2020 Classic Rock Super Bowl Commercials
It’s no secret that the Super Bowl is big business. Estimates predict this year’s game will generate more than $17 billion in revenue nationwide.
This year, a prime-time 30-second spot costs more than $5 million, and that’s without factoring in production costs for even making the ad.
With so much attention being paid to the commercials, advertisers often enlist classic-rock tracks to give their spot an extra dose of adrenaline. Aerosmith, Queen, Bob Dylan and Motley Crue are some of the many vaunted acts to have their tunes used in recent Super Bowl ads.
We’ve rounded up this year’s entries to give you 2020’s Classic Rock Super Bowl Commercials.
The Rolling Stones
Rapper Missy Elliott and R&B singer H.E.R. deliver a modern cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Paint It, Black” in this commercial for Pepsi Zero Sugar. The spot showcases H.E.R. standing among a sea of people dressed in red who are also drinking out of red soda cans (which look strikingly similar to Pepsi’s cola rival, Coke). When H.E.R.’s red can turns into a black can of Pepsi Zero Sugar, the singer escapes the crowd, busts through a wall and joins Elliott monochromatic dance party.
Warrant’s 1990 track “Sure Feels Good to Me” soundtracks Walmart’s 2020 Super Bowl commercial. The song plays as some of the most recognizable sci-fi characters in movies flock to the retail giant to pick up supplies. Men in Black, Star Wars, Flash Gordon, Star Trek and Blade Runner are just some of the many films earning screen time in the spot. Also look for a cameo by Alex Winter, aka Bill from Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.
As actors Wesley Snipes and Matt Walsh enjoy a road trip with Planters mascot Mr. Peanut, Cutting Crew’s 1986 hit “(I Just) Died in Your Arms” plays in the vehicle. The track provides a bit of foreshadowing as, seconds later, the car careens off the side of a mountain, leaving the three men -- okay, two men, one fancily attired peanut -- hanging onto a tree branch for dear life. As the brittle limb begins to break, Mr. Peanut sacrifices his own life to save his friends, letting go and plummeting to his demise. In response to the recent death of basketball star Kobe Bryant, Planters paused social media ad campaigns tied to this commercial, but reportedly have no plans to cancel the Super Bowl airing.
Sonny & Cher
Bill Murray stars in this commercial for Jeep which revisits his 1993 film Groundhog Day. Much like in the movie, Murray’s character relives the same day over and over again. But, rather than searching for love or deeper meaning (as he did in the original film), the commercial sees Murray jumping into a Jeep Gladiator and embarking a series of adventures. Sonny and Cher’s 1965 classic “I Got You Babe” is used throughout the ad. The track was part of an ongoing gag throughout the original Groundhog Day as well.
To celebrate the Sonata’s “smart park” ability, Hyundai decided to head to Boston, where the feature is naturally referred to as “Smaht Pahk.” New England-born celebrities John Krasinski, Chris Evans and Rachel Dratch star in the clip, along with a cameo from Red Sox legend David “Big Papi” Ortiz. Some guitar riffs kick in at the end of the commercial, as the Standells' “Dirty Water” plays the clip out. The song -- inspired by the water of Boston Harbor -- was the highest charting single of the band's career, peaking at No. 11 in 1966. It has become one of New England’s most beloved tracks, regularly playing after victories by Boston’s professional sports teams.