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The best of this year’s Super Bowl ads as Bruce Springsteen urges Americans to ‘meet in the middle’

Bruce Springsteen preached national unity, Winona Ryder reprised her role from Edward Scissorhands, Fiverr poked fun at Rudy Giuliani‘s post-election news conference, and Robinhood pitched its brand after a tumultuous period on Wall Street in this year’s Super Bowl commercials.

Jeep starred iconic singer Bruce Springsteen in his first ever ad promoting the idea of unity. 

The ad shows scenes of middle America, including a small chapel in Lebanon, Kansas, near the geographic center of the country. 

Springsteen visits the chapel and lights a candle.

‘It’s no secret the middle has been a hard place to get to lately, between red and blue, servant and citizen, freedom and fear,’ Springsteen intones, adding ‘we need the middle.’

Springsteen scored the ad and contributed to adapting the script, which is from Michigan ad agency Doner.

JEEP 

Bruce Sprinsteen starred in a commercial for Jeep to preach a message of unity in a divided America

The ad echoed, without explicitly mentioning, President Joe Biden’s calls to summon American resilience and unity to confront the nation’s deep divisions. 

Springsteen also performed remotely at the prime-time celebration following Biden’s inauguration last month.

In an interview with the AP, Fiat Chrysler chief marketing officer Olivier Francois said the company had more light hearted ads in place to run during its two minutes of air time during the game, but in January they heard that – after years of asking whether Springsteen would be interested in doing a FCA commercial – Springsteen was on board with the Road Ahead concept. 

So they shot it in one 12-hour day last Sunday and edited it throughout the week.

FCA is known for creating iconic Super Bowl ads such as ‘Imported in Detroit’ in 2011 that featured Eminem talking about the toughness of his home city and last year’s hit ad that remade ‘Groundhog’s Day’ With Bill Murray. 

But not all FCA ads have been successes. 

In 2018, an ad for Ram Trucks that quoted a Martin Luther King Jr. speech on the 50th anniversary of his death was widely criticized for seemingly commercializing the civil rights icon.

During a year when most advertisers shunned the serious for a light hearted tone, Olivier said it was worth taking the risk on a serious ad in order to create a ‘healing’ commercial that will be remembered long after the game.

‘There’s a divide and Bruce wants to do one thing, speak to the common ground,’ he said. 

‘It doesn’t take a stand, left or right, blue or red, the only stand it takes is the middle.’ 

Toyota 

Toyota’s commercial looks ahead to the Olympics and Paralympics. It showcases Paralympic swimmer Jessica Long’s journey from orphan in Siberia to Paralympian, ending with the line, 'We believe there is hope and strength in all of us'

Toyota’s commercial looks ahead to the Olympics and Paralympics. It showcases Paralympic swimmer Jessica Long’s journey from orphan in Siberia to Paralympian, ending with the line, ‘We believe there is hope and strength in all of us’

Toyota’s spot looks ahead to the Olympics and Paralympics, although both again face potential postponement as the pandemic drags on. 

Its ad showcases Paralympic swimmer Jessica Long’s journey from orphan in Siberia to Paralympian, ending with the line, ‘We believe there is hope and strength in all of us.’ 

Jessica’s biological mother, who was only 16, put her up for adoption out of fear she wouldn’t be able to care for her because of her disability.

Her American parents adopted her when she was 13 months old.

Five months later, they had both of her legs amputated so she could learn to start walking with prosthetic legs. 

She had to have over 25 surgeries growing up, but her life changed for the better when she discovered swimming.

Jessica was just 12 years old when she competed in her first Paralympics and won three gold models. 

She has since won a total of 23 medals, 13 of which are gold, and is now training for her fifth Paralympic Games.  

Fiverr 

Fiverr poked fun at Four Seasons Total Landscaping, the Philadelphia small business where Rudy Giuliani held a news conference in the days after the November 3 election. The business owner, Maria Siravo, is seen left

Fiverr poked fun at Four Seasons Total Landscaping, the Philadelphia small business where Rudy Giuliani held a news conference in the days after the November 3 election. The business owner, Maria Siravo, is seen left

Fiverr teased that its ad would feature Four Seasons total landscaping, the scene of an infamous Rudy Giuliani press conference during last year’s tumultuous election, raising the question whether the ad would be political or not.

It was not. Instead, the tongue-in-cheek ad features Four Seasons Total Landscaping owner Marie Siravo talking about how to build a successful business with the help of Fiverr.

Siravo drives a futuristic car through an idealized version of the inside of Four Seasons total landscaping including a sci-fi scale atrium.

The message is that Fiverr’s freelancers can ‘help get you where you want to be.’

Robinhood 

Smartphone-based stock market investment service Robinhood bought its Super Bowl spot in December after a successful year, unaware that it was about to make global headlines

Smartphone-based stock market investment service Robinhood bought its Super Bowl spot in December after a successful year, unaware that it was about to make global headlines

Smartphone-based stock market investment service Robinhood bought its Super Bowl spot in December after a successful year, unaware that it was about to make global headlines.

‘We’re all investors,’ says the ad that features a cross-section of people from different occupations. 

One person is using the app as she gets a coffee refill in a diner.

Robinhood users were among the small investors who shocked Wall Street last month. 

A social media frenzy among small investors briefly pushed up shares of troubled video-game retailer GameStop by 1,600 per cent at the expense of hedge funds that were betting it would lose value. 

'We’re all investors,' says the ad that features a cross-section of people from different occupations. One person is using the app as she gets a coffee refill in a diner

‘We’re all investors,’ says the ad that features a cross-section of people from different occupations. One person is using the app as she gets a coffee refill in a diner

The stock frenzy also brought customer backlash to Robinhood and scrutiny from Congress and regulators after the company restricted some types of trades in response to the overwhelming volume.

‘We got to the end of the year, looked back and reflected on what we’d seen,’ said Robinhood Chief Marketing Officer Christina Smedley. 

The company pulled the ad together in four weeks, she said. 

Most brands that have money to spend on Super Bowl ads are already household names, but the big game is also a chance for upstarts to make a big splash.

Oatly 

That’s what the CEO of Swedish oat-milk manufacturer Oatly attempted in an ad starring himself. 

‘Wow, wow, no cow,’ sang CEO Toni Petersson, as he played a keyboard in a field of grain.

The bizarre song and non-professional singing got a mix of plaudits and brickbats on social media, which seemed to be the point. 

Moments after it aired, the company started promoting a T-shirt with the words: ‘I totally hated that Oatly commercial.’

‘If you just watched our CEO sing in an oat field on the big game, we can’t give you back those 30 seconds but we can give you a free t-shirt that lets the world know where you stand on our attempt to promote Toni’s singing skills to a wider audience,’ the company said in a tweet.

Dr. Squatch 

Another lesser-known brand, Dr. Squatch, also promoted itself with a bizarre ad, but hired comedian James Schrader to do the talking.

General Motors used humor in a Super Bowl ad to promote its ambitious push to get more Americans to buy electric vehicles.

GM has set a goal of making the vast majority of the vehicles it produces electric by 2035, and the entire company carbon neutral five years after that.

When actor Will Ferrell finds out Norway has more electric vehicles per capita than the U.S., he goes on a madcap journey spanning countries with singer and actress Awkwafina and comedian Kenan Thompson to show that GM’s new battery for electric cars will soon be available for everyone.

Cadillac 

GM’s Cadillac brand also has an ad set to air later in the game that is inspired by the 1990 classic film Edward Scissorhands hawking a hands-free feature for its electric SUV, the Lyriq.

Super Bowl advertiser DoorDash went hard on nostalgia, enlisting Sesame Street’s Muppets to convey the message that DoorDash can deliver goods from local stores, not just restaurants. 

Hamilton actor Daveed Diggs gives the ad some pizazz, with a peppy version of the children’s song People in Your Neighborhood, that morphs into a rap.

DoorDash is one of more than 20 first-time Super Bowl advertisers this year, and takes the plunge after benefiting from a shift toward home delivery while people hunkered down at home during the pandemic. 

DoorDash’s first-quarter ad enlisted the help of characters including Cookie Monster, Big Bird and Grover to try to convey the message that DoorDash can be used to pick up local store items like paper towels.

Cheetos 

From left to right: Shaggy, Mila Kunis, and her husband, Ashton Kutcher, star in a commercial for Cheetos

From left to right: Shaggy, Mila Kunis, and her husband, Ashton Kutcher, star in a commercial for Cheetos

A Cheetos ad shows real life married couple Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher wrangling over a bag of Cheetos Crunch Pop Mix — to the tune of Shaggy’s ‘It Wasn’t Me,’ evincing the frayed nerves of a couple who have been stuck inside too long.

‘This is what happens when you lock Mila and I in a house together for a year,’ Kutcher tweeted about the ad.

DoorDash 

The ad is directed by Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind director Michel Gondry.

‘Over the past year we’ve expanded our business into new categories,’ said DoorDash’s vice president of marketing, Kofi Amoo-Gottfried. 

‘It made sense to use the Super Bowl as a moment to start communicating this message given the scale of the audience we have the ability to speak to.’

It’s not the first time Diggs has worked with Muppets – he appeared in Sesame Street sketches in 2017. 

Inspiration4 

Inspiration4, which is set to become the world's first all-civilian mission to space later this year, introduced itself to the world with a 30-second Super Bowl commercial

Inspiration4, which is set to become the world’s first all-civilian mission to space later this year, introduced itself to the world with a 30-second Super Bowl commercial

Inspiration4, which is set to become the world’s first all-civilian mission to space later this year, introduced itself to the world with a 30-second advertisement.

Entitled ‘Join Us’, the promotion is expected to reach a 100 million people, with the goal of inviting everyone to visit the Inspiration4 website for the chance to go to space.

The mission was purchased by billionaire Jared Isaacman, who will pilot a SpaceX Dragon capsule in Earth’s orbit – and is offering three seats to the public.

Isaacman made his fortune in tech, with the largest achievement being his company Shift4Payments that is a credit card processing firm, and is using Inspiration4 as a way to raise 200 million dollars for St. Jude Research Hospital, based in Tennessee – half of which is coming from his own pockets.

And what better way to get the word out than during the highly anticipated Super Bowl. 

Amazon 

Super Bowl debut: Michael B. Jordan plays the physical embodiment of Amazon's voice-recognition system Alexa in a new Super Bowl commercial

Super Bowl debut: Michael B. Jordan plays the physical embodiment of Amazon’s voice-recognition system Alexa in a new Super Bowl commercial 

Michael B. Jordan is a leading man in Hollywood who’s People magazine’s reigning Sexiest Man Alive title holder.

And now the Creed and Black Panther star can add the role of Alexa, Amazon’s voice-recognition system, to his resume following the release of his first Super Bowl advertisement.

The one-minute commercial – dubbed Alexa’s Body – aired during the CBS telecast for Super Bowl LV.

The spot begins with a group of executives in an office hovering around Amazon’s black Echo Dot with awe and amazement.

‘I literally could not imagine a more beautiful vessel for Alexa to be inside,’ one woman says as she turns towards a window and sees a movie advert of Jordan on the side of a bus.

The scene sets off a daydream of sorts where the female employee pictures Jordan as the physical embodiment of Alexa and the object of her desire. 

Jordan’s matinee idol looks quickly become the focal point as the storyline follows the woman to her home where her husband asks: ‘who’s that?’, moments after the actor answers her question of ‘how many tablespoons are in a cup.’ 

After a sprinkler doses Jordan in the couple’s yard, the husband’s comedic timing shines when he informs his wife, ‘honey I already ran the sprinklers; things are getting way to wet around here.’ 

The Fantastic Four star can then be seen pulling his shirt off when the woman demands, ‘Lights off’ to Alexa during a gathering of friends. 

Jordan is also told to ‘add bath oil to my shopping list’ before bathing with the woman in a bubble bath as she asks him to read her audio book.

Her husband listens in on the other side of the bathroom door and tells her: ‘honey other people have to use the bathroom too.’ 

M&Ms 

Weekend of firsts: Dan Levy just appeared in his first Super Bowl commercial on Sunday, after hosting Saturday Night Live for the first time on Saturday

Weekend of firsts: Dan Levy just appeared in his first Super Bowl commercial on Sunday, after hosting Saturday Night Live for the first time on Saturday

Sweet tooth: He took an M&M hostage, as he offered an empty apology for his sweet tooth in his hilarious debut Super Bowl ad for the beloved candy, which aired Sunday during the big game

Sweet tooth: He took an M&M hostage, as he offered an empty apology for his sweet tooth in his hilarious debut Super Bowl ad for the beloved candy, which aired Sunday during the big game

Daniel Levy has had a weekend of firsts, as he hosted Saturday Night Live on Saturday.

The four-time Emmy winner has also just appeared in his first Super Bowl commercial on Sunday.

He took an M&M hostage, as he offered an empty apology for his sweet tooth in his hilarious debut Super Bowl ad for the beloved candy, which aired Sunday during the big game.

The 37-year-old was the last in a series of vignettes, in which people used M&M’s to apologize for things like mansplaining and gender reveal parties gone wrong.

He practiced social distancing during an al fresco lunch with the Green and Brown M&Ms, assuring them: ‘I promise I will not eat anymore of your friends.’ 

Levy then slid them an already opened bag of milk chocolate M&M’s, as Green folded her arms and asked: ‘Really?’

They noticed the Red M&M inside Levy’s car, banging on the window for help, as the Canadian writer/director/actor unlocked the door and responded: ‘OK, it might happen one more time.’ 

Mountain Dew 

High-profile spot: John Cena, 43, appeared in a psychedelic ad for Mountain Dew's watermelon-flavored soda Major Melon during Super Bowl LV on Sunday

High-profile spot: John Cena, 43, appeared in a psychedelic ad for Mountain Dew’s watermelon-flavored soda Major Melon during Super Bowl LV on Sunday

John Cena made a candy-colored appearance in an ad for Mountain Dew’s new watermelon-flavored Major Melon soda during Sunday’s Super Bowl LV.

The trippy clip showed the 43-year-old professional wrestler–turned–actor driving through a Mountain Dew–themed city.

The ad accompanied a $1 million contest for the first person to correctly guess the number of Mountain Dew Major Melon bottles tucked away into the video. 

Cena was decked out in a festive blue Hawaiian-style shirt covered in bird of paradise designs.

He was joined by a friend in a metallic oil slick–style suit that alternated between green and pink in the light.

The kaleidoscopic cityscape was decked out with Mountain Dew paraphernalia, including a giant ‘Smack-A-Melon’ display and billboards affixed to building façades.

The ad got even more surreal as the Blockers star looked up to see Mountain Dew bottles flying like birds with watermelon shell wings.

Big payout: The ad accompanied a $1 million contest for the first person to correctly guess the number of Mountain Dew Major Melon bottles tucked away into the video

Big payout: The ad accompanied a $1 million contest for the first person to correctly guess the number of Mountain Dew Major Melon bottles tucked away into the video

Eye catching: Cena wore a blue Hawaiian-style shirt covered in birds of paradise, while his friend wore a metal oil-slick suit that switched between pink and green

Eye catching: Cena wore a blue Hawaiian-style shirt covered in birds of paradise, while his friend wore a metal oil-slick suit that switched between pink and green

Candy colored: The kaleidoscopic cityscape was decked out with Mountain Dew paraphernalia, including a giant 'Smack-A-Melon' display and billboards affixed to building façades

Candy colored: The kaleidoscopic cityscape was decked out with Mountain Dew paraphernalia, including a giant ‘Smack-A-Melon’ display and billboards affixed to building façades

Back on the ground, a watermelon dog barked by a theater box office.

‘Be the first to count and tweet the exact number of Mountain Dew Major Melon bottles shown in this commercial and you could win a million dollars!’ John says with a smile plastered on his face at the conclusion of the commercial. 

‘You heard John. You better be counting. Because if you’re the first to count every bottle of MTN DEW MAJOR MELON and Tweet the correct number @MountainDew, you could win $1,000,000. Yes, really,’ the brand added on its YouTube video.

Cena kept a large profile on Super Bowl Sunday, with viewers at home also getting a glimpse of him in the trailer for F9, the upcoming Fast & Furious series sequel.    

State Farm Insurance

Playing himself: Drake, 34, was a good sport in a State Farm ad airing on Super Bowl Sunday in which he played a stand-in for an insurance commercial

Playing himself: Drake, 34, was a good sport in a State Farm ad airing on Super Bowl Sunday in which he played a stand-in for an insurance commercial

Sports stars: The ad opened with Aaron Rodgers, 37, and Patrick Mahomes, 25, seated in a film studio ahead of filming their State Farm ad

Sports stars: The ad opened with Aaron Rodgers, 37, and Patrick Mahomes, 25, seated in a film studio ahead of filming their State Farm ad

Not buying it: 'You couldn't find a stand-in that looked anything like me?' Rodgers asks Jake from State Farm (played by Kevin Miles)

Not buying it: ‘You couldn’t find a stand-in that looked anything like me?’ Rodgers asks Jake from State Farm (played by Kevin Miles)

He’s not afraid to poke fun at himself, even in his own music videos.

And Drake continued to play the good sport when he made a surprise appearance in State Farm Insurance’s Super Bowl LV ad on Sunday.

The 34-year-old rap superstar joined Paul Rudd, 51, as stand-ins in a meta commercial that also featured Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

The ad opened with Rodgers, 37, and Mahomes, 25, seated in a film studio ahead of filming their State Farm ad.

‘Hey Rodgers, I’m you!’ shouts the actor who standing in for the quarterback who looks nothing like him and wears a garish cheese hat. 

‘You couldn’t find a stand-in that looked anything like me?’ Rodgers asks Jake from State Farm (played by Kevin Miles).

‘Have you seen mine?’ Mahomes asks before gesturing toward Rudd, who’s wearing the same lightning-bolt shirt and holding a football.

‘It’s like looking in a mirror, right?’ he says, before accidentally throwing the ball behind himself.

‘Now that one makes sense,’ Rodgers teases the younger quarterback, who was on the field as the ad aired..

A little better: 'Have you seen mine?' Mahomes asks before gesturing toward Paul Rudd, who's wearing the same lightning-bolt shirt and holding a football

A little better: ‘Have you seen mine?’ Mahomes asks before gesturing toward Paul Rudd, who’s wearing the same lightning-bolt shirt and holding a football

Whoops! 'It's like looking in a mirror, right?' he jokes, before accidentally throwing the ball behind himself

Whoops! ‘It’s like looking in a mirror, right?’ he jokes, before accidentally throwing the ball behind himself

Surprise appearance: But Drake appears as Jake from State Farm's stand-in. 'That's right, Drake from State Farm,' he says with a straight face

Surprise appearance: But Drake appears as Jake from State Farm’s stand-in. ‘That’s right, Drake from State Farm,’ he says with a straight face

But Jake from State Farm complains that he doesn’t even have a stand-in.

‘Of course you do,’ chimes in a figure grabbing some snacks at the craft services table.

Mahomes incredulously asks if Jake from State Farm’s stand-in in is Drake.

‘That’s right, Drake from State Farm,’ he says with a straight face.

Drake and the spokesman stand next to each other in their red shirts and start to recite the brand’s slogan, but Jake from State Farm stops him midway through.

‘Hey, stand-ins don’t have lines,’ he informs the Hotline Bling rapper, who crunches on an apple while he says the catchphrase. 

Logitech 

New bop: Lil Nas recently debuted a sneak peek at his new track, as well as a look at his creative process in the recording studio, when he appeared in an inspirational Super Bowl spot for Logitech

New bop: Lil Nas recently debuted a sneak peek at his new track, as well as a look at his creative process in the recording studio, when he appeared in an inspirational Super Bowl spot for Logitech

Logitech went the celebrity route with an endorsement from hip hop artist Little Nas X intended to underscore that its products like keyboards and mice help artists and makers ‘defy logic.’ 

The Old Town Road artist cut a colorful chic look in all blue, as he narrated: ‘We stand in defiance. We the makers, we the groundbreakers, we the creators, the streamers and dreamers.

‘We defy expectations, perceptions and misconceptions. We defy what logic says we should look like, sound like, be like. We defy genres, algorithms and entire industries.

‘See we defy that little voice that says “Oh no you can’t” with a roar back that says “Oh, yes we will.” Because to create the future, we must defy the logic of the past. We must defy logic.’ 

Squarespace 

Dolly Parton's 1980s hit '9 to 5' was flipped by Squarespace for a Super Bowl commercial

Dolly Parton’s 1980s hit ‘9 to 5’ was flipped by Squarespace for a Super Bowl commercial

Dolly Parton has been singing about everyday office employees working ‘9 to 5’ for over 40 years, but now the country icon is singing about entrepreneurs working ‘5 to 9’ to pursue their dreams after hours.

The Grammy-winning legend’s 1980s hit has been flipped by Squarespace – a company that helps users build and host their own websites – for a Super Bowl commercial.

Oscar winner Damien Chazelle of La La Land fame directed the spot.

Parton is using Squarespace to create a website for her new perfume, DollyFragrance.com.

The singer, who is also an actor, producer, humanitarian and more, said she can relate to businesspeople working around the clock to fulfill their goals. 


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