Advertisers announce they will not air an ad during the Super Bowl

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Miami, FL, USA – January 25, 2020: Aerial photo Miami Hard rock Stadium hosting 2020 Super Bowl LIV

James Krause, Sports Editor

DeKALB — The COVID-19 pandemic means this year’s Super Bowl will be like no other before it, and that includes the commercials.

Big game regular advertisers Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Budweiser and Hyundi have all announced they will not air an ad during the game Sunday. Several have cited troubles with the COVID-19 pandemic as a time to better allocate the $5.5 million CBS is charging to air a 30-second ad, according to a Jan. 25 Vanity report.

Coca-Cola spokesperson Kate Hartman told CNBC News that Coke was looking to better use their money during the pandemic.

“This difficult choice was made to ensure we are investing in the right resources during these unprecedented times,” Hartman said in a Jan. 15 CNBC article.

Pepsi may not be paying out for commercials, but it will have a presence at the Super Bowl. Pepsi will still be the title sponsor for the halftime show performance by The Weeknd while Pepsi Co. will buy commercials for Mountain Dew and Frito’s. 

Anheuser-Busch announced on Jan. 25 that in place of paying for a Budweiser ad, it would donate the price of an ad to the Ad Council in hopes of spreading vaccine awareness. A 90-second ad will be available for the brand online and other Anheuser-Busch brands will have ads on Sunday.

Hyundai, who was one of the standout advertisers for a Boston-themed ad last year, decided to skip in part because they couldn’t long term plan on having one because of the effects the COVID-19 might have had on the NFL.

“Six months ago we didn’t even know where we’d be with the Super Bowl in February,” Chief Marketing Officer Angela Zepeda said in a Feb. 2 article by Bloomberg.

CNBC reported Thursday that several companies will be advertising during the Super Bowl for the first time, including Chipotle, Doordash, Draftkings and Robinhood among others.