When the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs face off at the National Football League's Super Bowl LIV in Miami on Sunday all eyes will also be on the ads, where Sabra Hummus is set to make history.
While President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg each spending $10 million to appeal directly to voters, an unprecedented event in Super Bowl history, Sabra Hummus will run an ad featuring two Drag queens. Sabra Hummus is co-owned by Israeli food company Strauss and PepsiCo.
“RuPaul’s Drag Race” alumni Kim Chi and Miz Cracker will make history for the first time by appearing in a Super Bowl advertisement. NBC News notes that, Bob Witeck, a longtime marketing strategist who specializes in reaching LGBTQ audiences, called Sabra’s drag ad “revolutionary.”
The Super Bowl is the biggest televised event of the year in America when close to 100 million U.S. viewers tune in.
Big brands plan to neutralize or avoid the tense atmosphere by pushing positive social causes. Equality, environmental conservation and helping youths are among the themes that will dominate the airwaves.
Skin care brand Olay will feature an all-female celebrity cast including actresses Taraji P. Henson and Busy Philipps to celebrate NASA's all-female spacewalk.
Beer brand Budweiser will highlight stars and everyday Americans who demonstrate values like community and ambition, breaking down the label of what it means to be a "typical American." The commercial will also feature Budweiser's newly designed label.
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"Our message is to bring people together and exemplify the American spirit," said Monica Rustgi, vice president of marketing for Budweiser, when asked if the company had concerns about the campaign ads. "It's critically important this year for us to get our message out."
Running brand Saucony will announce its first biodegradable shoe in a push for sustainability.
Other brands will use humor as a time-honored tactic for Super Bowl commercials. Car maker Hyundai Motor Co will feature an all-star cast that includes actors Rachel Dratch, a former "Saturday Night Live" cast member, John Krasinski of the action drama "Jack Ryan," and Chris Evans, who played Captain America. The commercial takes a humorous play off the Boston accent, since all three actors and the director of the commercial are from Boston.
"We need to suspend ourselves with the reality of what's happening in the political sphere," said Angela Zepeda, chief marketing officer at Hyundai. "We're just there to celebrate the Super Bowl and have a good time with the rest of America."
The Super Bowl will also welcome two first-time advertisers, Facebook Inc and Intuit Inc's Turbo Tax, both of which are under investigation over business practices.