This year's Super Bowl commercials promise to be out of this world.
This upcoming Sunday (Feb. 2), a number of cosmic commercials are scheduled to run during the 2020 Super Bowl. From SodaStream to Olay and even Walmart, companies are turning to the stars to promote their products during one of the most-watched broadcasts on American television.
Make space for women
Former NASA astronaut and artist Nicole Stott is joined by actress Busy Phillipps and YouTube personality and late-night host Lilly Singh during the Super Bowl for a new commercial for Olay. For the ad, the three dress as astronauts in Olay-themed spacesuits. The commercial also features Katie Couric and Taraji P. Henson.
As Stott shared on Facebook, she is participating in the ad to help "make space for women." "On a mission to #MakeSpaceForWomen. Thanks to Olay for encouraging and supporting young women in STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics]," she wrote.
Aside from, obviously, advertising Olay's brand and products, the 30-second commercial will also promote the company's mission to donate up to $500,000 to the organization Girls Who Code. A line in the spot tells viewers that if you tweet @OlaySkin #MakeSpaceForWomen, the company will donate $1 to the organization.
Bill Nye and bubbles
SodaStream's space-y advertisement stars everyone's favorite "science guy," Bill Nye, alongside Alyssa Carson, a teenage astronaut hopeful.
Carson has trained with the Advanced PoSSUM (Polar Suborbital Science in the Upper Mesosphere) Academy at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida. The program gives students hands-on experience doing research in the upper atmosphere and helps them practice technical human spaceflight operations.
In the advertisements, which SodaStream teased with videos before the Super Bowl, Nye and Carson sip seltzer, future astronauts find water on Mars and (spoiler alert) someone accidentally carbonates the Martian water with a SodaStream device and drinks it.
"Being able to get humans on Mars and actually collecting one of these samples would be such an incredible moment, I would kind of hope it would almost bring us back to the moon days of everyone being glued to the TV," Carson told Space.com. "Somehow someone drank it, I definitely think that there would be a little bit of disruption in people not being too happy about our first sample being gone, but ... we'd hope that we'd store it somewhere a little bit better."
At the end of one of the videos, this text scrolls across the screen: "This is a fictional story. For now. By 2025, SodaStream will eliminate 67 billion single-use bottles on this planet, so we won't have to go looking for a new one." With this text, SodaStream is referring to the concept of Mars serving as "Planet B" if human activity one day makes Earth unlivable.
"It was really cool to be able to connect to their [SodaStream's] mission as a company and how they're so environmentally conscious," Carson said about her involvement in the commercial.
Walmart, not to be left out of all of the intergalactic fun, will also air a space-themed commercial during this Sunday's Super Bowl. The company's campaign, named "Famous Visitors," includes a 60-second commercial that will feature 12 characters from popular movies and television who "touch down on Earth" from "across the galaxy" to pick up groceries at Walmart, a blog post from Janey Whiteside, executive vice president and chief customer officer at Walmart, said in a blog post.
"What better way to show off the out-of-this-world convenience of Walmart’s pickup service than the biggest television event of the year," Whiteside added. "For the first time ever, Walmart will be airing an ad during the Big Game with the help of some familiar visitors."
According to the blog post, the beloved characters who will touch down during this commercial will include Flash Gordon; Buzz Lightyear; Bill S. Preston, Esq., of "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure"; and characters from "Arrival," "Blade Runner," "Guardians of the Galaxy," "The Lego Movie," "Mars Attacks," "Marvin the Martian," "Men in Black," "Star Trek" and "Star Wars."
Turkish Airlines has jumped into the space Super Bowl ad with a commercial that apparently will compare NASA's Apollo 11 moon landing to the a flight with the Turkish airline.
A 20-second teaser for the Turkish Airlines ad combines archive video of NASA's Apollo Mission Control in Houston at a Saturn V rocket on the launchpad with views of the cockpit of a commercial jet and passengers heading to the airport for their flight.
"51 years later, it's time to take off again," reads a message as a launch countdown reaches zero.
2020 will mark the 51st anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing on July 20, 1969.
"Houston, Turkish Airlines here. Our Big Game ad is on. All engines are running," Turkish Airlines wrote in the video description on YouTube.
Editor's note: This story, originally posted Feb. 1, was updated with a new Turkish Airlines teaser ad that references Apollo 11.
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Chelsea Gohd joined Space.com as an intern in the summer of 2018 and returned as a Staff Writer in 2019. After receiving a B.S. in Public Health, she worked as a science communicator at the American Museum of Natural History. Chelsea has written for publications including Scientific American, Discover Magazine Blog, Astronomy Magazine, Live Science, All That is Interesting, AMNH Microbe Mondays blog, The Daily Targum and Roaring Earth. When not writing, reading or following the latest space and science discoveries, Chelsea is writing music, singing, playing guitar and performing with her band Foxanne (@foxannemusic). You can follow her on Twitter @chelsea_gohd.
I never really pay attention to the commercials and I fell asleep during half time.lol! The game was pretty good though. I am just glad the rotten Patriots weren't in it. I really could care less about the useless commercials. I get tired of companies trying to sell me crap.Reply