The 15 best Super Bowl ads: Wayne’s World, Dolly Parton and Cookie Monster lift spirits

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This year’s Super Bowl brought ads from Bud Light, Cheetos, Robinhood, Chipotle, Pringles and many more to a locked-down audience hungry for live events. We round up the best of the bunch for your viewing pleasure.

With a locked-down audeince seeking excitement from rare live events, the Super Bowl 2021 was predicited to atract one of the biggest TV audiences in history — topping 100 million viewers. As such, broadcaster CBS eventually sold out every spot, despite the turbulent economic times. And in many commercials, if there was any acknowledgment of the pandemic, it was indirect and fleeting. Companies paid at least $5.5m for 30 second advertisements during game.

Uber Eats: Wayne’s World Reunites for “The Big Bowl”

Mike Myers and Dana Carvey joined forces once again to promote Uber Eats, stioll broadcasting from Wayne’s mum’s basement. The teaser, which “for legal reasons” cannot be for the Super Bowl, features many of the duo’s signature catchphrases.

Cadillac: Winona Ryder reprises Edward Scissorhands role

Stranger Things star Winona Ryder has reprised her Edward Scissorhands role in a new car commercial with Timothée Chalamet. More the 30 years after starring in the Tim Burton classic with Johnny Depp, the actress has once again stepped into the role of Kim for a Cadillac ad. In the 60-second commercial, we see Kim as the mother of Edgar Scissorhands (Chalamet), the son of Depp’s title character, as he struggles to get to grips with his scissor blade fingers in a number of everyday situations, like riding a bus and catching a football. However, he’s rather adept at making artistic sandwiches.

Jeep: Springsteen uses national unity

Jeep’s ad starred iconic singer Bruce Springsteen in his first ever ad promoting the idea of unity. The ad shows scenes of middle America, including a small chapel in Lebanon, Kansas, near the geographic center of the country. Springsteen visits the chapel and lights a candle. ‘It’s no secret the middle has been a hard place to get to lately, between red and blue, servant and citizen, freedom and fear,’ Springsteen intones, adding ‘we need the middle.’

Squarespace: Dolly Parton Works “5 to 9”

Directed by Oscar winner Damien Chazelle, this ad for Squarespace encourages entrepreneurs to pursue their passions “5 to 9,” flipping the script on Dolly’s classic hit. Just one more reason Dolly is an actual angel.

Robinhood: Controversial app says ‘we are all investors’

Smartphone-based stock market investment service Robinhood bought its Super Bowl spot in December after a successful year, unaware that it was about to make global headlines. Robinhood users were among the small investors who shocked Wall Street last month. ‘We’re all investors,’ says the ad that features a cross-section of people from different occupations. One person is using the app as she gets a coffee refill in a diner.

Oatly: CEO sings ‘awful jingle’

Most brands that have money to spend on Super Bowl ads are already household names, but the big game is also a chance for upstarts to make a big splash. That’s what the CEO of Swedish oat-milk manufacturer Oatly attempted in an ad starring himself. ‘Wow, wow, no cow,’ sang CEO Toni Petersson, as he played a keyboard in a field of grain. The bizarre song and non-professional singing got a mix of plaudits and brickbats on social media, which seemed to be the point. Moments after it aired, the company started promoting a T-shirt with the words: ‘I totally hated that Oatly commercial.’

Scotts amd Miracle Gro: John Travolta makes a TikTok dance

In this ad for Scotts and Miracle-Gro, celebs veg out in their gardens, including John Travolta and his daughter making a TikTok, Martha Stewart freshening up her tomatoes, and Stanley from The Office (Leslie David Baker) grumpily grilling.

Toyota: Hype for the Paralympics

Toyota’s commercial looks ahead to the Olympics and Paralympics. It showcases Paralympic swimmer Jessica Long’s journey from orphan in Siberia to Paralympian, ending with the line, ‘We believe there is hope and strength in all of us’. toyota’s commercial looks ahead to the Olympics and Paralympics. It showcases Paralympic swimmer Jessica Long’s journey from orphan in Siberia to Paralympian, ending with the line, ‘We believe there is hope and strength in all of us’

Fiverr: Spoof Rudy Giuliani press conference

The freelancer website Fiverr teased that its ad would feature Four Seasons total landscaping, the scene of an infamous Rudy Giuliani press conference during last year’s tumultuous election, raising the question whether the ad would be political or not. It was not. Instead, the tongue-in-cheek ad features Four Seasons Total Landscaping owner Marie Siravo talking about how to build a successful business with the help of Fiverr.

General Motors: Will Ferrell pledges only electric cars by 2035

General Motors used humor in a Super Bowl ad to promote its ambitious push to get more Americans to buy electric vehicles. GM has set a goal of making the vast majority of the vehicles it produces electric by 2035, and the entire company carbon neutral five years after that. When actor Will Ferrell finds out Norway has more electric vehicles per capita than the U.S., he goes on a madcap journey spanning countries with singer and actress Awkwafina and comedian Kenan Thompson to show that GM’s new battery for electric cars will soon be available for everyone.

Cheetos: Makes Shaggy a Third Wheel

A Cheetos ad shows real life married couple Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher wrangling over a bag of Cheetos Crunch Pop Mix — to the tune of Shaggy’s ‘It Wasn’t Me,’ evincing the frayed nerves of a couple who have been stuck inside too long.

DoorDash: Nostalgic trip down Sesame Street

Super Bowl advertiser DoorDash went hard on nostalgia, enlisting Sesame Street’s Muppets to convey the message that DoorDash can deliver goods from local stores, not just restaurants. Hamilton actor Daveed Diggs gives the ad some pizazz, with a peppy version of the children’s song People in Your Neighborhood, that morphs into a rap. DoorDash is one of more than 20 first-time Super Bowl advertisers this year, and takes the plunge after benefiting from a shift toward home delivery while people hunkered down at home during the pandemic. DoorDash’s first-quarter ad enlisted the help of characters including Cookie Monster, Big Bird and Grover to try to convey the message that DoorDash can be used to pick up local store items like paper towels. The ad is directed by Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind director Michel Gondry.

Amazon: Search for Alexa’s body

Creed and Black Panther star Michael B. Jordan starred in a one-minute commercial – dubbed Alexa’s Body- for Amazon. The spot begins with a group of executives in an office hovering around Amazon’s black Echo Dot with awe and amazement. ‘I literally could not imagine a more beautiful vessel for Alexa to be inside,’ one woman says as she turns towards a window and sees a movie advert of Jordan on the side of a bus. The scene sets off a daydream of sorts where the female employee pictures Jordan as the physical embodiment of Alexa and the object of her desire.

M&Ms: Dan Levy goes rogue

The four-time Emmy winner Dan Levy appeared in his first Super Bowl commercial, where he took an M&M hostage, as he offered an empty apology for his sweet tooth in his hilarious debut Super Bowl ad for the beloved candy, which aired Sunday during the big game. The 37-year-old was the last in a series of vignettes, in which people used M&M’s to apologize for things like mansplaining and gender reveal parties gone wrong.

Mountain Dew: John Cena’s melon contest

John Cena made a candy-colored appearance in an ad for Mountain Dew’s new watermelon-flavored Major Melon soda during Sunday’s Super Bowl LV. The trippy clip showed the 43-year-old professional wrestler–turned–actor driving through a Mountain Dew–themed city. The ad accompanied a $1 million contest for the first person to correctly guess the number of Mountain Dew Major Melon bottles tucked away into the video.