"The year between this Super Bowl and the last one was one of the worst and weirdest in modern American history," says Justin Peters. "There was a pandemic. (The pandemic is still happening.) The president had an impeachment trial. (Amazingly, this is also still happening.) A bunch of violent right-wing idiots stormed the U.S. Capitol. (This literally just happened.) John Prine died. (This will probably not happen again.) Approximately 4,700 other memorably terrible things happened, too, and going into Super Bowl LV, the question on my mind was how the brands of the world would respond to this awful year in the commercials they’d paid millions to air during the big game. They mostly didn’t. Sure, a bunch of ads referred obliquely to the past year being a rough one, though most skipped over the particulars of why it was so rough. Others offered vague calls for national unity, even as they conveniently forgot to mention exactly what it was that’s divided us. Very few of these ads sat well, because you can’t really have an effective unity or sympathy message without specifics—but then again, if you’re buying a Super Bowl ad, you also don’t want to say anything too specific, lest you offend one half or the other of this polarized nation. So most ads took the safe path and chose not to mention this past year at all. Instead, they posited a world in which everything is fine and has always been fine. (No pandemics here, just lots of random celebrity cameos.) There was some weird stuff and some earnest stuff and some stuff that was actually pretty funny. But in a year in which most of us no longer know what to say, America’s advertising geniuses largely proved no different. It was a rough year for Super Bowl commercials. I am almost positive that this will happen again."
The pandemic was in the background of several Super Bowl ads: "The commercials during Sunday's game were underwhelming," says Daniel Fienberg. "They always are. But they weren't boring in exactly the way we all expected them to be, with the universally mocked montages of first responders and a glib closing line like, "We know everything is different now, but when we got back to normal, Ruffles will still have ridges. Sensing probably correctly that this wasn't really the time to depress the year's biggest TV audience, the geniuses at Madison Avenue kept things light and fuzzy — unless you happened to look beneath the surface. The pandemic was in the background of the various gig economy commercials, including ballyhooed spots for Uber Eats featuring Mike Meyers and Dana Carvey — with Cardi-B to save parents the trouble of explaining Wayne's World or 'local access TV' to kids — and DoorDash featuring various Sesame Street characters (violating every progressive, left-wing principle those Sesame Street characters were invented for). Economic hopefulness — because what's the alternative? — fueled all of the ads for mortgage companies and companies to help your start-up business."
This year's Super Bowl ads pretended 2020 didn't happen: "You might think that companies would have more to say this year, considering there’s a pandemic going on in which millions of people have died, Trump just left the White House, and there was an insurrection at the Capitol only a few weeks prior to the Super Bowl, but they aren’t sharing their thoughts on all that. Corporate America wants to distract us from the elephant in the room, with beer and gentle reminders that maybe we should update our life insurance," says Melinda Fakuade. "It doesn’t want to talk about the glaring why of it all, which is that we are very vulnerable right now, left out in the cold by a lethal combination of capitalism and misinformation. So, maybe we want to watch football in peace. Who could blame execs for knowing what we really want?"
Tim Burton approved of Cadillac’s Edward Scissorhands sequel starring Wynona Ryder and Timothée Chalamet: “It’s rare when a work you’re proud of continues to live on and evolve with the times, even after 30 years,” Burton said in Cadillac's press release. “I’m glad to see Edgar coping with the new world! I hope both fans and those being introduced to Edward Scissorhands for the first time enjoy it.” Meanwhile, Ryder she “loved the idea of working with Timothée, and the fact that it was an electric car was important too.” She added: “It was pretty surreal to have Timothée play my son, Edgar. Timothée is an incredible guy — so talented and sweet. I felt a pretty instant bond with him.”