Super Bust: Major Brands Back Out From Advertising During Super Bowl, Viewers Living For The Weeknd Halftime Show

There are only two reasons to tune into the Super Bowl. One is the ads. The other is the halftime show. Well, this year, in the grand tradition of coronavirus ruining everything, now there’s only one incentive to watch the biggest football game of the year: the Weeknd. (And we’re not even sure if that’s going to be worth it; it hurts to look at his face these days.)

Major companies like Budweiser, Coke, and Pepsi are pulling out of Super Bowl advertising. Instead of hawking their products, they’ll be participating in a public awareness campaign about the coronavirus vaccine.

So instead of dropping upwards of $55 million for 30 seconds of ad space, some companies are reappropriating those funds to the Ad Council and Bigger Picture, a 90-second film about the virus narrated by actress Rashida Jones. (Riveting, we’re sure.) Others, like Pepsi, are dumping their cash on the halftime show.

For some brands, like the King of Beers, it’s the first time they’ve sat out the game in 37 years.

“Like everyone else, we are eager to get people back together, reopen restaurants and bars, and be able to gather to cheers with friends and family,” said Monica Rustgi, vice president of marketing at Budweiser, in a statement. “To do this, and to bring consumers back into neighborhood bars and restaurants that were hit exceptionally hard by the pandemic, we’re stepping in to support critical awareness of the COVID-19 vaccine.”

It’s a tricky time to advertise, and some companies would rather head for the bleachers than fumble on the field. Bill Oberlander, co-founder and executive creative of ad agency Oberlander, recently told The New York Post, “For the Super Bowl, you generally go big or go home. I think brands are going home rather than spending tens of millions of dollars and not getting it right. They’re saying, ‘Let’s wait until this s–t storm clears.’”

We’ve been waiting for this shitstorm to clear for almost a year. We don’t know about you, but what better way to take our minds off the abysmal state of the world than some hilarious, witty, creative ads for our favorite products? Without the ads, we just might skip the Super Bowl altogether…and realize it was never worth watching in the first place.

Cover Photo: gpointstudio (Getty Images)

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