Super Bowl LIV is just days away, and if you’re like us, you can’t wait to chow down on junk food and watch as the San Francisco 49ers take on the Kansas City Chiefs. Kickoff for the Super Bowl is set for Sunday, Feb. 2 at 6:30 p.m. ET. Before we get to the big game, though, another fierce competition is already underway: the corporate race for the best Super Bowl campaign of the year. That’s right — as expensive as those precious seconds of airtime are this year, there are still tons of companies putting their commercials online ahead of their TV airing.
Has this year’s slate of ads lived up to last year’s offerings or even some of the all-time greatest Super Bowl ads? Let’s take a look at what’s made it to the internet ahead of Super Bowl 54 so far.
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Quibi: “Bank Heist”
Hey, at least Quibi is self-aware enough to know no one actually understands what Quibi is at this point. The streaming service isn’t available yet, but that didn’t stop them from buying up airtime at the Super Bowl to try to explain what it’s all about — after having a laugh at their own silly name’s expense, of course.
McDonald’s: “Famous Orders”
Find out what your favorite A-lister’s tray looks like when they head to those golden arches in this 30-second spot. Not only does Keith Urban drink a lot of coffee, but he also has an ice cream sundae for breakfast!
Dashlane: “Password Paradise”
Who hasn’t forgotten a password, whiffed the personal questions prompts, and then found themselves locked out of their own accounts? It’s a hellish experience, and this company is taking the concept to new heights — or new depths, depending on how you look at this existential ad.
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Genesis: “Going Away Party”
John Legend and Chrissy Teigen bid farewell to the relics of “old luxury” as they introduce Genesis’s new SUV, the GV80 — which Teigen is only allowed to enter once she touts Legend’s “Sexiest Man Alive” honor again for the umpteenth time.
Snickers: “Fix the World”
Add this one to the “WTF did I just watch?” list. You’ll find some of Snickers’s past ads on “best-of” lists from years past, but this one might not make the cut. While it does have some funny things to say about the oddities of modern culture — including a well-deserved side eye to
surveillance smart-home devices — the ending is just bleak and bizarre. Turning tragedy into spectacle is a choice, and not a good one.
Little Caesars: “Best Thing Since Sliced Bread”
Sliced bread has to reconsider its strategy once Little Caesars’ delivery service takes its throne as the “best thing” in this ad, featuring Rainn Wilson as sliced bread’s beleaguered CEO. Their headquarters erupts into chaos so intense it could easily be the backdrop of a vintage “Harlem Shake” video, complete with fire and a random ostrich ride. This is the kind of chaotic energy we needed to see this Super Bowl.
New York Life: “Love Takes Action”
Prepare to have your heart swell to three times its normal size when you watch this 60-second ad about the many ways to show love to someone else.
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Heinz: “Find the Goodness”
Heinz is getting its money’s worth with its Super Bowl ad — times four. Directed by Roman Coppola, this ad features four separate stories unfolding at once: one group visits a creepy diner filled with clowns; another family moves into what it is clearly a haunted house; a young couple dines with the 21st-Century version of the Munsters; and a quartet of kids walk up to a noodle counter serviced by a scary alien. Everyone seems weirded out by their surroundings, but once they spot that ketchup bottle, all is well again! Talk about comfort food.
Kia: “Tough Never Quits”
Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs returns to Tulsa to offer his younger self some advice on how to overcome his tough circumstances in this ad for the Kia Seltos.
Walmart: “Famous Visitors”
Walmart is calling all your favorite sci-fi characters from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Men In Black, Arrival, The Lego Movie, Star Wars, and even Mars Attacks! to show how out of this world their big blue bag is in their first-ever Super Bowl ad.
Facebook: “Chris Rock Is Ready for Lift Off!”
Facebook is also a first-time advertiser of the Super Bowl and has released two teasers featuring Chris Rock preparing to pump their groups feature. In the first, he’s ready to pull an October Sky and send a baby rocket flying, and the second features him doing push-ups with a cheeky vocal cameo by Rocky himself, Sylvester Stallone.
Audi: “Let It Go”
Game of Thrones‘ Maisie Williams gets behind the wheel of an Audi e-tron Sportback and offers her rendition of Frozen‘s immortal earworm for this Audi ad, which promotes its fully electric car models and the company’s commit to sustainability.
Saucony: “One Small Step”
Saucony is also promoting environmentalism this season. In this ad, the sneaker brand introduces its new initiative to create biodegradable shoes that will help to reduce wearers’ carbon footprint.
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Discover: “No, We Don’t Charge Annual Fees”
Discover’s big game spots will be two-fold, starting with this 15-second ad showcasing clips from some of our favorite scenes in Clueless, Friends, and more, featuring characters enthusiastically saying “no” to highlight the fact that the company doesn’t charge an annual fee. A supplementary ad does something similar with the word “yes,” to play up the feeling of being approved for one of their cards.
WeatherTech: “Lucky Dog”
This 30-second commercial stars Scout, the spokesdog and personal pet of WeatherTech’s founder and CEO David MacNeal. The ad serves as a thank you to the veterinarians at the University of Wisconsin and a call for donations to their research program, which saved Scout’s life after a cancer diagnosis.
Mountain Dew Zero Sugar: “As Good as the Original”
It was clear from the teaser that Mountain Dew Zero Sugar would be pay homage to The Shining with its Super Bowl Sunday ad, but we still didn’t expect to see Breaking Bad‘s Bryan Cranston channeling Jack Torrance (ax and all) to sell soda. And with Tracee Ellis Ross as the tortured victim, too! This is … a weird one.
Don’t adjust your screens; this isn’t Stranger Things 4. Instead, it’s an ad featuring Winona Ryder visiting a town that shares her name in Minnesota — a trip that actually happened, and she has the website to prove it.
Google is tugging on all the heartstrings with this ad about a man using the internet service to remember everything he doesn’t want to forget about the love of his life. Gulp.
Michelob Ultra: “Jimmy Works It Out”
Jimmy Fallon gets some exercise motivation from WWE star John Cena in this activity-filled commercial that also features guest appearances by The Roots, Kerri Walsh Jennings, Usain Bolt, and Brooks Koepka.
Reeses Take 5: “Rock”
For Reeses’ first-ever Super Bowl commercial, they’re highlighting a product you probably haven’t heard of to highlight the very fact that you probably haven’t heard of it. [Insert the “Bold Strategy Cotton” GIF here.]
Secret: “The Secret Kicker”
“Let’s kick inequality” is the message for this ad, which features two young women taking off their helmets after making the game-winning field goal. At first, the crowd seems stunned at the sight of their new heroes’ faces, but then the applause only intensifies.
Microsoft: “Be the One”
Also celebrating women in football is this Microsoft ad which puts the spotlight on Katie Sowers, the game-changing offensive assistant coach for the San Francisco 49ers.
Hyundai: “Smaht Pahk”
We weren’t totally sure how Hyundai planned to sell cars with its initial Super Bowl ad teaser, which featured David Ortiz, aka Big Papi, getting a one-on-one dialect lesson on that iconic Boston accent from Saturday Night Live alum Rachel Dratch. But now that the full ad is out, we get it. Chris Evans and John Krasinski joined the group to show off the new Sonata’s remote parking assist feature, and they used that signature Yankee sound to run through absolutely all of the places this new car can park itself. Wicked smaht.
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Pepsi: “Zero Sugar Done Right”
Missy Elliott and H.E.R. breathe new life into “Paint it Black” with a jazzy new rendition set in outer space. Admit it; you’re dancing to those new bars already.
Budweiser: “Typical Americans”
Budweiser is bucking stereotypes with its entry into the Super Bowl commercial round-up this year. The serious ad spouts various generalizations often made about Americans, like how they’re loud, always touching other people’s things, or show up uninvited, while showing footage of how virtuous those stereotypes can be. The loud Americans were protesting, the touchy Americans were helping strangers out of a snow bank, and the American “showing up uninvited” was an Army man, showing up at his father’s work to surprise him with a visit. It’s definitely going to make you want to get out your American flag and wave it proudly this Super Bowl Sunday. Meanwhile, Budweiser Canada is encouraging beer drinkers to avoid impaired driving, and Bud Light is pulling an Inside Outwith Post Malone to promote its Seltzer products.
Amazon: “Before Alexa”
Amazon will be heading into more celebrities’ homes with this year’s Super Bowl campaign. This time, it’s Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi who hit up Alexa for their everyday requests — and wonder what people used to do before they had such smart home technology. We then head back in time to witness various eras of exactly that, as Alexine, Alexi, Al, and more are asked to perform the menial tasks we now rely on our robot friend to do, like play a favorite song or a send a message to Prince Constantine. Fun times.
Tide: “Dirty Laundry”
This one’s just a teaser for now, but what do you get when you combine It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia star Charlie Day with Schitt’s Creek‘s Emily Hampshire? An adorkable little gossip session, of course!
Porsche: “The Heist”
Porsche’s first Super Bowl ad in decades promotes the Taycan, its new electric vehicle, and between the energetic car chase storyline, stunning landscapes, and Hollywood-level production value, the ad does a great job of keeping our eyes on the cars at the center of this thing.
Michelob Ultra: “Pure Gold”
Last year’s ad for this product was a miss, but this year’s commercial tries to actually achieve something. The ad introduces the “6 for 6-Pack” campaign, which promises that for every six-pack sold, six feet of farmland will be transitioned to organic. Buy a beer and save the world: Who can’t get on board with that idea?
Pop-Tarts: “Jonathan Van Ness Freak Out”
Jonathan Van Ness realllly doesn’t like plain pretzels, folks.
Pringles: “Rick and Morty”
That intense weirdness that Rick and Morty thrives on is in full view as a new snack food takes over their lives. So long, Szechuan sauce.
Doritos: “Monologue “
Only a screen star with as much wild west swagger as Sam Elliott could elevate a well-worn radio earworm like “Old Town Road” to Oscar-worthy character monologue like he does in this Doritos commercial. Does this commercial sell chips? Well, we’ll see. But does it get audiences’ attention? You’re darn tootin’. Doritos released a companion commercial to go with this one, feature Lil Nas X himself, strutting into town on a horse, and you won’t want to miss it.
Olay: “Space Walk”
We’ll have to wait to ’til the big game to find out how a skincare line relates to space, but, really, any excuse to feature female astronauts — even fake ones who forget the keys! — is just dandy. Plus, Taraji P. Henson as mission commander? Into. It.
Verizon is touting its 5G Ultra Wideband as the wave of the future by showing just how the technology could even help in life or death situations! Who knew speedy data transmission had so many secondary perks!
Cheetos: “Where It All Began”
Sorry for reminding you of this devastating fact, but it’s been 30 years since MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This” arrived to instant radio ubiquity, inspiring legions of ’90s kids to stock up on Hammer pants and do the Hammer dance. Now, the rapper is back in the spotlight and stars in Cheetos’ 2020 Super Bowl campaign in an ad which implies it was actually cheese-fingers — a common phenomenon associated with eating the crunchy treats, to be sure — which inspired his signature song.
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Turbo Tax: “All People Are Tax People”
As the old saying goes, there are only two certainties in life: death and taxes. So, TurboTax decided to do a riff the latter and point out that, as different as everyone’s jobs, interests, and activities may be, filling out annual taxes is the true tie that binds. Kind of depressing, no?
Planters: “Road Trip”
In a pretty morbid Super Bowl commercial, 104-year-old Planters mascot Mr. Peanut dies after a car crash sends him and friends over a cliff. As they hang on to a stray branch, Mr. Peanut sacrifices himself to save his friends by letting go and falling to his death. Planters then launched a social media campaign mourning their beloved friend that several other snack brands participated in, tweeting things Sonic’s, “Pouring a Peanut Butter Shake out for the homie,” or Butterfinger’s, “He was the crispety to our crunchety. #RIPPeanut, old friend.”
Avocados from Mexico – “The Avocados from Mexico Shopping Network”
We knew Avocados from Mexico would offer something very different once it recruited Molly Ringwald for their “Tiara Teaser,” in which she painstakingly puts a tiny tiara on an avocado in a makeup chair, saying, “They’re going to eat you up.” Now, the full 30-second ad is in, and it features her and others shilling avocado accessories for those beloved berries. Sure, it’s a little strange, but doesn’t it kinda make you want some guacamole, too? If so, success!
Super Bowl LIV will air on Sunday, Feb. 2 starting at 6:30 p.m. ET on Fox.
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