Why So Many Big Brands Will Be MIA on Super Bowl Sunday

2021 is a good year for advertisers to skip, but this won’t become tradition

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When Super Bowl 55 kicks off Sunday, some familiar faces will be absent—and not just from the stands at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium.

Big brands like Budweiser and Hyundai, which have produced some of the highest-rated ads in recent history—including 2017’s Born the Hard Way and 2020’s Smaht Pahk—are also staying home this year.

‘A cloud of uncertainty’

Tone is of course a huge challenge in 2021 as advertisers opt to either address the hardships of the last year or provide a moment of levity.

But, even then, brands can’t be sure their messages of unity or nostalgic jokes will hit the mark.

“With

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