Oh, sure, we know that the Super Bowl ads that run between the plays of the NFL championship game are just there to entice us to buy the beer, chips, car, phone service, or whatever they’re selling. But the commercials are so entertaining that we don’t mind being sold. Some leave us laughing hysterically, while others leave us with a lump in our throat (like the Google Assistant ad showing an elderly man using the device to remember his late wife). For weeks before the big game, advertisers offer teasers of what viewers can expect. Sometimes it’s a launch of a new product, other times it’s a surprising guest star, and sometimes it’s both, as in the case of the upcoming Doritos ad with Matthew McConaughey.
This year promises to give us some truly memorable spots — particularly one featuring a very popular candy. Over the years, we’ve come to expect greatness from the Mars candy company’s Super Bowl commercials featuring M&Ms. In 2012, they used the game to promote its new animated character, Ms. Brown (via The New York Times). In 2018, we saw the Red M&M make a wish on a lucky penny and turn into Danny DeVito. Then the following year, Christina Applegate played a driver trying to keep her cool as her backseat passengers — candies stuck inside the M&Ms Chocolate Bar — squabbled like siblings. So what does this season’s ad hold? A disastrous party mishap — and a face from a multi-Emmy-winning show.
Dan Levy stars in the "sweet" M&Ms ad
The teaser (seen here) shows a glimpse of a gender-reveal party where the pink decorations seem to give a definite hint of the outcome. In the background, the guests start counting down to the reveal: “10, 9…” and suddenly the screen is filled with an explosion of blue smoke. The preview ends with these words on the screen: “M&Ms will make it better on February 7.”
Although no people are visible in the promo, People announced that Dan Levy will be the star of the ad. The Schitt’s Creek star tells the magazine that he jumped at the chance to work with the candy company. “I’ve always really admired the M&M’s commercials,” he says. “They’ve always been self-aware and funny and bright.” He was also sold on the concept of the ad, which he explains is about bringing people together: “I think it’s such a hopeful little spot. It is funny and sweet, and I can’t wait for everyone to see it.”
Considering the pink/blue mashup, is it possible that the spot sends a message about gender identity? That would certainly be in keeping with Levy’s commitment to the LGBTQ+ community (per Entertainment Weekly) and the theme of acceptance that helped make Schitt’s Creek such a hit. Apparently, we won’t have long to find out. In an unprecedented move, M&Ms is offering viewers the chance to watch the premiere on Zoom on Feb. 3 at 9 a.m. EST.
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