Regardless of how we’re watching, Canadians won’t see the full slate of U.S. Super Bowl commercials this year.
A Supreme Court ruling means that Canadian networks will be allowed to simultaneously substitute their own commercials for the American ones.
Unlike in recent years, this will occur even if you’re watching the San Francisco 49ers take on the Kansas City Chiefs on U.S. broadcaster Fox.
Bell Media, which is broadcasting the game on TSN and CTV, says the Canadian simulcast will feature the debut of spots from companies such as BMW, Maple Leaf, Nissan and SkipTheDishes.
Notably, Budweiser’s “Whassap” campaign has gotten a 2020 reboot for the Canadian audience. (The U.S. Super Bowl ad, Typical American, strikes a very different tone).
As the CRTC says, companies are allowed to purchase airtime to run the same ad in both countries, allowing Canadians to see what are considered to be the most highly regarded U.S. commercials of the year. It appears at least some will do so.
But just in case, here’s a look at a few of the U.S. ads.
Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi are featured in an ad that takes us on a trip through the ages to highlight what life was like before Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant.
Apparently, things didn’t go so well.
And as a side note, this may be the only commercial to feature both a dragon and a reference to the Watergate scandal.
In an spot for Michelob Ultra light beer, late-night host Jimmy Fallon gets a few lessons in how to work out with wrestler-turned-actor John Cena.
The Roots, as well a few big-name athletes, are along for Fallon’s fitness journey.
A ’90s song helps illustrate how eating Cheetos popcorn can get you out of lending a hand in various situations.
As two men struggle with moving a heavy sofa, our protagonist — who is snacking while watching them from afar — sheepishly raises a crusty orange hand in the air as if to say sorry.
MC Hammer then pops his head out from inside a rug to deliver his line: “Can’t touch this.”
Cheetos’ corn chip cousin, Doritos, also brought a music star to its ad this year.
Lil Nas X and actor Sam Elliott have a dance-off to Old Town Road in the style of a western-movie standoff.
Naturally, it all goes down at the Cool Ranch.
Lil Nas X’s pardner on the hit song makes appearance of his own.
As far as “ambitious crossover” events go, Walmart’s Super Bowl ad rivals the Avengers movies.
Walmart does a rollback through entertainment franchise history — including Toy Story, Star Wars, Lego and even the movie Mars Attacks! — to showcase its online grocery pickup service.
“Whoa, is this the future?” asks Bill Preston of Bill and Ted fame, played by Alex Winter.
“This is the present future, Bill,” a younger version of himself responds.
Meanwhile, security guards at the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, Germany, are excited to take the fleet out on high-speed chase to catch a masked man who stole one of the cars.
This one comes with a twist.
A commercial for a company that makes auto accessories pays tribute to the vets who saved a dog’s life.
Scout, a golden retriever owned by Weathertech CEO David MacNeil, was featured in the company’s Super Bowl commercial last year.
But, as we learned in this year’s ad, Scout was diagnosed with a tumour on his heart and given a month to live. Despite the slim chances of survival, the dog was saved by doctors at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine.
The ad encourages people to support the vet program through donations. It cost a reported $6 million.
Canadian Super Bowl watchers will get to see the Hyundai spot, though it’s a take on a distinctly American phenomenon — the Boston accent.
Actors Chris Evans, John Krasinski and Rachel Dratch, as well as retired MLBer David “Big Papi” Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox, show off the 2020 Sonata and its “wicked” Smart Park feature.
“This is a ghost cahr!” Dratch quips.
Another car company, Genesis Motors, is also debuting an ad on Canadian TV according to Bell. The company’s Canadian YouTube page shows a spot featuring John Legend and Chrissy Teigen.
Super Bowl watchers in the U.S. will be hearing from Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg, as well as U.S. President Donald Trump.
The billionaire former mayor of New York is taking on gun control.
The ad, which will air shortly after the halftime show, features gun violence activist Calandrian Simpson Kemp, whose son George grew up playing football and was shot and killed in 2013 when he was 20 years old.
“Lives are being lost every day. It is a national crisis,” she said. “I know Mike is not afraid of the gun lobby.”
Ahead of the Iowa caucuses, other Democrats seeking the nomination will be featured in Super Bowl ads airing that state only.
Trump’s re-election campaign will be running two ads, one of which debuted on YouTube Thursday.
It aims to promote Trump’s record ahead of the election later this year. It claims America is now “stronger, safer,” and “more prosperous.”
Last week, Planters made a splash on social media by announcing that it was killing off Mr. Peanut, the company’s mascot since 1916.
In a commercial featuring Cutting Crew’s (I Just) Died In Your Arms, Mr. Peanut falls to his death after crashing the nutmobile off a cliff.
But, as the ad shows, he saved the lives of actors Matt Walsh and Wesley Snipes along the way.
Planters says that commercial will be shown during the pre-game show. A second ad featuring Mr. Peanut’s “funeral” will air in the third quarter of the game.
“Mr. Peanut was more than just a friend — he was a hero,” Walsh said in a press release. “His passing has shook me to my core.”
Finally, Facebook is doing a Super Bowl ad for the first time.
The company tapped comedian Chris Rock — who is shown launching a mini rocket — to promote Facebook Groups.
The ad isn’t online yet but Facebook has shared a teaser.
Super Bowl LIV airs on CTV and TSN at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 2.
–With files from Meaghan Wray and Josh Elliott, Global News, Reuters and the Canadian Press