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Super Bowl commercials might look different this year as advertisers are hesitant

The coronavirus pandemic is leading big-name companies to pass on Super Bowl LV spots.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

TAMPA, Fla. — Super Bowl commercials hold a coveted space in pop culture. Appearing in millions of living rooms across the country, Super Bowl ads have become a feature almost as big as the game itself.

Traditionally, companies will spend millions of dollars and months of work hoping to create a commercial that people will talk about for months to come. However, with so much up in the air for Super Bowl LV, many companies have decided to sit this year out.

According to the New York Times, companies like Sabra Hummus, SodaStream, and Avocados from Mexico, which made a splash with ads last year, have opted out of Super Bowl LV.

The most obvious reason for this hesitation is the uncertainty surrounding the logistics of the game itself. Will the limited capacity in Raymond James Stadium affect the energy of the game? Will that influence viewers' excitement levels while watching from home?

Another note is the somber tone the pandemic has left on the country. With more than 300,000 people lost to COVID-19 and millions of others left isolated and unemployed, a funny commercial may seem insensitive. At the same time a serious, hopeful commercial may seem depressing or unoriginal.

The Super Bowl is usually the biggest advertising event of the year, with companies fighting for a multi-million dollar 30-second spot. According to the New York Times, CBS still had several commercial openings in mid-December.

Citing analysts, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette predicts commercial spots will sell, despite the "initial slowness."

But, as CNBC points out, advertisers may end up getting some deals to lure them in. The news outlet says CBS is charging roughly $5.5 million for 2021 Super Bowl spots. But, with several spots still unsold, it's likely CBS will package some Super Bowl ads with other sports programming commercial slots to make it "attractive for companies still on the fence," CBNC wrote.

Viewers can look forward to seeing spots from some fan-favorite companies like Anheuser-Busch, Toyota, and Pringles. 

We’ll have to tune into the big game on Feb. 7  to see what advertisers will come up with for this year’s unforgettable Super Bowl LV.

You can watch the game locally on 10 Tampa Bay.

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