Words: Valentine Carrizo
The joy of out-of-context celebrity sightings AKA Super Bowl commercials has rolled around yet again for 2021. Viewers were keen to see what advertisers had to offer up after a year of strife and hardship. What emerged were largely comical and lighthearted references to pop culture featuring some of the biggest stars of today. Here are the top five Super Bowl commercials of 2021, while you can catch up on the most iconic commercials of all time here.
Timothée Chalamet and Winona Ryder for Cadillac Lyriq
Edward Scissorhands and Kim appear to have gotten much closer than the 1990 film let on. In this ad, Timothée Chalamet plays Edgar, the son of Edward Scissorhands, revitalising the same character arch that Johnny Depp gave life to in the movie. We see Edgar go through the daily struggles of a college student with scissors for hands (it’s as problematic as you’re imagining). At the end of the ad, we are reminded that we are watching a commercial and not a feel-bad-then-good Tim Burton classic when his mother, Kim, a role reprised by Winona Ryder, gifts him a Cadillac Lyric with a hand-free driving feature before they drive off into the sunset. The biggest irony though probably lies in the fact that both Ryder and Chalamet dated Depps at a time.
Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher and Shaggy for Cheetos
Who comes up with this stuff? In a modern-day appropriation of the classic cheating-denial anthem of 2000, Ashton Kutcher plays a man whose Cheetos keep getting stolen by his wife. He catches her in various compromising positions with the incriminating packet of chips (cheese dust included) while Shaggy saunters through their home advising Kutcher in singsong that to keep your own stash, you’ve got to hide it better. In the final scene, Mila Kunis responds to her husband with a final ‘it wasn’t me’ before he walks away. Then, Shaggy from the sofa says, “Well, that’s the first time that’s ever worked.”
Jason Alexander for Tide
We’ve all been there: The Hoodie That Has Seen Too Much. In this case, Jason Alexander. In a George Costanza-esque fate, a teenage boy’s hoodie with Alexander’s face on it goes through various less than savoury experiences, with each one his expression morphing from disgust, to horror, to sadness as he is rubbed up against a trash can, chewed gum, the bottom of a gym bag, even being used as a base marker in baseball. In the end, Alexander yells at the boy from his car in a pitch reserved only for George Costanza’s use; “Gimmie my face back!”
Drake for State Farm
Did you know that Jake from State Farm had a stand-in? Yep, it’s Drake. This commercial is America’s answer to Australia’s “lucky you’re with AAMI” with a lot more star power. With appearances from quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes (whose stand-in is played by Paul Rudd), State Farm has created the perfect pun and turned it into a visual gag. Famous stand-ins aside, there is only one Jake from State Farm.
Wayne, Garth and Cardi B for Uber Eats
Subverting the lunacy that is today’s shameless and blatant advertising culture, Mike Myers and Dana Carvey appear as their characters from Wayne’s World and proceed to shamelessly plug Uber Eats all the while claiming that they would never use a celebrity cameo or adhere to current trends, right before cutting to a TikTok with Cardi B. This may be the commercial that gets it right on all fronts, merging characters that Gen X would appreciate with references to Gen Z culture. No matter your age, we all use Uber Eats.