Why The Nerds Super Bowl 2024 Commercial Isn't As Bad As You Think

In the new Nerds candy Super Bowl ad, TikTok star Addison Rae trains a massive animated Nerds Gummy to dance, and it's honestly kind of awesome. In case you missed it, the character was Rae's student, and apparently they're a fast learner because they perfectly execute the choreography in the "What a Feeling'" dance number from the cult classic "Flashdance" in no time flat. Coincidentally, Nerds debuted in 1983 to the Wonka candy brand, which is the same year the classic flick debuted. (T-Mobile also did a "Flashdance"-themed Super Bowl ad this year starring Jason Momoa, which is a wild coincidence.) At the end of the Nerds commercial, a satisfied Rae is seen snacking on Nerds Clusters while curled up on the couch, which is vaguely cannibalistic and low-key an abomination considering the personified plot of the Gummy ad, but we're not going to talk about that ...

Some sweet-toothed fans aren't into it. Social media criticisms include "They just be getting celebrities for anything," and "When has Nerds been dancing-related lmao" (via Instagram). But not everybody was quite as critical. One fan commented that they already loved Nerds Gummy Clusters, "but seeing one as a cute, giant gummy creature pouring Nerds on himself like out of Flashdance is just too good." Similar praise includes "Why is this so cute though" and "I LOVE GUMMYYY." Several fans are even begging for a plush version of the new character to be sold as merchandise.

You're never too old (or young) to shake some booty

Addison Rae has 88.6 million TikTok followers and 36.2 million Instagram followers, but unless you're active on social media, chances are you've never heard her name before — and that's the coolest part of this commercial. It's refreshing to see a candy commercial actually be playful and fun. Rae is certainly famous, but she really isn't recognizable to folks beyond the TikTok world. If anything, the ad relies on the cult following of "Flashdance." It's a welcome shift away from the random, seemingly inexplicable celebrity cameos that seem to dominate Super Bowl ads lately. The Nerds clip is effective and cute, rather than obviously expensive and lackluster.

The TikTok appeal keeps Nerds relevant to younger modern audiences. As Nerds Chief Marketing Officer Greg Guidotti notes via Variety, the past five years have seen sales spike from $50 million to $500 million, and the push was spearheaded by the Gummy Clusters. The fact that Rae danced in the commercial brings TikTok to the big screen and catapults brand recognition on the world stage in one fell swoop. "Food TikTok" has undeniably made its mark on the culinary world, and the Nerds ad successfully expands the brand universe, appealing to nostalgia while still being silly and inclusive to candy-loving fans of all ages.