In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, a number of longtime Super Bowl advertisers decided to sit out this year's commercial broadcast – incluidng Budweiser, Coca-Cola and Kia.
Instead, there will be at least 15 first-time advertisers stepping in to fill the void.
While every Super Bowl commercial slate features a handful of new brands, this year's group is notably large – and particularly eclectic. There's a startup that makes men's soaps and personal care products. A Swedish banking company. And at least two food delivery services.
The going rate for a 30-second spot during CBS' broadcast this year was $5.5 million.
Here's a look at just seven of the brands that will step onto the Super Bowl stage for the first time Sunday, courtesy of USA TODAY's Ad Meter, which ranks Super Bowl commercials based on consumer rating.
Rate every commercial! Become an Ad Meter panelist, vote on every ad and be entered to win a trip to the big game in 2022. See official rules for details.
Rarely do we see a niche health technology company step onto the Super Bowl stage. But Dexcom, which makes continuous glucose monitoring systems, is taking that step this year, with a 30-second spot that will air after the first quarter. The ad is narrated by musician Nick Jonas, who has Type 1 diabetes.
Ad Meter 2021:Step into the future with Dexom and Nick Jonas
After years of building brand awareness with viral YouTube videos, Dr. Squatch decided to take its campaign to the big game this year, a significant step for a company that sells men's soap and other personal care products. The move comes on the heels of a strong 2020, in which Dr. Squatch says it reached roughly $100 million in sales.
Ad Meter 2021: Dr. Squatch is real soap for real men
Actress and comedian Maya Rudolph stars in this 30-second spot for Klarna, a Swedish banking company that, among other things, allows consumers to "buy now and pay later." Four miniature versions of Rudolph ride into a Western town to show how Klarna allows consumers to pay for an item in four separate installments. Chief marketing officer, David Sandstrom, called the ad an "exciting milestone" for the company.
Ad Meter 2021: Maya Rudolph is buying boots with Klarna
It's been quite the month for Robinhood, the stock-trading platform that many amateur investors used to purchase shares in Gamestop and manipulate the market. The company later drew criticism (and lawsuits) for temporarily blocking its users from buying Gamestop shares. Robinhood's 30-second Super Bowl ad is titled "We Are All Investors."
Ad Meter 2021: Anyone can be an investor with Robinhood
The lawn and gardening company is making its first foray into the Super Bowl with a celebrity-heavy spot, featuring Martha Stewart, John Travolta and more. The 45-second ad, which will run in the second quarter, is part of a broader campaign from ScottsMiracle-Gro in the leadup to spring and encourages viewers to "keep growing."
Ad Meter: Tik Tok meets “Grease” thanks to John Travolta and Scotts Miracle-Gro
Mike Myers and Dana Carvey reprise their "Wayne's World" roles in a 60-second spot for Uber Eats, which also features rapper Cardi B. The food delivery service has enjoyed a surge in business during the COVID-19 pandemic, as many Americans have eschewed dining out at restaurants. DoorDash, a similar company, is also making its Super Bowl advertising debut with a 60-second ad of its own during the first quarter.
Ad Meter 2021: Uber Eats teams up with Waynes World and Cardi B to promote eating local
While car brands like Hyundai and Kia decided to bow out of this year's commercial lineup, Vroom – which allows people to buy or sell used vehicles online – decided to hop in. The company said its 30-second spot will be the first national ad for a used car company to air during the Super Bowl since 2014. It also comes roughly eight months after Vroom went public.
Ad Meter 2021: Vroom's Super Bowl ad is showing us the future of buying a car
Contact Tom Schad at [email protected] or on Twitter @Tom_Schad.
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