Gen Zs and Millennials tell us their favorite Super Bowl ads

This year’s Super Bowl felt even more monumental given the uncertainty around live sports throughout the pandemic. Yet, one constant has managed to endure the pandemic’s disruption: the commercials, which people are still excited about. It follows that we were curious which Super Bowl commercials resonated most with teens and young adults.

We posed this question to Gen Z and Millennial trendsetters across the country during Sunday’s big game through our Cassandra Collective. Key themes that emerged included a desire for levity (consistent with our reporting on how today’s youth are seeking out moments of Inconsequential Play), bizarre humor, and the importance of nostalgia


The advertisement: Oatly’s CEO Toni Petersson stands in an oat field and sings about how the brand’s product is non-dairy. Apparently, Oatly ran this ad in Sweden back in 2014—and it was immediately banned.

Cassandra Collective quote:
“The Oatly guy singing was hilarious. The voice was so bad.” - Victor, 15, IL

Oatly tapped an interesting formula: being bizarre enough to catch attention. The brand has embraced this in their advertising, and didn’t disappoint with last night’s Super Bowl. While some of our trendsetters loved it, others called it their least favorite, citing that it was annoying. However, we have to admit that it was memorable, as it received more mentions in our research than any other commercial.


The advertisement: Ashton Kutchner accuses Mila Kunis of stealing his Cheetos (again) when Shaggy advises her to respond, “It wasn’t me.” Kutcher and Kunis continue this back-and-forth to the tune of It Wasn’t Me, Shaggy’s famous hit.

Cassandra Collective quote:
“The Cheetos commercial had to be my favorite.” - Daphne, 34, CA

Cheetos picked the perfect celebrities to connect with older Millennials in this feel-good and upbeat commercial. Shaggy’s It Wasn’t Me brings those in this cohort back to the days when they were singing and dancing along to this hit. Reuniting Kunis and Kutchner for the spot was fun too—they’ve come a long way since their roles in That ‘70s Show. On the whole, Cheetos was smart to tap into nostalgia with this casting and setup.


The advertisement: Hamilton’s Daveed Diggs and Big Bird take a musical stroll through Sesame Street, illuminating all the different things delivery provider DoorDash can bring to customers. Throughout the commercial other Sesame Street characters make appearances, and for every order placed on 2/7 & 2/8, DoorDash will donate $1 to Sesame Workshop, which will support their kid-focused social impact work.

Cassandra Collective quote:
“[I loved] the DoorDash ad with the classic Sesame Street characters, as I’m kind of a fan of the old movies” - Robert, 29, WI

This warm and fuzzy commercial packages nostalgia with ever-fervent Hamilton adoration, and also connects with young viewers who want to see brands give back.