Which brands will Canadians see during the Super Bowl?

From beer to banks to video games, here are the advertisers that will have a presence during the big game.


The CRTC decision to lift sim-sub from Canadian broadcasts of the Super Bowl has had a definite impact on the advertising viewers will see this year. Bell Media is trying multiple tactics to get Canadians to choose their broadcast – from on-air contests to an online hub hosting the U.S. ads to triple-simulcasting the game across CTV, CTV Two and TSN/RDS – but is still reporting lower-than-normal ad sales for the game. While there aren’t as many new ads that will debut during the game, the following brands still believe there is enough value to have some presence on the screens of CTV in between plays.


CIBC will air the latest television spot in a campaign promoting its Smart chequing account (the spot, seen below, was posted to YouTube earlier this week). Created by Juniper Park\TBWA, it features spokespenguin Percy waking up suddenly from a nightmare about being “chased by bank fees,” which his wife assures him is something he can avoid thanks to CIBC’s Smart account.

Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons launched this year’s edition of the “Roll Up The Rim” contest earlier this week, and will be airing new work promoting the contest created by Ogilvy & Mather during the game.


Subway hasn’t revealed which ad will air during the game, but it will be new work that is part of a larger campaign based around a $3.99 value offer for selected sandwiches.


The beer brand is using its Canadian ad time to run “Born The Hard Way,” a spot created by Anomaly New York that tells the story of the brand’s co-founder Adolphus Busch immigrating to the U.S. and fighting through adversity to live his dream of being a beer brewer.

Andrew Oosterhuis, director of marketing for Budweiser at Labatt Breweries of Canada, says that while the video tells the story of an immigrant to the U.S., it is a message that fits with the brand’s positioning, which is consistent globally.

“There’s a broader value embedded in the story, which is the idea of chasing you dreams, and that’s relevant around the world,” he says. “When we see that work, it makes sense that we bring it to Canada because there’s so many people here who have the same ambitions and want to be free to live life on their own terms.”

In recent years, Labatt has used the grand stage of the Super Bowl to launch Canada-specific work for Budweiser, especially around hockey. Last year, it ran the Helen Miren responsible drinking ad in addition to local work, and the response to that was positive, but Oosterhuis says it didn’t make sense to run two different campaigns with different messages in the same market. He says Budweiser still plans to launch more work in its hockey platform, but will do so at the end of the month so this ad (which will be amplified locally through PR and ad buys following the game) can “breathe” and live on its own.


Even though the digital investment company is airing its latest brand spot in the U.S. broadcast, it has also opted to do the same for the Canadian broadcast. In a blog posted to its website, the company explained the broadcast still represents one of the biggest Canadian television audiences of the year, as well as big value.

“We think Canadian viewers will still watch the CTV broadcast because a lot of people watch CTV,” the post said, adding that even if the viewership numbers erode slightly, the huge difference in costs for ads in Canada and the U.S. leaves some wiggle room for Canadian Super Bowl ads to retain their value. Last year, the company figured out that Canadian Super Bowl ads earn more than twice as many viewers for every dollar spent, compared to the U.S.

McDonald’s Canada

The QSR will air an ad from its recently-launched, debate-heavy campaign “Is It Still A Big Mac?” campaign, created by Cossette.

Nissan Canada

Nissan is once again using its time during the game to show off the latest entry in the “Conquer All Conditions” campaign by Juniper Park\TBWA. While past Super Bowls have seen the automaker use the Super Bowl to launch new additions to highly-cinematic campaign, this year it instead opted to debut it earlier in January, running throughout the NFL playoffs.

A 2017 Nissan Titan SUV is also one of the prizes in the CTV Watch to Win contest, one of the efforts by Bell to get more fans to choose the Canadian broadcast.


The bank will air two different ads during the game. One will be focused on its Scene program with Cineplex, while the other will be the 30-second “Lanny and Henderson” cut of the anthem spot in its “Hockey Dreams” campaign, by Bensimon Byrne.

Mazda Canada

Though it first popped up online earlier this week, Mazda Canada’s ad for the 2017 CX-9 that will air isn’t exactly new. It is heavily based on a U.S. ad for the 2016 CX-9 released last year (JWT Canada handles Mazda’s advertising in Canada for holding co WPP, which runs the automaker’s advertising in the U.S. through a specialized agency called Garage Team Mazda). However, it is the latest move in a new effort to move the auto brand into more of a premium territory.

Sun Life Financial

Returning advertiser Sun Life will air the most recent addition to its “Money for Life” platform, much like it did last year.

The Keg

Also like last year, the steakhouse chain with air a 30-second version of the “See You Tonight” anthem spot created by KBS Toronto.

Coca-Cola Canada

Coca-Cola is using the game to reinforce its year-old global “One Brand” approach and will air one of the global ads in its “Taste the Feeling” campaign. Getting the nod for the game is “Antarctic Summer,” which debuted last year and has been in-market on TV in Canada for about six weeks.


English-speaking Canadians will only see Nintendo’s ad for its upcoming console – the Nintendo Switch – if they are watching the U.S. broadcast, but a version of the spot will air on the French RDS broadcast. The ad was created by Leo Burnett Chicago and uses the upcoming Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – the latest game in the company’s most popular non-Mario franchise – to show off a few of the Switch’s features.