Six and a half million dollars.
That’s how much a 30-second block of advertising costs during this past Sunday’s Super Bowl LVI, up $1 million from last year. Several companies are using their airtime to highlight their sustainability or corporate responsibility initiatives and/or latest eco-friendly offerings. And they are using classic Super Bowl ad ingredients – humor, nostalgia, A-list celebrities, astonishing special effects and, yes, even cute CGI animals – to do so! Here’s a look at six of these six commercials that aired yesterday, all of which can be seen on YouTube.
Hellmann’s – Last year, Hellmann’s used its first-ever Super Bowl commercial to introduce its campaign to end food waste. This year, the mayonnaise brand has tapped Saturday Night Live cast member Pete Davidson and former football player and linebackers coach Jarod Mayo (yes, that’s his actual name) to share the same message: Transforming leftovers can minimize unnecessary food waste. In addition to the commercial, Hellmann’s has launched the four-week Fridge Night Challenge, a website and app encouraging families to eliminate food waste at home by using up what is in their refrigerators.
BMW – At least half a dozen car companies highlighted their latest electric and hybrid models in 2022 Super Bowl LVI spots. In BMW’s ad, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Salma Hayek Pinault play Zeus and Hera, now settling in to retired life in Palm Springs with the help of their electric BMW iX. Keep an eye out for Peggy, their pet Pegasus and my new favorite CGI animal. And warning – you may have “Electric Avenue” stuck in your head the rest of the evening after watching this ad.
General Motors – Like the Super Bowl halftime show, General Motors’ spot brought a late 90’s favorite into 2022 – in this case, Austin Powers trilogy archnemesis Dr. Evil. The premise of the commercial is that the villain has just bought GM, and his henchmen convince him that he should use GM’s EV technology to combat climate change, the greatest threat of all. The ad stars Mike Myers, Rob Lowe, Seth Green and Mindy Sterling, all reprising their roles from the trilogy.
Nissan – Nissan’s commercial is part Schitt’s Creek, part Fast and the Furious, and part Marvel blockbuster. In other words, it’s the greatest mash-up we never knew we needed. The minute-long ad stars Eugene Levy, and features Catherine O’Hara, the Moira to Levy’s Johnny Rose, along with several members of the Marvel universe. While the ad mainly focuses on the Nissan Z Coupe, O’Hara can be seen driving the all-electric Ariya model.
Kia – Kia’s ad is probably my favorite on this list. It also focuses on the latest EV in the car company’s lineup, but it separates itself from the others by also promote animal adoption. The commercial follows a robotic puppy looking for a home. The dog is rescued and his battery is recharged thanks to a Kia EV6 owner (played by Mad Men and The Bold Type actor Sam Page). According to a press release from Kia, this commercial is part of an ongoing campaign between Kia’s Accelerate the Good Program and the Petfinder foundation. The campaign will also include augmented reality and Tiktok projects to help spread awareness for animal shelters.
Salesforce – “So while the others look to the metaverse and Mars, let’s stay here and restore ours.” So says Matthew McConaughey in the opening to Salesforce’s new commercial, in which the actor (and Salesforce brand advisor) opts to stay on earth and make a difference here rather than journey into outer space. The statement is a not-so-subtle reference to Mark Zuckerburg, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk. In an interview with Variety, McConaughey said, “Hopefully businesses will see this [commercial] and are urged and nudged to make a commitment to making life here on Earth more fair, equal and sustainable.”
The ad is part of Salesforce’s new #TeamEarth campaign, which highlights the tech company’s corporate responsibility initiatives while encouraging public participation. Through #TeamEarth, people can learn about creating climate action plans, preventing unconscious bias, designing accessible and inclusive products, and more.
Image credit: Troutfarm27 via Wiki Commons