Last year’s Super Bowl ad discourse was dominated by the death of Mr. Peanut, who killed himself in order to save actors Wesley Snipes and Matt Walsh. This year, because we live in hell, a number of major brands are choosing not to air commercials during the Big Game, lest they strike the wrong tone during a time dominated by death and pestilence. One of said brands is Budweiser, who will forgo its customary Super Bowl airtime for the first time in 37 years in order to funnel those funds into COVID-19 vaccine awareness efforts. (It will still, however, air ads for Bud Light, Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade, Michelob Ultra, and Michelob Ultra Organic Seltzer, per ABC News. Just no capital-B Budweiser ads.)
Today, ahead of the February 7 game, they shared their 2021 “commercial,” an ode to American resilience that’s narrated by Rashida Jones. It’s filled with many of the things that made 2020 so depressing: Birthday car parades, virtual meetings, and socially distanced lines. But, hey, we got through it. Right? (Long pause) RIGHT?
You can watch it below.
Bud’s not the only one reading the room. Pepsi is scaling back on its advertising during the game, while Coke, Audi, and Hyundai will skip it altogether. Filling the void will be ads from fresh-faced brands like Triller, Fiverr, and Vroom. As for the game itself, it will still host 22,000 fans, roughly a third of the Raymond James Stadium’s capacity. Surely not a one of them will have COVID-19.