As the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers face-off in the 55th Super Bowl, the stage has been set for car companies to unleash their creative sides. The annual football grand final has become a television spectacular where car brands fight for attention with the most star-studded commercials you’ll ever seen.
While 2020 was a rough year and many brands have opted to save the millions it costs to produce and then buy air-time for a TV spot, Jeep and General Motors have gone big. Here are the highlights from this year’s selection.
There are typically two types of Super Bowl ads – funny and emotional. Jeep has most definitely gone for the latter, employing America’s working-class hero – Bruce Springsteen – for a two-minute call for unification after the country’s political dramas of the last four years.
There’s very little in the way of actual Jeeps in this spot, Springsteen drives around in a classic CJ speaking about his (and Jeep’s) hope that Americans call all come together again in “the middle.”
The tagline at the end does direct people to check out a website devoted to Jeep’s future models, including the all-new Grand Wagoneer and Wrangler plug-in hybrid. There’s even a complete commercial for that – although it won’t air during the big game.
Like I said, there are two types of ads, typically, and GM opted for funny. Will Ferrell stars in this 90-second spot that sees him get angry at the thought of America losing to Norway in the amount of electric vehicles sold. So, Ferrell (who’s wife is Swedish), recruits fellow comedians Kenan Thompson and Awkwafina to take on the Scandinavians. Ferrell gets behind the wheel of the new Cadillac Lyriq while Thompson and Awkwafina ride in the new GMC Hummer.
It’s a funny spot but it also gets across plenty of information about GM’s Ultium battery and EV plans.
Not content with Ferrell’s spot pushing its Lyriq EV, GM produced a second spot for the new battery-powered Cadillac. This one stars Winona Ryder and Timothee Chalamet in an Edward Scissorhands revival that sees Chalamet playing Edward’s son, Edgar, struggling through daily life until he enjoys a hands-free driving in the new autonomous Lyriq.
The blue oval has gone down the same emotional, heart-string pulling ad as Jeep, with it’s ‘Finish Strong’ spot. It’s 60-seconds of Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston speaking over the top of images of American life amid the struggles of 2020, with doctors and nurses playing a starring role.
It’s a bold choice to not include a single Ford vehicle in an ad for the Ford Motor Company, but it speaks to the state of the world in February 2021.
It seems like this year is all about not having cars in car commercials. Toyota has opted to focus on the story of paralympian Jessica Long. She was born in Siberia and had to have both legs amputated as a child after being adopted in the US. She has competed at four Paralympic games winning 13 gold medals, and is set to compete in Tokyo in 2021.