Super Bowl 2021: See All the Celebrity-Studded Commercials Released This Year (So Far!)
The best part of the big game is already starting! See the hilarious and touching ads from Tide, Pringles and more brands as they drop
It's that time of year again: the Super Bowl is upon us.
While it's hard to believe that it's (already? only?) been a year since the Kansas City Chiefs' defeat of the San Francisco 49ers — not to mention Jennifer Lopez and Shakira's epic halftime show — Super Bowl LV ads are steadily rolling in to remind us of what a year it's been.
On Feb. 7, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs will face off at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. Inauguration poet Amanda Gorman will perform ahead of the game's coin toss, The Weeknd will perform at the Pepsi Halftime Show and I will perform my half-hearted appreciation for sports.
What I'm really tuning in for are the commercials, and the mixed bag of comic relief and heart-string-tugging they offer year after year. After this "lemon of a year," as the Bud Light commercial aptly dubs it, it's a nice thing to look forward to. Below, here are some of the commercials you can expect to see from the comfort and safety of your home.
Jeep: "The Middle"
Bruce Springsteen stars in his first-ever Super Bowl commercial and narrates a two-minute ad for Jeep featuring the 1980 Jeep CJ-5 and a 1965 Willys Jeep CJ-5. "The middle has been a hard place to get to lately. Between red and blue. Between servant and citizen. Between our freedom and our fear," Springsteen says. "Now, fear has never been the best of who we are. And as for freedom, it's not the property of just the fortunate few; it belongs to us all."
Diageo: "Mixing with Diddy and Beckham"
The beverage company, which is parent company to Ryan Reynolds' Aviation Gin, Sean 'Diddy' Combs' DeLeón Tequila and David Beckham's Haig Club Whisky, rounded up all three A-listers to play mixologist for their hilarious Super Bowl spot by Maximum Effort, which has a charitable component as well. The commercial sees the men attempting to craft a cocktail that mixes each of their spirits, along with "natural flavors from both Tampa Bay and Kansas City," so that the cocktail won't shake (or stir) up any drama. Spoiler alert: it's bad. The trio graciously agree to instead donate to real mixologists, which is the purpose of the spot: Diageo is donating one million dollars to support the bartending community, split among Another Round, Another Rally, Bartender's Benevolent Fund and Drinks Trust UK.
Nick Jonas, who has Type-1 diabetes, stars in Dexcom's 30-second spot, in which he highlights the technological advancements of recent decades — from self-driving cars to the FaceTune app — and how technology to manage diabetes hasn't caught up, until now. The ad focuses on the Dexcom G6, a small sensor that regularly monitors and transmits your glucose numbers to a smartphone, without the need for fingersticks.
Anheuser-Busch: "Let's Grab a Beer"
The brewing company released their first-ever Super Bowl ad on Feb. 3, which sees people offering each other beers as a way to commiserate, to celebrate, and everything in-between. The focus of the ad is what happens when you share a beer — and the glorious everyday-ness of the moments featured in the spot is what hits home the most after a year without the spontaneous get-togethers it depicts. The ad ends with a sentimental tagline, one which in these pandemic times, is a bit of a tear-jerker. "It's never just about the beer. It's about being together."
Rockstar Energy Drink: "Spotlight"
On Feb. 4, the brand released its first-ever Super Bowl ad, which will air just before the game stars. The 30-second spot, from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and director Dave Meyers, features rapper Lil Baby taking the stage and sharing the effort it took him to get there — and shining the spotlight on other up-and-coming "hustlers," from local heroes and gaming legends and pro skateboarders.
"When Rockstar approached me about this Super Bowl ad, I knew right away that I wanted to be a part of it," Lil Baby said in a press release. "It's all about the hard work and hustle that it takes to succeed. Some people think I had instant success, but they don't understand how hard I worked. I know what it's like to fall flat and how it feels when your energy is tapped. I still hustle every day to make my music and share it with my fans. Rockstar Energy helps me do that."
Guinness' ad features legendary quarterback Joe Montana, discussing what it means to be the Greatest of All Time. Noting it's about more than numbers, he goes on to list all the things that make the greats, great. "You want to be great? Make everybody around you better," Montana says, before toasting to "the greatest beer you maybe haven't tried and the greatest year that's still ahead of us."
Logitech: "Defy Logic"
The brand's first-ever Super Bowl spot sees Lil Nas X in a 60-second ad that will air in the first quarter, featuring his upcoming song "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)." The ad, which the rapper narrates, spotlights a number of creatives pushing the boundaries of their various industries, with the help of Logitech products. "We defy what logic says we should look like, sound like, be like. We defy genres, algorithms, and entire industries," says the "Old Town Road" singer.
McDonald's: "Thank You For Driving Thru"
Set to air shortly before kick-off, the 30-second spot by Wieden + Kennedy New York for McDonald's celebrates the musical moments shared at the Drive-Thru over the course of 2020. An ode to the tunes that drift through the Golden Arches, this upbeat commercial features a mashup by DJ Earworm of songs including 24kGldn's "Mood," J. Balvin's "Mi Gente," Celine Dion's "All Coming Back To Me Now," Alicia Keys' "Girl on Fire" and The Proclaimers' "500 Miles."
Jimmy John's: "Meet the King"
Don't mess with the Sandwich King! For their first-ever Super Bowl spot, the sandwich chain teamed up with comedian Brad Garrett, who stars as Tony Bolognavich, the self-proclaimed "King of Cold Cuts." Bolognavich's sandwich empire is in jeopardy due to the increasing popularity of a certain sandwich chain by the name of Jimmy John's. Playing a mafioso-type character, Garrett hilariously stakes out the competition, attempting to sabotage them, while those around him secretly start snacking on the superior product.
Skechers: "Tony Romo for Skechers Max Cushioning"
Former quarterback Tony Romo — who will return as a commentator for CBS during Sunday's big game — and wife Candice star in Skechers' 30-second spot, which will air early in the game's second quarter. The commercial — a parody on infomercials, complete with a catchphrase — sees the couple doing everything "to the max," from super-sizing their sandwiches to sleeping atop five mattresses. In the end, they show off their Skechers, which feature Max Cushioning for these "comfort enthusiasts."
Paramount+: "Sweet Victory"
The new streaming service's Super Bowl ad is the culmination of a number of "cliff-hanger" spots they've been dropping since Jan. 24, featuring a mix of seemingly unconnected characters from various platforms. The ad sees everyone from Dora the Explorer, James Corden, Gayle King, Snooki and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles making their way to the top of the famed Mount Paramount, where they're greeted by a tuxedoed Sir Patrick Stewart (and beside him, Stephen Colbert playing bartender). Stewart reveals that all the characters have been gathered there "as a metaphor" for all the streaming options available on this "mountain of entertainment."
Cadillac: Title to Come
In this 15-second teaser, Winona Ryder seems to be reprising her role as Kim Boggs from the popular 1990 film, Edward Scissorhands. The spot sees her calling for "Edgar," who seems to be her son, chiding that he'll be late — and ends with a familiar mechanical hand hitting an alarm clock. Tune in Sunday to see the rest!
Amazon: "Alexa's Body"
Sports aren't your thing? No problem. How about Michael B. Jordan reading you a sexy audiobook in the bathtub? Thought so! PEOPLE's reigning Sexiest Man Alive makes tuning in to the big game worthwhile with this 60-second spot for Amazon, released on Feb. 2, in which he voices — and embodies — Alexa. An executive imagines what it would be like to request favors from the virtual assistant — like adding things to her grocery list, or dimming the lights — if it took the shape of Jordan. The answer? Delightfully distracting.
Scotts Miracle-Gro: Title to Come
The lawn company's first-ever Super Bowl ad is particularly star studded, with cameos from Martha Stewart, John Travolta and his daughter Ella Travolta, The Office's Leslie David Baker, NASCAR driver Kyle Busch, Carl Weathers and Peloton instructor Emma Lovewell. The focus is on the company's Dream Lawn and Garden Sweepstakes, which will award 42 lucky winners $15,000 and a personalized consultation with a lawn and garden expert. In the spot, Stewart tells viewers they can win a backyard "like mine, you know, just not better than mine."
Watching the popular rum brand's Super Bowl ad is like being whisked away on a 30-second tropical vacation. There's a palm-fringed coastline, dancing in the streets and the ultimate WOW factor: Leslie Grace and Meek Mill's reimagining of Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine's 1985 hit "Conga." From the song to the vibrant colors, the spot is bursting with tropical vibes that will have you craving a drink and an island getaway.
Squarespace: "5 to 9"
Country music icon Dolly Parton lends her voice to Squarespace's ad, playing on the lyrics of her hit song "9 to 5."
"Workin' 5 to 9, you've got passion and a vision. 'Cause it's hustlin' time, only way to make a livin'," the 75-year-old sings in the ad. "Gonna change your life. Do something that gives it meaning with a website that is worthy of your dreamin'!" The spot sees a dull, drab office come to life as the song begins, swirling with bright colors and creatives working on their passion projects.
GM: Title to Come
A first look on Today showed Will Ferrell coming after Norway (not Sweden!) for the fact it's besting the United States in selling electric cars per capita. Awkwafina and Kenan Thompson join in the slapstick fun.
Stella Artois: "Heartbeat Billionaire"
Did you know we're all billionaires? Lenny Kravitz is here to inform us that in fact, we are, thanks to the 2.5 billion heartbeats everyone is born with. "Let's not waste the fortune within us," an animated Kravitz says, adding that we're all "rich in life" and encouraging us to invest in our loved ones — ideally with a refreshing Stella in hand. The 30-second spot received the EMA Gold Green Seal for sustainable production.
Pepsi: "The Walk"
If you're not already hyped up for The Weeknd's Halftime performance, this 30-second teaser released on Feb. 2 from Halftime Show sponsor Pepsi ought to do the trick. Or perhaps this 60-second ad the brand released in early January, which shows a number of people jamming out to the singer's hit "Blinding Lights" as they go about their daily lives.
TurboTax: "Spreading Tax Expertise Across The Land"
In this 45-second spot, a TurboTax expert — speaking from a laptop screen on a desk that roams about — shares random trivia-esque tax facts as he travels across various locales. The fact-listing eventually turns into a catchy ode to tax experts, which you can find on TurboTax Live.
Frito-Lay: " 'Twas the Night Before Super Bowl"
In Frito-Lay's new 2021 Super Bowl commercial, Peyton and Eli Manning — and their dad Archie Manning — join a bevy of past NFL greats to snack on their favorite chips ahead of the big game.
After an intro from ad narrator Marshawn Lynch, the former quarterbacks are having an intense football toss while wearing matching pajamas in a rec room.
M&M's: "Come Together"
The brand released their full trailer on Feb. 3, featuring people in a variety of situations handing out M&Ms as a way of apologizing for something they did wrong — with one very famous cameo!
"I've always really admired the M&M's commercials. They've always been self-aware and funny and bright," Schitt's Creek star Dan Levy told PEOPLE of his cameo. "I was walked through what this spot would be and I was in, I was hooked. It's a very rare opportunity that you read something and you're like, 'I have no hesitation, reservation — thank you very much, the answer is yes.'"
"The goal of the spot is just about connecting people and finding ways to bring people together, especially coming out of a pretty strange and tumultuous year," he continued. "I think it's such a hopeful little spot. It is funny and sweet, and I can't wait for everyone to see it."
MTN DEW: "Counting MTN DEW MAJOR MELON™ with John Cena"
In a new take on the traditional Super Bowl commercial, Mountain Dew says it will give away a $1 million cash prize to whichever viewer can guess how many bottles are shown during John Cena's 30-second commercial with the brand, using the hashtag #MTNDEWMAJORMELON on Twitter.
"It's like a special game within the game," Cena told PEOPLE. "It's really groundbreaking for what you can do advertising for the Super Bowl."
Tide: "The Jason Alexander Hoodie"
"People really, really look forward to the commercials," Seinfeld star Jason Alexander told PEOPLE of animating a hoodie with his face on it in a spot for Tide's new Hygienic Clean Heavy Duty 10x detergent. In the ad, the "Jason Alexander hoodie" looks clean enough at first glance, before we get glimpses of what it's been through as the beloved sweatshirt of a teenage boy (and chew toy of a drooling dog).
"I think I've used every facial muscle I have to create those expressions," Alexander said of filming the commercial. "I think there are maybe a dozen expressions in the finished commercial, but I can tell you that there were close to 1,500 photographs taken in that one day."
Uber Eats: "Eat Local"
"Hey we're back, 2020 man that was a great year... NOT," Myers says.
"Yeah, it really sucked," he adds, as Carvey says, "It sucked donkey."
"We just wanted to say we'll see you soon for the game, which for legal reasons cannot be named," Myers says of the Super Bowl.
"We'll see you on the big bowl," Carvey says before Myers adds, "The gigantic bowl."
The full ad dropped on Feb. 3 and featured a third star — Cardi B!
Hellman's: Title to Come
In a teaser for the commercial, which will only air in full on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 7, star Amy Schumer can be seen stepping inside a fridge and fanning out her wings. She calls it "magical realism."
"My character hates food waste. She hates people who waste food and Hellman's has really educated me on what a big problem food waste is in the country," the comedian told PEOPLE. "So it's kind of like Hellmann's make tastes not waste."
Doritos 3D: "Flat Matthew"
At least, we think that's what this one is called. In two teasers, the snack brand teased some shocking "Flat Matthew" moments — that's McConaughey, of course — featuring fellow stars Jimmy Kimmel and Mindy Kaling. What actually transpires in the ad remains to be seen.
Cheetos: "It Wasn't Me"
Prior to the game, Cheetos unveiled the first look at the upcoming ad for their new Crunch Pop Mix. The full spot, released on Feb. 1, sees the Black Swan actress refusing to admit that she's been snacking on Kutcher's Cheetos, and a number of hilarious encounters ensue.
"Did you steal my Cheetos again?" Kutcher asks.
"Just tell him it wasn't you," suggests musician Shaggy, citing his iconic line. Kunis goes on to do just that, tossing the evidence each time she's caught orange-handed by Kutcher, who adapts Shaggy's hit song to accuse her throughout the commercial.
Pringles: "Space Returns"
Pringles never misses. Their flavor-stacking combinations? Delicious. Riveting, even. Perhaps too much so, as jokingly emphasized in this Jan. 28 Grey Group-created 30-second ad that sees astronauts stranded at sea, desperately trying to get the attention of those back in mission control and on a nearby ship who are too busy discovering new flavor profiles.
Bud Light: "Last Year's Lemons"
The first to drop a pandemic-inspired spot, Bud Light's Jan. 28, 60-second ad by Wieden+Kennedy puts a delightfully sour spin on the exasperating "when life gives you lemons" cliché to promote their new lemonade-flavored hard seltzer.
With lemons raining from the sky and wreaking havoc on flights, weddings and at-home haircuts — pretty much everything that went wrong in 2020 — the ad gives you something to laugh about, which is arguably even better than lemonade (although lemonade hard seltzer might be a different story).
The brand dropped a second spot on Feb. 2, "Bud Light Legends," featuring familiar faces from past ads, including Post Malone and Cedric the Entertainer. The 45-second trailer is the formal launch of the brand's new Bud Light Legends campaign, which aims to celebrate those who've supported the brand through the years.
Michelob Ultra: "Happy"
The first large-scale Super Bowl advertiser to partner with the Environmental Media Association for sustainable production, Michelob Ultra's 60-second Jan. 25 commercial from Wieden+Kennedy features famous athletes including Serena Williams, Peyton Manning, Anthony Davis, Brooks Koepka, Jimmy Butler and Alex Morgan enjoying a cold beer while spending time with their loved ones. It asks the question, "Are you happy because you win? Or do you win because you're happy?"
The brand is owned by Anheuser-Busch, also the parent company to Budweiser, which announced that it will be forgoing its annual spot and instead using its marketing budget toward COVID-19 vaccine awareness and access in partnership with the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative.
Michelob Ultra also dropped a second spot, "All-Star Cast," to highlight their organic seltzer. The ad asks viewers to discern the difference between what's real and what's fake, as various celebrity lookalikes are spotted on the red carpet, yachts and other typical A-list settings. Exposing them as fakes is the real Don Cheadle, who notes that unlike the imposters, the carb-and-sugar free seltzer is actually "as real as it tastes."
Chipotle: "Can a Burrito Change the World?"
Chipotle burritos have changed my life in terms of my go-to lunch options, and in the chain's first-ever Super Bowl ad, which debuted on Jan. 25, a wide-eyed boy wonders how else it could change the world and the lives of farmers. The 30-second spot from Venables Bell & Partners explores all the steps it takes to get a burrito into your hands, and the various ways it impacts how we "plant things, water things, grow things, pick things and 'transportation' things."
Mercari: "Get Your Unused Things Back in the Game"
True to the point of the e-commerce platform, Mercari is repurposing a 15-second spot by Rain the Growth Agency that's already on air, encouraging viewers to give their unused items a new life as part of their "Goodbye, Hello" campaign that focuses on an in-with-the-new, out-with-the-old mentality.
Vroom: "Dealership Pain"
Online car dealer Vroom was the first to pre-release its commercial on Jan. 12. The 30-second ad, by Anomaly, is Vroom's first in the Super Bowl, and features a prospective car-buyer being tortured at the dealership (not that far off base, really). Elliptically referencing the pandemic, it suggests skipping the dealership all together and opting to use Vroom's platform for a contact-free delivery instead.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs are facing off at Super Bowl LV on Sunday in Tampa. The game will air on CBS at 6:30 p.m. EST on Feb. 7.