An Unfortunate Ranking Of The Super Bowl Commercials That Feature Musicians Or The Musician-Adjacent
To begin I’d like to say that every single one of these commercials makes me envious of the dead. They are the 2021 Super Bowl commercials featuring pop stars, or the pop-star-adjacent, and I am here to rank them. Please do not watch them yourself. I cannot think of a good reason why you would do so, unless watching these commercials on this website somehow makes Stereogum money, which I do not believe it does. Stereogum may include an editor’s note after this sentence if it somehow makes them money for you to watch the commercials. If no editor’s note was placed into the copy preceding the sentence you are now reading, you can be assured that watching these commercials will do nothing for anyone except drain you of your will to live, which I assume is already in short supply.
Unfortunately for me, I cannot not watch them. I am here to “rank” them, as I said, although please note that my honest rank for each of them is 0. Alas ranking them is my task; it is my work for which I am being paid, and for which I assume I will one day have to repent. So here we go.
BUD LIGHT AND POST MALONE AND A TRUCK, ETC.
In this commercial, a bunch of people help put beer back on a truck. I am not particularly well versed in Bud Light commercials — my boyfriend only recently explained "dilly dilly" to me, which I hated — and because of this I don't really know who all of these people are and what they have to do with Bud Light, but I can only assume that they were all in other Bud Light commercials. Nice to see them "again." My primary confusion, though, is why Post Malone says the words he does. What do they mean? In a Billboard article about the ad, Billboard references his line like this: "Malone has a single, iconic line, ‘Hey sing it real man of genius singer,' he says as he walks by with a case of beer." Ah ... of course. Yes ... iconic.
DOLLY PARTON AND SQUARESPACE TELLING YOU TO WORK FROM 9 TO 5 AND THEN AGAIN FROM 5 TO 9
A song that was once a worker’s critique of capitalism transformed it into a song that advises working not an eight-hour day but a twelve-hour day, adjusted for placement in a Super Bowl commercial. Remarkable. At least Dolly Parton, or whoever, did not seem to work particularly hard on the song rewrite as almost all of the new lyrics are “dreamin’, dreamin’, dreamin’, dreamin’” and I do obviously support getting paid for minimal effort.
SCOTTS & MIRACLE-GRO AND JOHN TRAVOLTA (A FORMER SINGER DANCING TO SURFACES'S "SUNDAY BEST") AND OTHERS SELL YOU LAWNS
Commercials like this ... they really bring me down. Let's ... let's move on ... I'd rather not talk about it.
LENNY KRAVITZ AND STELLA ARTOIS CONDESCEND TO YOU, TELL YOU YOU'RE A "HEARTBEAT BILLIONAIRE"
Several companies that usually have Super Bowl commercials — Budweiser, etc. — are not running them during the event this year because of a general desire to seem somewhat aware of the pandemic. (Instead they are running them online.) Budweiser is donating the amount of money they would have spent on Super Bowl ad placement to, according to Variety, "Ad Council, an industry coalition that produces and places public-service announcements, to help raise awareness of the benefits of getting the coronavirus vaccine." And of course we think they are so noble, and of course we praise our generous beer kings for their selfless ad-based decision making.
While it is all meaningless, this Stella commercial is a good example of why maybe it would maybe be a good decision to not run any ads during the COVID-19 Super Bowl or perhaps ever again. "We're all born with 2.5 billion heartbeats," Lenny Kravitz says. "That makes you a billionaire." Okay — Lenny Kravitz, oh my god. Lenny — people do not have money right now and they are also dying. You scarf fuck. You're not Rent! (I am not sure what age Lenny Kravitz is suggesting is the age everyone is guaranteed to reach upon birth, but according to a Google search, if you live to 80 years old your heart beats about 3 billion times.) Beyond that, excessive alcohol use is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Heartbeat billionaire my absolutely unemployed butt. Eat shit. Stella Artois you stupid bitch — give people your money!
WAYNE'S WORLD, CARDI B, AND UBER EATS REMIND YOU, AGAIN, OF DEATH
No ... no ... no ... no ... I will say that Dana Carvey sort of looks good. What’s his secret? Money? Oh my god. I went to the “Personal Life” section of his Wikipedia to see if maybe he’s vegan or something and instead I found out that he had heart bypass surgery in 1997 and the surgeon operated on the wrong artery! And then Frank Sinatra died near him. You can go there and read it yourself if you’d like to know more. Anyway it’s obviously always nice to see Cardi B, but I am not sure that appearing in an Uber Eats ad squares with her political views.
THE WEEKND AND PEPSI (A LIAR)
Pepsi is one of those companies who is saying they're not running an ad during the Super Bowl, but they are sponsoring the Super Bowl halftime show, which is the Weeknd (seen here in this ad). Seems like an ad to me. Do NOT buy Pepsi, they are liars, even though I admit it's a pretty good ad.
SHAGGY, ASHTON KUTCHER, AND MILA KUNIS SINGING ABOUT CHEETOS
In this commercial, Ashton Kutcher and Shaggy sing "It Wasn't Me" except this time it's about Mila Kunis eating Cheetos. Fair enough. I happened to see a recent Today show segment wherein Aston Kutcher and Mila Kunis were interviewed about filming this ad, which sort of seemed insane until I remembered that everything on shows like the Today show is an ad, so an ad interview about an ad in that context is actually only a little insane. (Shaggy was not interviewed for this ad, but he was interviewed in December about his Christmas album.) (I've watched a lot of the Today show during the pandemic.) Regardless, Mila and Ashton were charming and seem like they are in love. I can't help but be happy for them, selling their souls to Cheetos like this.
LIL BABY AND ROCKSTAR ENERGY TEASE ... SOMETHING
I liked that this ad was only a few seconds long.
LOGITECH, WHATEVER THAT IS (COMPUTER?), AND LIL NAS X, WHO SEEMS NICE
Okay so I also saw Lil Nas X in an interview segment on the Today show like two months ago — leave me alone — where he talked about how he released a children's book, and I just checked and it currently has an Amazon ranking of 1,933 (which is a very good ranking). And now here he is in a Super Bowl commercial. There are certainly worse people who could be raking in money like this. I'm happy for him.
DEXCOM AND NICK JONAS ON NOT HAVING TO PRICK YOUR FINGER TO MEASURE YOUR BLOOD GLUCOSE LEVELS ANYMORE IF YOU USE THIS PHONE THING
This one is just Nick Jonas talking about using a phone to measure his blood glucose levels rather than a finger prick. Hard to be mad at that. I'm glad he has the phone thing for his diabetes, unless it turns out to be evil somehow.
Well, there you go. Congrats to Nick Jonas. The end!