What this year’s Super Bowl ads get wildly wrong

America is in the middle of a deadly pandemic, although you might not know it from tonight's Super Bowl ads. Squarespace is busting loose with a ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ 
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America is in the middle of a deadly pandemic, although you might not know it from tonight’s Super Bowl ads. Squarespace is busting loose with a Damien Chazelle-directed musical romp. Fiverr is cracking up over Four Seasons Total Landscaping. Michelob Ultra has a spot with Peyton Manning playing darts, not a mask in sight. 

Of course, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows: brands are still finding ways to talk about the pandemic without really talking about the pandemic (watch closely during Indeed’s one-minute ad for a blink-or-you’ll-miss-it shot of a Zoom interview). But it’s a far cry from the early days of the pandemic, when every ad was a “we’re here for you” sob-fest set to soft piano.

Marketing departments are looking forward during this year’s Super Bowl (to the tune of $5.5 million per 30-second spot), referencing but not lingering on our collective trauma. Jeff Beer takes a closer look at the trends in his game-day preview, here.
 
SUPER BOWL LV
What this year’s Super Bowl ads get wildly wrong

Brands such as Squarespace, Robinhood, and Michelob Ultra offer up a pep talk for almost every aspect of your life.

 
SUPER BOWL LV
How much does a Super Bowl ad cost? Here’s how 2021 compares

WFH, online classes, and face masks are some of our pandemic-inspired changes. One thing that hasn’t changed? Paying big bucks for a Super Bowl ad.

 
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Football and concussions: How safe is the Super Bowl for players’ brains?

An update on the link between football, head injuries, and brain damage.

 
 
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video: brand hit and miss of the week
Budweiser skips the Super Bowl, and Robinhood’s reputation takes a tumble
Budweiser’s parent company Anheuser-Busch pulls its Super Bowl ad, and Robinhood falls flat on its promise of democratizing the stock market.
WATCH NOW
 
 
SUPERBOWL LV
How to watch the 2021 Super Bowl live on CBS without cable, including free options

It’s easier than ever to find free places to stream the Super Bowl, the commercials, and the halftime show. Let’s hope the streams don’t choke.

 
creativity
Meet the viral video comedian who is ready to take on the Biden era

Kylie Brakeman may have broken out by skewering all things 2020, but she is an equal opportunity offender—and she’s got the range.

 
tech tips
6 Google Forms settings you need to start using to be more productive

How to make the most of this powerful free form app.

 
tech
Samsung’s new SmartTags will help you find lost stuff, but that’s not all

SmartTags sit atop Samsung’s SmartThings platform, a home-automation ecosystem that’s also extending its vision to the car and beyond.

 
remote work
4 smart tricks that make the Zoom chat function more powerful

From emoji to files, acquire these Zoom chat superpowers in order to have more fulfilling conversations.

 
leadership
The 4 management styles of emotionally intelligent leaders

Leaders who practice strategic agility are quick to adapt and show the ability to evolve, no matter the circumstances.

 
recommender
These 45 creative Valentine’s Day gift ideas will delight anyone you love

We could all use a little love and sweetness this year. These unique Valentine’s Day gift ideas are guaranteed to make anyone you love smile.

 
recommender
The sex-toy pioneer behind Dame Products explains how to have a (very) happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day from Dame Products founder Alexandra Fine, who is changing the way we think about sex toys.

 
 
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Mav Carter, Evan Spiegel, Rebecca Minkoff headline first Most Innovative Companies Summit
Inaugural event on March 9 and 10 will celebrate innovation and help define the future of business. Read more here.
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