This year’s Super Bowl ads: Fewer movie trailers, more A-list stars…and diapers?

(NEW YORK) — Sure, there’s a football game going on on Sunday but millions of people tune into the Super Bowl just for the commercials. But just like seemingly everything else in the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the kinds of ads you’ll be seeing this year.

Ad Age Senior Editor Jeanine Poggi [POE-gee] tells ABC Audio that, for example, you won’t be seeing the traditional debuts of movie trailers for big blockbusters this year.

“Obviously with theaters closed, [and] a lot of productions being delayed and pushed back, we’re expecting far fewer studios to advertise in the game this year,” she explains.

But Poggi says the ads we do see will be more star-studded for the same reason.

“We saw a lot of…TV and movie studios delaying productions…which means that some of these really A-list celebrities have more time to actually come in and do commercials that perhaps in the past they never would have done,” she explains.

She’s not wrong: just some of the stars who’ll we’ll see this year in ads include John Travolta, Dan LevyMichael B. JordanAshton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, Matthew McConaugheyWill Ferrell, Jason Alexander, Amy Schumer, Post MaloneSerena WilliamsMike Myers, Cardi B, John Cena and more.

Replacing more traditional advertisers who are sitting out this year, Poggie says, will be online companies that made a mint during lockdown, like Uber Eats, plus many first-time advertisers. For example, Huggies will bring us the first-ever Super Bowl ad for diapers.

Overall, expect the tone to be lighthearted.

“I’m sure some [ads] will touch on some of the themes that we saw during the pandemic and social justice movements,” Poggi notes. “But I think for the most part, brands are really viewing the Super Bowl as a place to entertain consumers.”  

By Andrea Dresdale
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