2021’s Superbowl Ads: Our Big Winners & Losers

Naturally, 2020 was a difficult year for everyone, and to be expected the ratio of humorous commercials to the ones that try to tug at your heartstrings was a little more skewed toward the latter than usual, not a bad thing.

From the Abacus team – Here are some of the Superbowl ads we loved this year and some that we could just not wrap our heads around.


Alexa was the most relevant and entertaining and Toyota dug deep, but in a good way. – Lance

Second ‘Alexa’s Body’ Featuring Michael B. Jordan, (Huge fan) I mean can you imagine a more beautiful vessel for the device? Named the People’s 2020 Sexiest Man Alive and as your virtual assistant. Well a girl can dream. – Nicole

Oatly. It was simple and random and catchy. Even if it seemed kind of lame and low budget, it really stood out among all of the celebrity endorsements. Audi also had a great clapback to GM’s No Norway spot.- Ellen

Fritos: While I might be biased because I’m his friend and business partner, I thought that Marshawn Lynch carried the super bowl with his Frito’s commercial.

It was the second in a series of commercials, with Marshawn reading ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas with a super bowl theme and many of the best players of past Super Bowls. For football fans it was close to the perfect commercial.

BeastMode got to BeastMode, the Manning brothers got in trouble with Archie for drilling balls into the wall, and Aikman got snubbed trying to hang out with the inhospitable 49ers legends.

The writing is brilliant. Far from cliche the action is fast, unpredictable and hilarious. And by letting BeastMode off the chain, they got what they were hoping for.

You know how I hate tv right? This one had social legs for days. In fact, Fritos took an ending that wasn’t supposed to run, and teased it after the game on Marshawn’s Instagram. If you haven’t seen it, I recommend you find it. They also have a funny blooper reel going around.

Any football fan who’s being honest would say they’d be happy to watch this ad a few times. And with a tagline like “Don’t forget the chips” it’s a message that we can all agree with. – Jeff

Ford: Seeing a reduced amount of car- focused ads than usual this year, the few that featured did a great job.

In particular Ford’s Finish Strong promotion. Super Bowl ads had the difficult job this year of figuring out how to address the pandemic.

This Ford ad chose to face it head-on with a moving piece in its call – to stay focused and together as we continue to work to move past the coronavirus. A commendable idea as it honoured essential workers and encouraged everyone to keep fighting. – Nicole



Jeep Springsteen Superbowl ads were really tone-deaf. Their hearts may have been in the right place but it was clear they were pandering to a very specific type of audience. Same with Squarespace. I love a good Dolly Parton song as much as the next person but side hustle culture has become toxic.

Not every creative passion needs to be monetized! – Ellen


Oatly, ‘Wow, No Cow’- quite literally, wow!. Perhaps one of the strangest of the night but also the most memorable. Isn’t that the goal?

Klarna – So what exactly was this an ad for? Four “quarter-sized cowboys” signifying splitting payment for the price of a pair of boots using Klarma’s payment instalment plan. A weird one for me personally – Nicole.

Most, sadly. A salad of Subpar Production and irrelevant throwbacks, I was hoping to laugh or to be moved more. Jason Alexander? Ashton? Cardi B just because you remember that you want to connect with a younger demo? Could have been better.

It feels like super bowl ads are in the 3rd quarter and are becoming less and less relevant sadly. Hopefully for the coming years to see more immersive and cross channel strategies. – Lance

RobinHood Talk about tone-deaf. Coming off one of the biggest blunders a company could make in the wake of the “Gamestock” fiasco, pushing the “We are all investors” angle while simultaneously blocking tens of millions of investors was absurd.

Quite the ballsy move from a company facing an army of users fleeing their product and the ire of regulators alike.  – Biz



Nicole Daly
Nicole Daly

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