Coke, Pepsi and Hyundai are among major names planning to forego ads during the Superbowl broadcast on February 7.
Coca-Cola said it made the “difficult choice” to “ensure we are investing in the right resources during these unprecedented times.”
Hyundai cited “marketing priorities” and the timing of upcoming vehicle launches.
Pepsi said it would not promote its soda during the game. Instead, it is spending money to promote the Super Bowl halftime show it has sponsored for almost a decade.
Given all the economic, political and health questions of 2020, companies may have felt it was prudent to pull back – especially several months ago, when they would have had to start planning for such a high-profile night, said Kimberly Whitler, professor at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business.
Whitler said, “There was so much uncertainty that to go and invest in a Super Bowl ad might have actually felt or seemed frivolous at the time.”