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  • Writer's pictureCassidy Welch

Highlight Reel: 2021 Super Bowl Ads

If you're like me, you tuned into yesterday's game for the ads. And the food. No matter how many times someone explains football to me, I still can't understand it. BUT, I do understand what makes a good advertisement, so here we go!

My fan favorites from the big game:

1. "Upstream" | Toyota | Saatchi & Saatchi

Maybe it's the former swimmer in me, but this ad was beautifully done. Paralympic gold medalist Jessica Long, symbolically swam through her own timeline, starting in a Russian orphanage. A message of strength, resilience and hope filled TV screens everywhere. A much needed reminder during these challenging times.

2. "Certain Is Better" | Rocket Mortgage | Highdive

First off, anything with Tracy Morgan in it is going to be funny. It has to be challenging to make refinancing your home and talking about loans seem interesting - but Highdive pulled it off. The quick, "Oh gosh, could you imagine?" scenarios in this two-part ad definitely made you pause the snacking.

3. "The Neighborhood"| DoorDash | The Martin Agency

Childhood nostalgia? Check. Catchy musical rap? Check. Incredibly talented Daveed Diggs? Check. I'm a fan for anything supporting local, and that's exactly what DoorDash encourages you to do with this spot. Bonus? DoorDash donating $1per order to Sesame Workshop. Happy ordering!

4. "MNT Dew Major Mellon Bottle Count" | Mountain Dew | TBWA\Chiat\Day New York

Imagine Mountain Dew changing your life. Seems crazy, huh? Yet, a seriously clever way to increase fan engagement. I found myself checking Twitter throughout the game to see if anyone guessed the magic number. No luck. But what I found were dozens of brands joining in on the fun.

5. "Last Year's Lemons" | Bud Light | Wieden+Kennedy New York

Bud Light took the hot mess of 2020 and ran with it. The result: an entertaining twist on the phrase, "When life gives you lemons." Personally, I enjoyed this spot over the other that the brand aired.

Overall, I think the common themes for successful 2021 Super Bowl ads were humor, inspiration and hope. Of course, Super Bowl ads are notoriously funnier than any other time of the year. But, if there was ever a need for a pick-me-up, it's now.

What were your top picks from this year's selection?


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