Amazon, Cadillac score with Super Bowl ads

During this year’s Super Bowl, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers reigned supreme on the field. During advertising’s biggest night, there were hits and misses as well. Overall, this year’s crop of Super Bowl ads focused on light humor that strove to entertain and connect. But that made the few ads that took a different approach stand out even more. Amazon’s Michael B. Jordan ad and Cadillac’s Edward Scissorhands updates were hits, while overcomplicated ads like Michelob Ultra Organic Seltzer missed the mark.


Amazon’s commercial shows a woman fantasizing that her new Alexa comes in the form of Michael B. Jordan. He strips his shirt when asked to dim the lights and reads a book to her in a bubble bath, all to the chagrin of her hapless husband. The humorous ad captured the restlessness of being stuck at home during the pandemic and added to the evening’s diversity with two Black leads in the ad.


Anheuser-Busch’s corporate brand spot shows typical pre-pandemic scenes of people sharing a beer — kitchen workers, orchestra players, cubicle dwellers, strangers at an airport bar — and reminded people to look forward to that again. “So when we’re back, let’s remember, it’s never just about the beer,” a voiceover states. “It’s about saying that simple human truth, we need each other.” The ad manages to capture the nostalgia people feel about pre-pandemic times without being heavy handed.

Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade

Bud Light used lemons as a metaphor for everything that went wrong in 2020 to introduce its new Seltzer Lemonade. In the humorous spot a downpour of literal lemons ruins weddings, cancels flights, disrupts at-home haircuts, destroys baseball stadium cardboard cutouts and causes general chaos. It manages to capture the zeitgeist of the moment with a humorous metaphor that ties directly into the product.


Timothée Chalamet is pitch perfect as Edgar, the son of Edward Scissorhands, in Cadillac’s ad for its new Lyriq car. Edgar has difficulty with his inherited scissor-hands when he deflates a football and severs a bus’s stop cord. He wistfully plays a virtual reality car simulator. Edgar’s mother, Winona Ryder revisiting her role in the 1990 film, gives him a Cadillac Lyriq. The point? The car’s “hands free super cruise” feature lets you to drive with little hand contact.

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