A 30-second spot during last night’s Super Bowl cost a cool $5.6 MILLION . . . or about $186,000 per second. So which ones were worth the money?
Well, a lot of them were teased or released beforehand. So there weren’t a ton of surprises. But there were a few.
Here’s a quick rundown of the highlights . . .
1. One of the best commercials was the very first one of the night. The NFL’s “Next 100” ad actually blended INTO the game. And a ton of current and former NFL players had cameos.
It started with a kid running through various cities with a football while different players like Jim Brown and Joe Montana told him to “take it to the house.” He even stopped at the Pat Tillman statue in Arizona to pay his respects.
Eventually, he showed up at the Super Bowl and walked through the tunnel . . . past Hall of Famers like Brett Favre and Barry Sanders . . . then it transitioned to a LIVE FEED of the game, and he came running out on the field to deliver the game ball.
(Here’s the full list of players with cameos.)
(Later, the NFL ran a pretty hard-hitting ad for their Inspire Change initiative, where ex-NFL star Anquan Boldin talked about his cousin who was killed by a police officer in 2015.)
2. Planters had a lot of buzz going in after they killed off Mr. Peanut in an ad last month. And it turned out it was just so they could get in on the whole “baby-versions-of things-are-cute” trend.
The Super Bowl ad had Wesley Snipes speaking at Mr. Peanut’s funeral. Then the Kool-Aid Man cried . . . a teardrop landed on the grave . . . and a cute, BABY version of Mr. Peanut sprouted up and made DOLPHIN sounds. (???)
Not everyone was impressed. But the hashtag “BabyNut” DID start trending. People mostly noted how it was an obvious rip-off of Baby Yoda and Baby Groot. (Careful! A lot of people also made fun of “BabyNut” for sounding borderline R-rated.)
3. Bill Murray starred in a Jeep ad that recreated a bunch of scenes from “Groundhog Day”. The Jeep people posted it online before the game, but not a lot of people saw it. So it got a pretty good reaction.
4. Bryan Cranston and Tracee Ellis Ross did a parody of “The Shining” to promote the new Mountain Dew Zero Sugar. The very end showed Bryan standing in a hallway dressed as the two creepy twin girls from the movie.
5. A great spot for Rocket Mortgage featured a SCRAWNY and BALD version of Jason Momoa. It showed him stripping off his muscles like a fake body suit. Then his real-life wife Lisa Bonet spotted him while he struggled to bench press a bar with no weights on it. The theme of the ad was, “At home, I can truly be myself.”
6. Ellen and Portia de Rossi did an ad for Amazon that showed how people got things accomplished before Alexa existed. Apparently we all just ordered people named Alex and Alexis to do stuff for us.
7. An ad for Oikos Greek Yogurt featured various NFL players’ BACKSIDES while the song “Bubble Butt” played. It definitely seemed to be targeting the wife demographic.
8. Sam Elliott and his very limber mustache had a dance-battle with Lil Nas X in an ad for Doritos.
9. Sofia Vergara was in an epic ad with a bunch of brand mascots, including the Old Spice guy, Mr. Clean, and comedian Rob Riggle as a superhero who crotch-thrusted rolls of Bounty paper towels at people.
It turned out to be an ad for Procter & Gamble, which owns all of the brands.
(So that was a nice reminder that, like, four corporations own everything now.)
10. Speaking of epic ads, Tide did a series of commercials with Charlie Day, who flipped out after getting a stain on his shirt. The cool part was that he and his stained shirt appeared in ads for OTHER products . . . Bud Light, Pepsi, the movie “Wonder Woman 1984”, and the show “The Masked Singer”. (Check ’em out, here.)
11. The SquareSpace ad where Winona Ryder goes back to her birthplace of Winona, Minnesota was good . . . even though we knew it was coming.
12. People on social media seemed to get a kick out of Walmart’s science fiction ad about aliens shopping for groceries. It was PACKED with movie references, including “Arrival”, “Men in Black”, “Star Wars”, “Mars Attacks!”, and “Bill & Ted”.
13. Most companies used humor and celebrities to push their products this year. But a few went the sentimental route . . . and yes, Budweiser did it again.
Budweiser’s “Typical Americans” ad showed normal everyday people being kind, inspirational, and amazing to each other.
Microsoft ran an ad called “Be the One” about 49ers assistant coach Katie Sowers, who became the first woman to ever coach in a Super Bowl this year.
New York Life had an ad about the four different types of love.
And Google had an ad where an old guy asked his Google Assistant to help him find photos, videos, and memories of his wife, who’d passed away. Some people found it touching. Others found it unsettling to see Google basically brag about how much of our personal information they’re hoarding.
14. Cheetos teamed up with MC Hammer to push their new Cheetos Popcorn. The joke was that when you’ve got orange Cheetos dust on your fingers, you quote, “can’t touch this.”
15. John Krasinski, Chris Evans, and Rachel Dratch showed off their fake Boston accents in an ad for Hyundai’s new “Smart Park” feature. (Or, “Smaht Pahk”!)
16. Post Malone was in a funny ad for the new Bud Light Seltzer where the voices in his head caused him to destroy the inside of a convenience store.
17. An ad for Pringles featured characters from the animated show “Rick and Morty”. If you’re a fan of the show, you probably loved it. If you’ve never seen the show, you probably didn’t get the premise.
18. Michelob pushed its new organic Michelob Ultra Gold by promising to transition six square feet of farmland into ORGANIC farmland for every six-pack people buy.
19. Thrillist.com RANKED 47 Super Bowl ads, and they LOVED the Snickers ad that parodies the “We Are the World”-style charity songs, where everyone gets together to sing . . . and feed the EARTH a Snickers.
20. Finally . . . because we can’t go a Super Bowl without seeing Tom Brady . . . there was a Hulu ad that started out like it might be Brady announcing his RETIREMENT, but it was just a gimmick for Hulu. At the end, Tom said, quote, “I’m not going anywhere.”