This year's lineup of Super Bowl commercials is the queerest in history; the LGBTQ media organization GLAAD called it a "rainbow wave" of advertising. Brands that will bring LGBTQ representation to America include big names like TurboTax, Sabra, Doritos, Pop-Tarts, Microsoft, Olay, Budweiser, and Amazon's Alexa.
The upcoming "rainbow wave" has already elicited a right-wing backlash. One Million Moms — an arm of the hate group American Family Association — has petitioned to ban Sabra for showcasing drag queens in its ad. In response, GLAAD petitioned One Million Moms, a frequent but ineffectual boycotter of LGBTQ-inclusive ads and entertainment, to call it quits.
Clearly, corporate America and the majority of Americans agree with GLAAD. Take a look at the groundbreaking ads that will air during the Super Bowl below.
Lilly Singh is bringing bisexual representation to the Super Bowl. The host of A Little Late With Lilly Singh will appear in an Olay ad, in which she portrays an astronaut alongside Busy Phillips and retired astronaut Nicole Stott as part of the Procter & Gamble brand's #MakeSpaceForWomen campaign. In addition to this trio of female talent, Taraji P. Henson and Katie Couric make appearances, as the head of mission control and a journalist, respectively. As part of the ad's feminist message, which promotes STEM education for women, Olay will donate $1 for every tweet that includes the hashtag #MakeSpaceForWomen, up to $500,000.
Kim Chi and Miz Cracker are making hummus herstory. The RuPaul's Drag Race alums will be the first pair of drag queens to appear in a Super Bowl ad — in this case, for Sabra, a popular brand of the mashed chickpea dip. (RuPaul herself was the first years ago in a spot for WebEx.) In addition to Cracker and Chi, the full Super Bowl ad will feature another unlikely pair from reality television: Caroline Manzo and Teresa Giudice, as well as the rapper T-Pain.
Katie Sowers, the first woman and first LGBTQ person to coach in a Super Bowl game, will not only be on the field Sunday; she’ll be in a Microsoft ad as well. The 60-second commercial “Be the One” honors Sowers, an offensive assistant coach with the San Francisco 49ers, for breaking ground for women in football, although it doesn’t mention her lesbian identity. It shows her talking about her lifelong love for the sport, playing football, and interacting with 49ers players.
Amazon Alexa’s Super Bowl ad 2020 peeks inside Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi’s home as DeGeneres ponders what life was like before one could just tell Alexa to turn down the thermostat. The commercial then hilariously flips back in time to see various historical possibilities for questions typically asked of Alexa.
Jonathan Van Ness is preparing to take your pretzels from "ho-hum to so yum!" in a commercial for Pop-Tarts Pretzel. The hair guru, known for transforming lives on the Netflix make-better series Queer Eye, applies this magic to the salted baked good, introducing America to a toaster pastry hybrid filled with either chocolate or cinnamon sugar — as well as nonbinary representation during football's biggest event.
TurboTax is sending an LGBTQ-inclusive message that "all people are tax people" in an ad featuring transgender actresses Trace Lysette (Hustlers, Transparent, Pose) and Isis King (When They See Us), which shows a broad diversity of people doing their taxes while performing the same dance. In the montage, Lysette and King appear in a ballroom scene. The latter vogues down a runway while the former sits on the judge's panel.