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What's a Super Bowl with no ads? We won't find out in 2021, but big brands like Coca-Cola, Ford and Budweiser will be putting this year's big game on hold.
"With Super Bowl parties being either scaled down or canceled, it probably makes sense to suspend this party at that price," Brian Sheehan, professor of advertising at Syracuse University's SI Newhouse School of Public Communications, told Variety.
A 30-second ad in Super Bowl LV costs advertisers $ 5.5 million, and brands are rightly concerned about the look to spend as much as the country grapples with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, as well as racial, political, and social unrest is faced. CBS, which will air the showdown between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, February 7, had sold about 80% of its ad space in early December, according to AdAge. In contrast, Fox ran out of commercials prior to Thanksgiving when the game aired in 2020.
Below are 10 big brands that have passed.
Avocados from Mexico
Avocados from Mexico became the first advertiser to pull out of the 2021 Super Bowl, which it announced last October. It'll end a six-year series that will air an ad during the big game, but the company plans to be back in 2022.
Sorry, no puppies and Clydesdales this year. Beverage giant Anheuser-Busch, whose Super Bowl commercials are usually among the most popular, won't advertise its flagship product Budweiser this year. Instead, according to Variety, the company will channel the funds it would have spent on Budweiser ads to the Ad Council, which is running public information campaigns urging Americans to get the coronavirus vaccine. Rest assured that you will still receive your beer advertising solution. Anheuser-Busch continues to plan to advertise its other products for more than four minutes, including Bud Light, Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade and Michelob Ultra.
Coca-Cola, which has run an ad every year during or before the Super Bowl since 2006, will be on hold this year. "This tough decision was made to ensure that we are investing in the right resources in these unprecedented times," Coca-Cola said in a statement Friday.
The social media giant will focus on the 2021 Grammys rather than Super Bowl LV, a spokesman told AdAge.
The rugged Super Bowl Ford won't advertise during this year's game. Instead, a "Super Bowl-worthy" campaign was created for the new Bronco Sport with ads that aired during the playoff games in early January.
Hyundai announced in early January that it would be suspending the Super Bowl LV. In an interview with AdAge, Hyundai CMO Angela Zepeda said, "We've always been stuck in [the Super Bowl], but this is a different time in a different year." A company statement expanded and said the decision was made Made "based on marketing priorities, when vehicle launches are due, and where we thought it would be best to allocate our marketing resources."
The pizza chain, which first aired an ad during the Super Bowl last year, won't return in 2021, according to AdAge. "I think you must have something really important to say," said Jeff Klein, CMO of Little Caesar, in an interview on the Marketer Brief podcast. "We're not a brand that has a problem with being unaided." Instead, she started a campaign called "Big Pizza" in early January.
The P&G brand has been running ads for the past two years but won't be returning in 2021, according to AdAge. Instead, "the company is committed to delivering news to women in STEM for the next decade and this year will focus more on International Women and Girls in Science Day on February 11," reports AdAge.
The Super Bowl star won't advertise Pepsi during this year's Super Bowl. Instead, it will focus on the branding Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show, which this year features The Weeknd. The company will continue to broadcast ads for Mountain Dew and Frito-Lay, according to the AP.
Sabra, who made a well-reviewed debut for her inclusive message in promoting the 2020 Super Bowl, will not be returning in 2021.