(NewsNation) — The commercials during this year’s Super Bowl appeared noticeably different, with many companies skipping the $7 million price tag for a 30-second spot. Those who invested the money avoided controversy, presenting less flashy commercials compared to previous years.
Advertisers tapped into light humor and nostalgia to give game breaks a mostly “feel good” energy. Still, there were also a few serious and somber moments.
Tom Brady may not have been on the field, but he still managed to make an impact on Super Bowl Sunday in a Dunkin’ ad. Actor Ben Affleck formed a boy band called “DunKings” with Brady, Matt Damon and others to visit Jennifer Lopez and give a performance full of Boston pride. Rappers Jack Harlow and Fat Joe also made appearances in the celebrity-filled commercial.
Uber Eats had to make a last-minute change to their commercial featuring “Friends” stars Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer after receiving complaints from the Food Allergy Research and Education organization regarding a scene that made light of peanut allergies. However, the ad showed people forgetting things so that they’d remember the company can deliver a wide variety of items.
Dr. Marcus Collins, author of “For the Culture” and a marketing professor at the University of Michigan, suggests brands perceive the risks as greater than the rewards when considering the vast audience watching the screen.
“We are in a highly divisive time at the moment, and almost anything can be a tripwire that can lead to a lot of negative backlash, so to safeguard the brand, they decide to play it safe,” Collins said.
More than 110 million people were expected to watch the Super Bowl.
Bud Light distanced itself from the backlash of last year’s ad featuring transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney by featuring “Top Gun Maverick” star Miles Teller and his wife, actress Keleigh Sperry, in an ad where they pass the time on hold with some dance moves.
Religion played a part in the big game again this year. The “He Gets Us” campaign aimed at connecting people with Jesus returned to the Super Bowl this year. The campaign, which is backed by a group of wealthy Christian donors, aired two ads Sunday night.
Additionally, megastars Mark Wahlberg and Jonathan Roumie led a prayer, inviting 100 million people to pray during halftime courtesy of the prayer app Hallow.
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s Foundation to Combat Antisemitism ran a commercial to combat antisemitism and all forms of hate. The ad featured Martin Luther King Jr.’s speechwriter Dr. Clarence B. Jones.
However, humor remained the go-to approach for ads during the breaks in the big game and continues to reign supreme.
Chaos erupted in a Reese’s ad when the narrator announced the brand is making a “big change” to its peanut butter cup. The silly commercial features six friends who gathered to watch the game. After hearing the announcement, the group overreacts, with one person breaking a table and another jumping out of a window.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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