The most important part of Sunday’s Super Bowl is already watchable as advertising for a variety of companies and products has hit the internet ahead of the big game.
Tech is once again well represented, although a few big names which have stolen the show in years past are not present for Super Bowl LV. There’s nothing from Microsoft, which focused on its Xbox Adaptive Controller in a memorable 2019 spot, and nothing from Google, which had a tear-jerker last year, and nothing from Facebook, which leaned on Chris Rock and Rocky in its first-ever ad.
More big brands such as Coca-Cola, Budweiser, Hyundai, GoDaddy and others are opting out as striking the right tone during difficult times was deemed too tricky.
Amazon is left to lead the pack — tech and otherwise. It’s got a steamy ad featuring actor Michael B. Jordan as one woman’s fantasy for what Alexa should look like in human form. On YouTube’s Adblitz the spot has 26 million views, putting it ahead of spots for food, beer, cars and more.
The remainder of the tech bunch is pretty middle of the road, with offerings from Uber Eats, Indeed, DoorDash and even Robinhood, the stock-trading app embroiled in the whole GameStop / Reddit / meme stocks / Wall Street mess.
Check out some of the contenders for Super Bowl (commercial) glory before they show up on televisions Sunday:
Amazon Prime Video
Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall and about 100 other recognizable stars show up in this Amazon Prime Video film trailer for “Coming 2 America,” the sequel to the 1988 comedy. Murphy stars as the king of Zamunda, and travels from Africa to New York to connect with a son he didn’t know he had. With theaters closed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Amazon bought the rights from Paramount and will stream the movie exclusively starting March 5.
What if an Echo smart speaker actually looked like Michael B. Jordan, the “Black Panther” actor who lights up the internet whenever he takes his shirt off? This ad tackles that question and puts Jordan through the voice-assistant paces at the hands of a daydreaming Amazon employee. “Alexa, dim the lights.” Whoa. Read more.
T-Mobile apparently had three ads planned for Sunday, but this one got “banned” by the NFL, according to the Bellevue, Wash.-based wireless carrier. The ad featuring Tampa Bay’s Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski failing to connect on a bad video chat connection may have ruffled the feathers of competitor and league sponsor Verizon. Read more.
The Super Bowl is usually a huge platform for car and truck commercials. But what about an online used car seller? Vroom is going to test the ad waters with a spot featuring a guy who avoids the frightening aspect of buying a car in person. Bill Gates’ private investment vehicle is one of the largest shareholders in Vroom, which went public last summer.
Nostalgia usually plays pretty well for the TV audience of 100 million or so Super Bowl watchers, so Uber is going back to the basement of “Wayne’s World” stars Wayne (Mike Myers) and Garth (Dana Carvey). Hip-hop star Cardi B stops by the local cable access show to encourage viewers to support restaurants and eat local — with a nod to Uber Eats, which will presumably deliver all that “party time” food. Excellent.
Another food-delivery tech company tapping into likable TV programming is DoorDash, which teams up with characters from “Sesame Street” for an ad showcasing all of the food items that can show up on your doorstep. “Hamilton” actor Daveed Diggs stars alongside Cookie Monster, Big Bird, Grover and others. Three teasers are wrapped into the video above.
Job search company Indeed appears to be playing off the economic hardship of the pandemic with this ad showcasing a variety of people using its platform to search for their next career opportunity. The grind, and the thrill, of finding what’s next is a sentiment millions of Americans should be able to relate to.
The stock-trading app Robinhood might be the one company that won’t need the Super Bowl to make its name a little more well known come Sunday. Robinhod was at the center of a crazy week on Wall Street involving Game Stop, short sells, meme stocks, Reddit, amateur investors, hedge funds and more — and its ad aimed at everyday investors comes after it halted trading on its own platform, making a lot of those people unhappy.
Forget 9 to 5, Dolly. The real work happens from 5 to 9. Website builder Squarespace is targeting the hard workers after work, who are working, working, working to make dreams come true with business website ideas of their own. What a way to make a livin’!
Logitech, the makers of an array of tech hardware, turn to unconventional hip-hopper Lil Nas X to “defy what logic says we should look like, sound like, be like.” The ad shows off “makers” and “groundbreakers” using cameras, keyboards, mice and more as the music star weaves in and out of the ad.
Actor/singer Nick Jonas is the ad pitchman for a company called Dexcom, which makes a glucose monitoring system that helps people with diabetes — like Jonas. Jonas wonders why we have such tech advancements as self-driving cars, drones that deliver packages and robot vacuums and yet people with diabetes are still pricking their fingers. Dexcom has a phone-based answer. “Looks like the future, but it’s available now,” Jonas says.
Super Bowl LV between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers airs Sunday on CBS at 3:30 p.m. PT.