As of the exact moment we’re writing this, COVID-19 hasn’t forced any Tampa Bay or Kansas City players out of Sunday’s Super Bowl. That could change in an instant. Just ask Kansas City’s barber.
The unpredictability and unknowns of pandemic life have, however, impacted the Super Bowl’s most reliable players: its advertisers. “In a normal year, Super Bowl advertising resembles a multiple-car pileup,” AdAge wrote this week.
Fiat Chrysler alone aired five Super Bowl ads in 2018. In the past five years, Audi has aired four spots, Kia five, Hyundai six—not including two from Genesis. Fiat Chrysler aired nine to tout four of its nameplates, and Toyota aired eight, plus two more from Lexus.
This year is going to look different. Audi, Kia, Hyundai, Genesis, and Porsche are all going to be on the sidelines. No Volkswagen (so no adorable Darth Vader). No BMW or Mercedes-Benz or