2021’s Most Memorable Super Bowl Commercials

Lauran Shaban

The Superbowl is known for three things: football, the halftime show, and the commercials. Companies spend millions of dollars vying for the prized ad space that will automatically guarantee their commercials a captive audience of millions. In addition to just the ad slot itself, companies pull out all the stops when making these commercials; celebrity cameos are a must, and millions more are spent on the production itself.


This year, several companies took a different approach to advertise during the Superbowl. Companies like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Budwiser, all known for playing commercials every year during the Superbowl, declined to play ads, and instead donated the money to COVID-19 relief funds. For Budweiser, this was only the second time in nearly 4 decades where they did not run an ad for the Superbowl. With slots for Superbowl ads being priced at as much as $5.6 million for 30 seconds of air time, the donations made were fairly significant.


Unlike its counterparts in the beverage industry, Bud Light still aired a commercial this Super Bowl season. The company aired an Avengers: Endgame themed commercial, with a whole host of notable names and faces gathered together to reload a fallen truck carrying cases of Bud Light. While not the best commercial aired during this year’s Super Bowl, its theme and celebrity cameos made it memorable.


Speaking of which, as always, this year’s Superbowl commercials were packed with notable names and celebrity cameos. But State Farm’s commercial, “Drake From State Farm” definitely takes the cake for the most star-studded ad. Aaron Rogers, Paul Rudd, Patrick Mahomes, and Drake were all featured in the commercial, meaning State Farm went all out on their casting this year. Jeep’s commercial featured Bruce Springsteen, a rock icon and one of the most notable names from this year’s celebrity cameo lineups. 


2021’s Superbowl commercials were also filled with 90’s throwbacks, all made by a variety of companies. Cheetos put a spin on the 90’s classic, “It Wasn’t Me” by Shaggy, and the commercial stood out among the others that aired. It featured Shaggy himself, alongside celebrity couple and 90s favorites Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher. 


Another 90’s throwback was Uber Eats’ Wayne’s World parody featuring Mike Meyers, Dana Carvey, and surprisingly, Cardi B. Wayne’s World originated as a sketch on the show Saturday Night Live, and quickly became one of the show’s most popular sketches. It was then later turned into its own movie in 1992. The commercial itself broke the fourth wall, talking directly to the audience, sending not-so-subtle subliminal messages to “eat local”. While presented in a humorous way, the ad’s message was especially important during these unprecedented times, when small businesses have been impacted so heavily by COVID-19.

Yet another 90’s blast from the past was Cadillac’s commercial, “Scissor Hands-Free”. Based on the classic 1990 film Edward Scissorhands, the commercial follows the life of the main character’s son Edgar, played by Timothee Chalamet. Throughout the ad, Edgar struggles with fitting in and performing daily tasks with scissor hands. In the end, his mother, played by Winona Ryder, buys him a new car, and of course, it’s a Cadillac. The ad was meant to promote their new electric car, promoting the hands-free options available on the car. Following the pattern of the last two commercials, the ad was a parody of the real movie, which once again played on viewers’ nostalgia and love for the iconic movie. 


With the pandemic still raging and the lowest amount of viewers for the event in 14 years, the 2021 Superbowl was, for many football fans, full of disappointments. Yet, a few commercials still shone through to give viewers that classic Superbowl Sunday experience.