Each week, Padilla’s Insights + Strategy team stands at the intersection of people, culture and brands to bring you five stories that you can read in five minutes.

1. M&M’s Zoom Call

On brand with 2020, M&M’s will reveal its Super Bowl spot via a Zoom call. Why should you care? According to Mars brand content and communications architect, Chris Brody, the decision to showcase the sneak peek virtually came from an idea of connecting with people by “reflecting the behaviors we’ve taken on over the last year.” Fifty thousand lucky fans will get an invitation to this Zoom call on February 3rd – here’s hoping they can all find the mute button. [Adweek]

2. Big Brands Opt Out

Budweiser has joined Coke and Pepsi brands in opting out of running Super Bowl ads this year. Why should you care? Instead, they’re donating the money they would have spent on airtime to COVID-19 vaccination PSAs. The move follows PepsiCo., which won’t be airing an ad to focus solely on their sponsorship of halftime while Coke and Audi are sitting this one out altogether. This decision by big brands is one of the many ways the Super Bowl will look different this year – from the smaller number of spectators allowed to the absence of Super Bowl parties – but we like to think of it as brands reading the room. [AP News]

3. Poetry x Football

Amanda Gorman will be the first poet to ever perform at a Super Bowl. Why should you care? The 22-year-old poet who captured America’s heart at the inauguration, will recite a new poem to honor three people who have served their communities during the pandemic – including an educator, a nurse and a veteran. File this under “unlikely pairings” and “more reasons the Super Bowl will look different this year” – either way, we know that it will give self-proclaimed anti-sports folks a reason to tune in this year. [BuzzFeed News]

4. Chipotle On Sustainability

In its Super Bowl spot this year, Chipotle aims to answer one of life’s burning questions – can a burrito change the world? Why should you care? OK, it’s probably not one of life’s burning questions, but now our interest is peaked – how can a burrito change the world? The brand’s Super Bowl ad is spotlighting how hard it is to be a farmer, and Chipotle is investing $5 million over five years to, “remove barriers and enable the next generation of farmers and ranchers to succeed.” In addition, $1 from every Chipotle delivery order on Super Bowl Sunday will go to the National Young Farmers Coalition. [Adweek]

5. Hellmann’s Tackles Food Waste

In its first-ever Super Bowl ad, Hellmann’s is tackling food waste. Why should you care? The spot features Amy Schumer and centers around the current statistic that estimates between 30%-40% of food in American households go to waste. It will encourage consumers to get creative in the kitchen and showcase Hellmann’s as a “secret weapon to inspire consumers to make taste, not waste.” This year’s Super Bowl, though lighter on ads in general – is clearly heavy on foods as superheroes. [Adweek]

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