Hello Super Bowl junkies,
I’m Jeanine Poggi, Ad Age’s senior editor, counting down to Super Bowl LIV. With less than two weeks to go we now know the Kansas City Chiefs will take on the San Francisco 49ers at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami on Feb 2. Leading up to the game, which will air on Fox, Ad Age will bring you breaking news, analysis and first looks at the high-stakes, Big-Game commercials—all in our Super Bowl Alerts newsletter. Sign up right here to get them in your email.
Join Ad Age on Jan. 28 as we bring together some of the top brands, agencies and creatives, including Hyundai, BBDO, Sabra hummus, Madonna Badger, Pop-Tarts and WeatherTech, to discuss what it takes to pull off a Super Bowl commercial.
Rest in peace
It seems Planters has really killed off its iconic spokescharacter Mr. Peanut. Planters will be hosting a funeral in his honor during the third quarter of the Super Bowl, Ad Age’s Jessica Wohl reports.
An ad showing how Mr. Peanut falls to his death appeared on Twitter on Tuesday. It’s unclear if the spot was leaked or if it was a planned stunt, but the tweet was later removed from Mr. Peanut’s handle (Mr. Peanut's Twitter handle has also been changed to the Estate of Mr. Peanut). That spot will air in pre-game and a separate commercial featuring Mr. Peanut’s funeral will air during the game.
Perhaps my favorite quote from any Super Bowl story so far: “It’s with heavy hearts that we confirm Mr. Peanut has passed away at 104 years old,” Samantha Hess, Planters brand manager at Kraft Heinz, said in a statement. “He will be remembered as the legume who always brought people together for nutty adventures and a good time. We encourage fans to tune in to Mr. Peanut’s funeral during the third quarter of the Super Bowl to celebrate his life.”
Talk about a blast from the past. Bill Nye the Science Guy makes an appearance in SodaStream's Super Bowl teaser, released Wednesday morning, Ad Age’s Ann-Christine Diaz reports. In the clip, the children’s show host hints that mankind has finally made it to Mars. Watch the teaser here.
This is the second Super Bowl commercial with a space theme. Elsewhere, Olay is sending its all-female cast to space in its Super Bowl spot.
And SodaStream is the latest Super Bowl marketer to play on nostalgic characters or references. Cheetos released a teaser featuring rapper MC Hammer, Avocados From Mexico’s ad stars Molly Ringwald, who was made famous by 80s movies like “The Breakfast Club,” and Mtn Dew makes reference to the 80s movie “The Shining” in its teaser.
Speaking of Mtn Dew, the company revealed on Wednesday that "Black-ish" star Tracee Ellis Ross will star in its spot, parodying a classic scene in the movie. Ross posted a picture of herself on Instagram on Wednesday practicing for her role.
Little Caesars will make its first Super Bowl appearance with an ad starring “The Office’s” Rainn Wilson, Wohl reports. It’s an interesting move for a pizza chain. Typically, a brand like Pizza Hut will advertise in the pre-game to entice people to order pizzas before the action begins.
Hard Rock will air its first Super Bowl commercial and has tapped Michael Bay to direct it. While the hotel and casino chain did not disclose details of the spot, Super Bowl LIV will be played in its namesake stadium on Feb. 2.
To keep track of all the advertisers running national spots in the game bookmark Ad Age’s regularly updated Super Bowl ad chart.
The Man Your Man Could Smell like—a.k.a. the Old Spice guy—will make an appearance during the Super Bowl, Ad Age’s Jack Neff reports. Isaiah Mustafa will star alongside his “son” (played by Keith Powers) as Old Spice celebrates the 10th anniversary of its iconic campaign. Mustafa will appear in some capacity during the Super Bowl, but the brand declined to provide specifics.
The original Old Spice ad did not air in the Super Bowl (it dropped the Friday before), but Mustafa has appeared in character in a Big Game commercial for Tide in 2018.
Get your freak on
Missy Elliott is back for another Super Bowl commercial for a PepsiCo soft drink brand. After getting her freak on in a cameo for Mtn Dew in 2018, she will star in a 30-second spot for Pepsi Zero Sugar, Ad Age’s E.J. Schultz reports. Elliott will appear alongside Grammy winner H.E.R., which stands for Having Everything Revealed (and, yes, we totally had to Google that). The spot will plug Pepsi Zero Sugar’s new matte black can.
Flashback: Here’s Missy Elliott in Mtn Dew’s 2018 Super Bowl commercial.
Dive further into Big Game ads of yore in Ad Age’s extensive Super Bowl ad archive.