Super Bowl LV was definitely unlike any other before it. Not just because the Kansas City Chiefs, appearing in their 4th Super Bowl, had never played the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in this particular contest before, only their second appearance. Not just because Tom Brady was back in the Big Game and quarterbacking for his new team. And not just because Covid-19 meant fewer fans in the stands and masks on everybody not playing football. Not just because the Centers for Disease Control and local governments encouraged everyone who wanted to watch the game on TV do so either outdoors or in their quarantine bubble, safely, which meant not in crowded spaces and without yelling or shouting.
Wow, that is a lot, but what also made this 55th Super Bowl different is the other thing people watch for: the TV commercials.
GLAAD counted four “inclusive” Super Bowl ads that aired during the game, featuring out LGBTQ people. That’s down significantly from last year when there were at least 11. A 30-second spot was also $100K cheaper this year, according to Sporting News.
Michelob ULTRA’s commercial featured a slew of famous sports celebrities, including tennis icon and lesbian legend Billie Jean King, as a version of Lou Reed’s “Walk on The Wild Side” played.
CBS All Access is rebranding its TV streaming service as Paramount+. If you don’t blink, you’ll see RuPaul standing on “Paramount Mountain,” alongside a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, a puppet... and Snookie of Jersey Shore fame. Patrick Stewart, Norah O’Donnell and Stephen Colbert really need to speak to their agents about that contract they signed.
Logitech’s ad starred Lil Nas X, the out Grammy Award-winning rapper, singer, and songwriter.
M&M’s commercial was the funniest of the bunch, with a sequence of actors showing they’re sorry by sharing the candy. The bit ended with Schitt’s Creek star Dan Levy, the out Emmy-Award winning showrunner, writer, director, producer, and actor.
“During one of the biggest nights in sports and media, global brands like M&M’s, Michelob ULTRA, Logitech, and Paramount raised the bar for inclusion by featuring LGBTQ icons in their ads after last year’s record number of inclusive ads,” said GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “More brands should now step up year round, as including LGBTQ people in ads is good for business and good for the world. GLAAD is working to grow the quality and the quantity of LGBTQ people in advertising, as it can have a profound impact on LGBTQ visibility and acceptance, especially during cultural events like the Super Bowl.”