Best Commercials of Super Bowl 2021

Posted 9 February 2021.

​​In Mariah Carey’s famous words “Happy Colin Kaepernick Day!”

When it comes to TV advertising, Super Bowl spots are possibly the most coveted around – not to mention the most expensive. According to Variety, a 30-second ad costs $5.5 million!

Though there were plenty to choose from, these were our favourites from the day.

Reddit - “Wow, this actually worked”

The text-based ad began with the words “Wow, this actually worked,” before advertising Reddit as a place where powerful things happen – including a direct reference to the website’s stock market scandal last week. It began with a short clip of trucks then cut to the text, making many think it was a glitch all together. This drove people to Google the image, Reddit, and their Gamestop shenanigan’s referenced above. Reddit really touched-down on what some are calling the best Super Bowl ad of all time.

“Big game spots are expensive, so we couldn’t buy a full one,” the ad reads. “But we were inspired and decided to spend our entire marketing budget on 5 seconds of airtime.” Using the numbers above from Variety, this would suggest that Reddit’s ad could have set it back $915,000, a cost of $183,000 per second!

Door Dash - “The Neighbourhood”

It was hard to resist Door Dash’s commercial for the Superbowl. Playing on the nostalgia of Sesame Street, the craving for community we all feel at the moment, and featuring Daveed Diggs, what’s not to love?

State Farm - “Drake from State Farm”

Though State Farm has a tendency to pack their commercials with celebrities and stars alike, this one really utilised their characters better than we’ve previously seen. Featuring Aaron Rodgers, Paul Rudd and Patrick Mahomes (who was also playing in the Super Bowl), this star studded commercial brought a smile to our face.

Drake showing up and introducing himself as ‘Drake from State Farm’ definitely got us more interested in insurance, or something like that.

Jeep - “The Middle”

We were torn on this one, not going to lie.

A month after a mob, driven by debunked election claims, stormed the U.S. Capitol, Springsteen wants us to find “the middle.” As the idea of unity, community, and togetherness is something we feel everyone can use more of at the moment, we do recognise “The Middle” isn’t so easy to find. To sit in the middle of a political aisle in the name of “unity” can legitimize and openly condone a party that has embraced QAnon conspiracy theorists and elected a presidential candidate who ran an anti-LGBTQ, anti-Muslim, anti-Immigrant campaign while he attacked women, Black people, and openly boasted about committing sexual assault.

However, we also believe that change starts when we can have conversations to learn from each other, and that is what we feel this ad does well. This ad is to encourage everyone to find common beliefs and shared experiences because change can only happen with communication. Could it be a message of healing? A balm for a divided country? At the very least, it’s a poetic appeal for Americans, to remember how their freedom connects each other.

Toyota - “Jessica Long’s Story”

Toyota’s commercial featuring American Paralympic swimmer Jessica Long, was one that definitely pulled at the heartstrings.

Long, a 13-time Paralympic gold medalist, embodied the “hope and strength in all of us,” Toyota says of the ad, depicting Long’s story. Though we don’t necessarily see the connection to cars . . . it did have us welling up a little, so well done on the emotive story-telling.

Huggies - “Welcome to the World”

We can all agree that babies are totally adorable and that alone could earn them a spot on our list. However, what Huggies did uniquely here was show us that after a year like 2020, life goes on (quite literally). By showing short clips of babies doing things like pooping, licking their toes, and eating, it not only won over our hearts but also gave us an appreciation for the little moments we often take for granted.

Amazon - “Sexy Alexa”

Michael B. Jordan is the Alexa of our dreams in this Amazon ad. Though more for fun, this commercial showed that Alexa is definitely something we can all enjoy.

Doritos 3D - “Flat Matthew”

2020 had us all feeling a little . . . flat. None more so than Matthew McConaughey in this Doritos 3D commercial where he is, quite literally, a flat 2D version of himself. After battling a rumba and almost being blown away, he saves himself with some serious snacking. Specifically, Doritos 3D. This one feels like it was conceived by someone with a serious case of the munchies.

M&M’s - “Come Together”

Nothing has tested our patience with other people, and let’s be honest ourselves, more than 2020. So what better way to say sorry than with candy? We love Dan Levy (and for those who don’t know him, watch Schitts Creek) and are excited he is getting some airtime during this event. Especially with PRIDE this month, it’s exciting to see the NFL embrace all aspects of Diversity (or at least trying).

GM -“No Way Norway”

After Ferrell finds out Norway produces more electric cars per capita than the United States, all hell breaks loose in this GM ad. He even recruits Kenan Thompson to teach Norway a lesson.

With plenty more ads than just those mentioned above, here are some of our honourable mentions:

For those like us that are big Wayne’s World fans, this one’s for you Uber Eats - “The Big Bowl” | Watch Here

Tide - “The Jason Alexander Hoodie” | Watch Here

Because we all love a little Dolly Parton during our 9 to 5 Here’s Squarespace - “5 to 9” | Watch Here

Cheetos - “It wasn’t me” | Watch Here

Indeed - “The Rising” | Watch Here

We did want to give a mention to the NFL’s own commercial “Inspire Change”. We recognize that the NFL has had problems in the past in regards to their handling/opinions of police brutality and systemic racism - Colin Kaepernick is still black-listed for kneeling during the anthem - and their need to look internally at the inequality that BIPOC people face in sports and positions of power. The NFL still has a long way to go. But, we do appreciate the steps they are taking to bring awareness to the systemic racism around the world, and the NFL’s pledge of $250 million to help fight it. Took them a hot minute in June 2020 to say it, but we all kneel in solidarity as #BlackLivesMatter.

Now all we need is an apology from the NFL for their handling of Kaepernick and we might include their ad in our list next year.