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  • Casey Voelker

Top 5 Super Bowl Ads 2021


Each year I rank my favorite Super Bowl commercials. I’ll admit, this year I had a toddler running around so I really didn’t get to experience the commercials the way I usually do when they aired during the game. I did, however, start a short list of ones that stood out to me. With that being said, here are my top 5 Super Bowl LV commercials for 2021.



5. Pizza Hut | Craig Robinson Dots

This commercial was the first one to capture my attention. I first noticed the throwback Pizza Hut lamps and I was instantly transported to memories of my family grabbing dinner or lunch at Pizza Hut. This spot came in at number 5 due to the nostalgia and the fact that it had a different feel than your typical Pizza Hut commercial. The production was spot on (like most big game ads). I thought using a closeup of the Pac-Man game to start the commercial was a nice touch, but the third shot was the money shot showing Craig's awesome Pizza Hut throwback basement.




4. Bud Light | Seltzer Lemonade

Bud Light always brings out the big moves when it comes to big game ads. Of course this ad stood out due to the relevance and played along the lines of “what we’ve all been thinking” about 2020. I loved some of the subtle winks at the new "normal" including the cardboard cutouts at the baseball game.




3. Huggies | Welcome to the World, Baby

First off, this commercial definitely felt like it was directed towards me as a father to a 2 year old and not far removed from the moments found in this spot. A lot of the moments were spot on with what I and other parents have experienced. From a production standpoint, I liked the style using a deeper narrator, simple text on screen, and the home video effects throughout.




2. Cheetos | It Wasn’t Me

Many big game ads go with humor, but not all are successful. Combining humor with a nostalgic hit song makes for a winning commercial in my opinion. That is exactly what made this Cheetos spot work. Yes, Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis are great together on screen, but the music is what made this spot stand out.




1. Toyota | Jessica Long's Story | Upstream

Toyota’s big game spot was by far my favorite. For me, emotional spots tend to take the cake because they often tell a compelling story and inspire the audience in their short :30-1:00 run time. I found myself with chills after seeing this spot air. Not only did this spot use great music, it also used unique editing and cinematography to move the viewer through the story of Jessica Long’s journey. The use of audio throughout the spot, a simple phone call, and cheers along the way, helped evoke emotion that no other spot this year evoked.





Conclusion

Although I believe the Toyota spot is one of my favorite Super Bowl ads of recent memory, I do wish there were more emotional storytelling among the commercials that aired this year. I enjoy a good laugh while watching the game, but I believe something the moves you to act can have a bigger impact than something makes you laugh. What were your favorite Super Bowl ads from 2021?