Super Bowl marketing is being shaken up after the conclusion of a years-long battle over precious airtime, Canadian advertisers say.
Bell Canada’s broadcast on Sunday — including Canadian commercials — will be the only feed following a Supreme Court decision that overruled a previous decision allowing both Canadian and U.S. signals to air during the big game.
Advertisers say the change has caused many companies to create ads solely for the Canadian market, or choose to run their brands’ American spots in Canada too.
Labatt Canada says beer brand Budweiser will run a Canadian ad in partnership with Uber that encourages people not to drink and drive, but will use different spots in the U.S.
Hyundai Canada says it decided to buy the Canadian rights to the automaker’s U.S. Super Bowl spot starring actors John Krasinski, Chris Evans and Rachel Dratch.
Bell Media says Canadians viewers can expect to also see ads from SkipTheDishes, BMW Canada and Maple Leaf Foods.
In 2016, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission decided that the usual practice of substituting U.S. Super Bowl feeds when a Canadian broadcaster owns the rights went against the public interest. The Supreme Court of Canada on Dec. 19 said the regulator did not have the authority to make the decision.
Here are 10 ads that Canadians will be missing on TV:
Amazon’s ad stars Ellen DeGeneres and her wife, actress Portia de Rossi, imagining life before the company’s voice assistant Alexa. A maid named Alexa throws some burning firewood out a window when she is asked to turn the temperature down; an Old West pioneer asks his companion Al to “play that song I like.” In one of the few political allusions of the night, a newsboy says his newspaper has “fake news” and a character resembling Richard Nixon asks his secretary to remind him to delete his tapes (although she tells the camera she won’t do it).
— Amazon.com (@amazon) January 27, 2020
Arya can sing as well as stab, it turns out. “Game of Thrones” actress Maisie Williams belts out the hit song “Let it Go” from “Frozen” as she promotes Audi’s e-tron family of electric vehicles. The ad airs in the second quarter.
A new generation takes the wheel to drive into a better, cleaner future: @maisie_williams meets the new electric Audi e-tron.
— Audi (@AudiOfficial) January 31, 2020
The Anheuser-Busch brand enlisted Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow for a 60-second ad that contrasts a voiceover of “typical American” behaviour with real-life video of Americans doing heartwarming things. For instance, the narration says typical Americans are “always so competitive” while the ad shows Hannah Gavios, who is partially paralyzed, completing a marathon.
America, look beyond the labels. You might be surprised by what you find.
— Budweiser (@budweiserusa) January 23, 2020
The MC Hammer classic “U Can’t Touch This” is 30 years old this year, but that’s not keeping Cheetos from embracing it. The snack-food ad features a man with bright orange Cheetos dust on his hands who can’t stop moving furniture or performing office tasks. Hammer himself — “Hammer pants” and all — also keeps popping up to utter his iconic catchphrase.
Now everyone can have the superpower of Cheetle at their fingertips. Check out the Cheetos Super Bowl spot… starring new Cheetos Popcorn. Out now. #CantTouchThis #Cheetos #ItsCheetle pic.twitter.com/KgcGkkFxJw
— Chester Cheetah (@ChesterCheetah) January 28, 2020
The snack chip is betting people will connect with “Old Town Road,” the smash hit of the summer by Lil Nas X. In the Western-themed ad, Lil Nas has a dance off with grizzled character actor Sam Elliott. Billy Cyrus, who features in the song’s remix, also makes a cameo.
— Doritos (@Doritos) January 29, 2020
The social media site hasn’t unveiled its first-ever Super Bowl ad but it will star Rocky himself, Sylvester Stallone, with comedian Chris Rock to promote the site’s Groups feature. The 60-second ad airs late in the game during the fourth quarter.
Google’s 90-second ad is one of the few ads this year that doesn’t use humour or celebrities. It features a man reminiscing about his wife, using the Google Assistant feature to pull up old photos of her and past vacations. The ad is set to an instrumental version of “Say Something” by Great Big World.
The teams, performers and commercials change year after year. But one thing remains the same: The questions people ask Google about the game. #SuperBowlLIV #GameDayWithGoogle pic.twitter.com/QRkrHUj99D
— Google (@Google) January 28, 2020
The automaker pokes fun at Boston accents with a 60-second ad in the second quarter that uses Boston-affiliated celebrities including actor Chris Evans, John Krasinski, Saturday Night Live alum Rachel Dratch and Boston Red Sox manager David Ortiz. They discuss Hyundai’s feature that lets car owners park remotely with exaggerated accents that make “Smart Park” sound like “smaht pahk.”
— Hyundai USA (@Hyundai) January 27, 2020
Wrestler-turned-actor John Cena tries to convince Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon that there’s a “lighter side” to working out, with cameos by Tonight show band The Roots and Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt. The ad ultimately hawks Michelob Ultra, which Anheuser-Busch promotes as a lower calorie beer.
Fitness has never looked so fun. Let @JimmyFallon, @JohnCena, and a few of our pals show you the lighter side of things in our #SuperBowlLIV commercial. @TheRoots @BKoepka @UsainBolt @Kerrileewalsh @BASweat #DoItForTheCheers pic.twitter.com/fHf6Y6Do9c
— Michelob ULTRA (@MichelobULTRA) January 28, 2020
Pepsi tries to reignite the Cola Wars with Missy Elliott and H.E.R. performing an updated version of the Rolling Stones’ classic tune “Paint It Black.” As singers intone the lyrics “I see a red door and I want it painted black,” a red cola can resembling a Coke changes into a black can of Pepsi.
— Pepsi (@pepsi) January 29, 2020
Mae Anderson, The Associated Press