Why it was good to see some Big Brands sit out the Super Bowl

For marketers, the Super Bowl traditionally begins in the summer when budgets and creative ideas are set in motion. This year was anything but traditional. Although all 256 regular season games were played, some advertisers chose to sit out the Super Bowl. In fact, it was the first Super Bowl in 37 years without Budweiser airing a spot during the game.


Clydesdales, Mr. Peanut, Korean cars, Mexican avocados and Coca Cola were all conspicuously absent. Whatever their PR people may have said before the game, we know it’s all because most big brands aren’t risk takers and couldn’t handle this year’s uncertainty — but that’s a good thing and below are three reasons why:


1) Budweiser, Kia and Planters diverted money to good causes.


According to Ad Age, Planters is shelling out (ha ha) $5 million to support unsung heroes this year while Kia plans to expand its giving to support America’s youth. Bud donated its advertising money to the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative and released the following video in January:




2) Newcomers delighted us with some surprisingly smart and humorous Super Bowl ads.


We got to enjoy Tracy Morgan’s mischievous style of humor employed for Rocket Mortgage.




Fiverr took us for an EPCOT-esque ride through Four Seasons Total Landscaping. Hilarious concept but it may have fallen flat, especially if you missed the opening scene or the owner’s Philly accent — we would have added a likeness of Giuliani to one of the scenes.




WeatherTech took a refreshing, straight-forward approach that is surely selling some laser-measured floor liners during the record storms in the Northeast. My cars may be from Asia and my shoes from China but I’m proud that my feet are on 100% American floor mats.




3) It gave Bud Light an even bigger spotlight.


It seems like Anheuser-Busch may have actually shuffled some of the heavy beer dollars over to the Light team. How else could they afford to bring so many of the Bud Light Legends back for one epic TV spot including our fav, the Real Men of Genius singer? More like Real Marketing Team of Genius!




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