You Won't See These Mega-Brands In Super Bowl Ads. Here's Why

What a difference a year makes! At least, if it's a year like the one we've just lived through. Or are still living through. Anyway, let's not go wandering down those dark pathways right now. Instead, we'll journey back in time to February 7, 2020, when many of us were gathered with large groups of friends in front of not-quite-large enough TVs, glued to all the Super Bowl action ... all the while noshing on pizza and chicken wings, of course. 

Even those who weren't too into the football action still tuned in, not only for the Jennifer Lopez and Shakira halftime entertainment (featuring J Balvin's surprise appearance, back before he became a Happy Meal), but also for the best part of the show: the commercials. Remember that Mickey D's one with all the celeb orders? (Hmm, maybe that's where they got the idea for the J Balvin and Travis Scott meals.) How about Planter's Baby Nut? And surely you haven't forgotten Missy Elliot trolling Coke, wanting to take that red can and "Paint It [Pepsi] Black (via YouTube)."

Well, while we don't yet know what epic (or not so epic) rivalry will be taking place on the football field in a few weeks, it seems that the most heated of commercial rivalries won't be playing out on our TV screens this year. Even though Coke and Pepsi haven't exactly kissed and made up, à la Ronald McDonald and the Burger King, they'll both be sitting out their usual annual commercial throwdown.

Why you won't see Pepsi or Coke Super Bowl commercials this year

Pepsi isn't going to be entirely absent from the Super Bowl, since they're sponsoring the halftime show starring The Weeknd, but according to VarietyPepsiCo will only be running one beverage commercial, that being for Mountain Dew

Not only will Coca-Cola not be responding in kind with a Surge ad (it's not one of their best sellers, after all), but they won't be running any Super Bowl ads at all. So why are they passing up this prime ad time with zillions of guaranteed viewers? The company issued a vague statement about "investing in the right resources during these unprecedented times." So, yeah, it's that one-size-fits-all "unprecedented times" excuse again.

Basically, belt-tightening is what's going on, or so it seems, and Pepsi and Coke aren't the only companies affected. While last year's Super Bowl ad spending set a new record at $435 million, this year probably won't hit that mark, with advertisers likely seeing discounts for last-minute spots (via CNBC). 

What this means for this year's commercial lineup, we don't yet know, but we're guessing fewer big-budget extravaganzas. Oh well, at least if the ads are boring, then we won't have to miss any of the actual game play if we need to make a trip to the bathroom after drinking one too many Cokes (or Pepsis).