Pizza, Hummers and Jason Momoa in a tub: Preview local Super Bowl ads

Kalea Hall
The Detroit News

Detroit — From pizza and mortgages to Hummers and Jeeps, Michigan brands will be the stars of ads in the Super Bowl broadcast Sunday. 

Detroit-based Little Caesars and Rocket Mortgage, along with General Motors Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, will run offense with their products during the annual championship match-up.

After years of middling interest in the nation's biggest football game that typically attracts 98 million viewers, the Motor City's most iconic companies are paying up big to show the world what is made here today.

GM is expected to showcase its new all-electric Hummer EV in a commercial with NBA star LeBron James. So far, the automaker has kept a lid on any public details about the return of the polarizing Hummer brand.

Likewise, Fiat Chrysler is closed-mouthed about its 60-second Jeep commercial, but Ad Age says actor Bill Murray will recreate scenes from the 1993 "Groundhog Day" movie for it. Sunday is Groundhog Day. The automaker, which skipped the game last year, has a history of blockbuster Super Bowl offerings — most notably the 2011 "Imported From Detroit" ad with Eminem for the Chrysler 200.

Ford Motor Co. is sitting out this year's game.

For the first-time ever, Little Caesars bought commercial time during the game. A 30-second spot in the third quarter will promote its new pizza-delivery service. Rainn Wilson, best known as the character Dwight Schrute in “The Office,”portrays the head of the fictitious Sliced Bread Inc. Chaos ensues in the office when Little Caesars announces home delivery: One employee cowers under a desk with a pillow shaped like a giant slice of bread. Another takes a wild ride on an ostrich. In the end, Wilson rings a doorbell to deliver a pizza with the punchline, "The best thing since sliced bread."

Detroit's Rocket Mortgage will have a 60-second commercial in the first half with Jason Momoa (Khal Drogo in "Game of Thrones"). Rocket has only released teasers for the commercial. But playing against type, the burly he-man soaks in a bubble bath and sings into a pink hairbrush while standing in front of a mirror. The message: Finance a home and live comfortably.

For the first time ever, Battle Creek's Kellogg Co. will advertise Pop-Tarts during the game. The commercial uses Jonathan Van Ness, the bearded grooming expert from Netflix's "Queer Eye," to sell Pop-Tarts Pretzels. As an infomercial pitchman reaching out to those who “struggs [struggle] to snack,” he urges snackers to ditch the classic pretzel and try the cinnamon-sugar and chocolate pretzel Pop-Tart versions.

Kellogg is also airing a Pringles ad with Adult Swim's animated "Rick and Morty" characters. In a 30-second clip for the second quarter, a Pringles robot disguised as Morty enthusiastically tells grandpa Rick and sister Summer about the spicy barbecue pizza flavor stack he makes with Pizza, BBQ and Jalapeno Pringles. Rick discovers Morty is really a Pringles robot and they're trapped inside a Pringles commercial.

Even though Detroit carmakers are keeping their playbooks secret, several foreign competitors are racking up YouTube clicks ahead of the game.

Hyundai will air a 60-second spot for its Remote Smart Park Assist feature available on 2020 Sonatas. The cast includes Chris Evans of "Captain America," John Krasinski of "The Office," comedian Rachel Dratch and former Boston Red Sox David Ortiz. 

Krasinski is parking his car on a Boston street. Dratch and Evans, in Boston accents, call him out for trying to park in a tight space. Evans assures them it will be no problem. Why? He has “Smaht Pahk."

Hyundai luxury brand Genesis will use the Super Bowl to introduce its first-ever SUV, the 2021 GV80. A teaser shows real-life power couple Chrissy Teigen and John Legend shaking up a stuffy party in an ad with the tagline "Old Luxury Gets a Wake-Up Call."

Kia's 60-second commercial will use the new Seltos subcompact SUV as a platform to give back through its Yards Against Homelessness initiative. For every yard gained during the game Kia will donate $1,000 to three charity partners dedicated to ending the youth homelessness. The teaser video shows a determined child facing a room full of journalists. One asks: "What keeps you going out there?" He explains the inspiration that makes him run.

Porsche's 60-second commercial, its first for the Super Bowl since 1997, is a spot for the Taycan, the first fully electric Porsche. In the commercial titled "The Heist," iconic Porsches race through German streets: the legendary 917 K racing car, the 918 Spyder hybrid super sports car and the Porsche 911.

Audi will air an ad for its new E-Tron electric SUV. Maisie Williams (Arya Stark from "Game of Thrones") launches into the song "Let it Go" from "Frozen" while sitting in smoky, congested traffic behind the wheel. Williams chooses to leave it all behind and drive into what Audi calls "a more sustainable future."

Twitter: @bykaleahall

Staff Writers Breana Noble and Keith Laing contributed.