a 30-second spot during the CBS broadcast of Super Bowl LV has cost advertisers nearly $5.6 million.

Typically, blockbuster movie trailers are also a big part of the Super Bowl, though the coronavirus pandemic has forced studios to put more emphasis on streaming than big theater releases.

Advertising budgets reflect this.

"The number of 30-second TV ads that studios aired on top networks between Dec. 28 and Jan. 3 was down 82 percent from the same period last year, according to Kantar, a tracker of ad spending," Rebecca Rubin of Variety wrote. "That trend could continue until cinemas reopen and people feel comfortable returning to the movies."

While fans will see a handful of movie trailers Sunday—according to Anthony D'Alessandro of Deadline, Disney will have two-to-four of them—most of the commercial entertainment will be product- and service-based.

As is often the case, many of this year's Super Bowl ads have already been leaked or teased ahead of the big game. General Motors, for example, has teased a spot featuring comedic icon Will Ferrell:

Jeff Gilbert @jefferygilbert

VIDEO: It’s not just Kansas City vs. Tampa Bay in the Super Bowl, it’s also GM vs. Norway, with Will Ferrell as the Quarterback. GM releases a few clips from it’s ads @WWJ950 https://t.co/WHyD6F56gM

Another comedy standout will appear in an ad for Klarna, with the Swedish finance company giving fans a quadruple-dose of Maya Rudolph:

Sandwich chain Jimmy John's will also look to capitalize on the comedy market in an ad that features Brad Garrett playing "King of Cold Cuts" Tony Balognavich:

Comedy legend and Seinfeld alum Jason Alexander will also make an appearance in a Super Bowl spot for Tide.

Alexander admitted that while he won't appear as his Seinfeld character George Costanza, he will provide fans with a bit of an Easter egg.

"I think that ending is a little winky-poo to George. We’re using 'Greatest American Hero' as the song underscore, and that particular ending was as close to George or Larry David as I think we could possibly get without playing the character. That was the little Easter egg there for the fans," Alexander said, per Peter Sblendorio of the New York Daily News.

"The Greatest American Hero (Believe It or Not)" is, of course, the song Costanza once spoofed for his answering machine in Seinfeld.

The comedy theme will continue with an M&M's ad featuring Emmy award-winning actor, writer and director Daniel Levy:

Fans will also get a star-studded advertisement for Scotts and Miracle-Gro that features John Travolta, his daughter Ella, Martha Stewart and Carl Weathers, among others. An Uber Eats commercial will feature Mike Myers and Dana Carvey as their iconic Wayne's World characters, while ads for several Anheuser-Busch products will also run.

According to The Wall Street Journal, fans can also expect commercials from the likes of Robinhood, Squarespace, Cheetos and Chipotle.

In short, if you're a big fan of Super Bowl commercials, you're not likely to walk away from Sunday's extravaganza disappointed.