HOLLYWOOD—It goes without saying that Americans are ready for the Super Bowl LI. More than 116.5 million viewers tuned in last year, according to the NFL. Whether your money is on the New England Patriots or the Atlanta Falcons, hordes of Hollywood celebrities and football-frenzied revelers will be partying in Houston, Texas. One of the main attractions of the Super Bowl besides football itself is always the halftime show along with the ads.
Let’s start with the halftime show, which Lady Gaga is headlining. This is actually the second time that the Perfect Illusion singer will perform on the Super Bowl stage. Last year dressed all in red singing the National Anthem, Gaga nailed it. Rumors are swirling that Lady Gaga was asked not to talk about politics, especially President Trump, during the show, according to published reports. However, the NFL, has denied banning Lady Gaga from talking politics. Lady Gaga was very public with her support for Hillary Clinton during the presidential election and even protested outside Trump Tower in New York City after his victory. Truth be told, I have always said, that politics should never be mentioned at special events, like the Super Bowl or the Oscars.
According to reports, the pop superstar will be only the eighth performer in the halftime show’s history to perform without guests-and it’s not for lack of solid connections. Her latest album, is titled “Joanne.” Leading up to the big game, Gaga has been documenting her preparation on Instagram, along with her Twitter account which has 65 million followers. As you may or may not know, her father attended the same high school as my daughter and son, which makes me very proud. Performing the National Anthem is country singer Luke Bryan. The two-time Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year, will belt out in front of millions “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Besides, the great entertainment, the fans will watch the ads. Of course this year will feature celebrities, pop icons and sportsmen. If its anything like last year, it could cost brands almost $380 million. Pepsi will promote its zero sugar variant during the halftime show, which Gaga will headline. Some of the celebrities in the ads will be Justin Timberlake for Bai Brands. Timberlake, will star in its 30-second Super Bowl ad to air during the first half of the game. As you may know, Dr Pepper Snapple Group agreed to buy Bai Brands for $1.7 billion. Then we have Minnie Driver and Lexus, in its ad, which features street dancer Lil Buck.
Actor John Malkovich and Squarespace continue their partnership who launched his fashion website on the platform, in a 60-second pre-game commercial as well as a 30-second spot within the game itself, as spokesperson confirmed to CNBC via email. Actress Melissa McCarthy who has lost a tremendous amount of weight will be in an ad for Kia. The “Ghostbusters” actress is set to star in a 60-second spot for its new hybrid, the Kia Niro, airing in the third quarter of the Super Bowl, it was said, in an online statement. Last year, they featured Christopher Walken and a sock puppet in its 60-second ad during the Super Bowl.
Actor Adam Driver will be featured in a Snickers ad. The Mars-owned chocolate brand’s Super Bowl ad, will continue its message of “You’re not you when you’re hungry” theme. This is the fifth time NFL sponsor Snickers has advertised during the game, following its 2010 debut with then, 88-year-old actress Betty White. Miss Betty White just turned 95 on January 17.
How can we forget about Tom Brady and Intel. The 30-second ad launched on January 12, stars Brady. The “Brady Everyday” spot highlights Intel’s 360 replay technology, which will also be used during the game, the company said in an online statement. Actor George Takei will be featured in a Pizza Hut ad. He is best known for his role as “Star Trek’s” Hikaru Sulu. Pizza Hut is a major player for the Super Bowl, last year they sold nearly $12 million in food that was ordered online or via mobile apps. Take-out is big business during the game, with an estimated 48 million Americans ordering in for Super Bowl Sunday, according to the National Restaurant Association. Looking into my crystal ball, I predict it will break all records.
Rose’s Scoop: Actress Scarlett Johansson who spoke at the Women’s March on January 21, after the inaugural is splitting from her husband of 2 years Romain Dauriac.