KALAMAZOO, Mich. — While many were excited for the Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021 Super Bowl LV matchup between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs, others looked forward to the highly anticipated commercials.
But in 2021, some companies decided to sit out of the Super Bowl.
“This year’s Super Bowl will look a little different than past Super Bowls," Greg Gerfen, advertising instructor at Western Michigan University's Haworth College of Business, said. "There are some big names not advertising in the Super Bowl this year."
Some brands, like Anheuser-Busch, which usually ran Budweiser and Bud Light ads during the Super Bowl, said it was instead donating the money toward COVID-19 relief efforts.
The Associated Press reported a 30-second spot during the Super Bowl costs an estimated $5.5 million.
“What’s interesting is Budweiser is going to be taking their money, the $5.5 million that would normally go to a 30-second spot, and they’re going to be buying air time that will go toward pro-vaccine messages to be put out into the marketplace," Gerfen said.
Other brands did decide they would purchase Super Bowl commercial breaks as usual, including M&M's, Pringles and Toyota, according to the AP.
Kellogg, who owns Pringles, provided a statement to News Channel 3 on their decision to purchase air time this year.
"Kellogg Company has a tremendous philanthropic track record, helping to address society’s most fundamental challenge of hunger for 115 years," a company representative said. "For example, Kellogg and its charitable funds have now donated $18 million in food and funds to support ongoing global COVID-19 hunger relief efforts. We know this has been an unprecedented year, but sports and the Big Game specifically can be a small moment of escape for consumers. It's something they look forward to."
The 2020 defending Super Bowl champions and the Buccaneers were set to play at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. The 2021 game would be the first time in Super Bowl history that one of the competing teams would be playing at their home stadium.
Super Bowl LV was scheduled to air on CBS Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021.
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The Associated Press and CBS News contributed to this report.