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Game-Changing Ads of 2021:
See Our Top 5 Super Bowl Picks

Creating a show-stopping ad with mega-budgets that commands the attention of a highly captive audience during the Super Bowl is one thing. But which ads stayed top of mind after the Bud Lights were all gone and the Dorito-dust settled? This year’s Super Bowl spots received more visibility than ever as we watched with bated breath from our respective living rooms to see how top ad execs would cut through the noise and stand out from the rest. Now that we’ve taken a moment to step away from the spotlight of the big night, we’re breaking down our favorite ads from the game, featuring everything from heartfelt moments to wild celebrity antics.

1. UberEats: “Wayne’s World and Cardi B’s Shameless Manipulation”

Transporting us back to the 1990s, this fun spot features comedians Dana Carvey and Mike Meyers in an epic throwback. The ad posing as a local-access show includes ironically overt attempts at subliminal messaging to “eat local,” all while Carvey and Meyers insist they would never employ the typical tactics to try to influence viewers in any way. Clever, right?

They even reference the fact that they’d never use tired celebrity cameos—right before the camera pans over to Cardi B sitting on the couch next to them. UberEats ad execs tapped into nostalgia and current pop culture to deliver a commercial that we think really works.

2. Toyota: “Jessica Long’s Story”

If you need a good cry, this emotional commercial certainly did the trick for us. Toyota
masterfully recounted the story of Jessica Long, a 13-time Paralympic gold medalist swimmer, and the obstacles she overcame to get where she is today. The 60-second spot takes the viewer through a reimagining of the heartbreaking call Long’s adoptive parents received when they first learned they had been matched with an orphan in Siberia who would need both of her legs amputated due to a rare condition.

Throughout the commercial, you see images of the little girl growing up, learning to swim, and ultimately making it to the Paralympics. Experts are praising Toyota for the spot’s inclusivity and inspiring execution. We’re here for it!

3. Cadillac: “ScissorHandsFree”

It’s the Edward Scissorhands sequel we never knew we needed. Is there any better way
to promote your car brand’s new hands-free driving feature than with a scissor-handed Timotheé Chalamet? If there is, we can’t think of it.

Chalamet expertly (and creepily) plays the role of Edgar Scissorhands, the son of original co-star Winona Ryder. With Ryder riding shotgun, this hilariously weird 90-second spot was a win.

4. Rocket Mortgage: “Certain Is Better”

When the opening scene includes Tracy Morgan in a bathtub, you know you’re going to laugh out loud. The famous “30 Rock” actor and comedian sets us straight on why it’s always better to be certain rather than “pretty sure,” both when it comes to buying a house and when it comes to eating poisonous mushrooms.

To top it all off, the murder hornets of 2020 infamy received the shoutout they deserve. Morgan’s over-the-top personality and insane scenarios definitely stick in your brain. Anyone need a mortgage?

5. Squarespace: “5 to 9 by Dolly Parton”

We can all agree on one thing: Dolly Parton is an American treasure. That’s why it’s completely genius that Squarespace recruited her to put a modern spin on her hit song 9-5 in honor of the iconic tune’s 40th anniversary. The ad inspires people to pursue their passions after their day job is done, using Squarespace to build their dream website and singing this catchy remix while they do it.

The spot speaks to Millenials in particular and celebrates the art of the side hustle, but it also reaches Dolly fans far and wide to create a fantastically accessible ad for everyone.

Inspired to create some memorable, out-of-the-box ads of your own? We’re here for you. Let’s talk!