Oh, the drama! Oh, the excitement! Oh, the household names! No, I’m not talking about football, I’m talking about the commercials that are sprinkled throughout the football. Whether you are into the actual game taking place on the field on Super Bowl Sunday, or whether you are more into the Puppy Bowl, everybody loves a good Super Bowl commercial–which are often filled with surprises, new products, and delightful cameos. At a sticker-shocking price tag of $5.02 million per 30-second spot, they better be good.
While some companies save their Super Bowl ads for the big game, others release their commercials early. Below, we’ve collected some of the most exciting spots released so far.
Budweiser “Born the Hard Way”
If you had told me that I might get a little teary-eyed at the new Budweiser commercial, I would have assumed that you had had one too many. But here we are approaching Super Bowl LI, and the domestic brew king has put aside the Clydesdales and hit a home run with a timely, touching one-minute ad that follows the immigration story of founder Adolphus Busch. It puts a lot of things in perspective and leaves you a little thirsty.
Skittles’ super-successful advertising year is rolling into 2017 with a cute and funny 30-second spot featuring, among other things, a slightly inept Romeo, a girl named Katie, Katie’s grandmother, and what I think might be a beaver? The ad has only been posted on YouTube for a week, and it already has 4.5 million views.
Mercedes-Benz “Easy Driver”
You know you are pulling out all of the stops when you hire the Cohen Brothers to direct your one-minute Super Bowl ad. The legendary film-making duo does not disappoint in this spot for the Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster, which stars Peter Fonda and takes place at a very intimidating biker bar.
Squarespace “John Malcovich”
John Malcovich is a delight, even when he is being weird and angry. Maybe especially when he is being weird and angry. Web design and domain hosting company Sqaurespace took full advantage in their one-minute ad spot, which depicts the actor finding out that another John Malcovich has already claimed his domain name. I dare you not to laugh when he shouts, “Get out of my name!”
Intel “Brady Everyday”
Intel took a gamble and won by casting Super Bowl LI starting quarterback Tom Brady in their commercial for Intel 360° Technology. The spot dramatizes the Patriots star’s morning routine, which might be fun for fans but lacks much interest for others.
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Lexus “Man and Machine”
Luxury car maker Lexus shows off its brand new 2018 LC 500 performance coupe in this extended spot that compares the sleek new car with the some equally sleek dance moves. Add Sia’s “Move Your Body” as a soundtrack, and I call this one a winner.
Turbo Tax “Humpty Fall”
Sadly, football season is followed closely by the significantly-less-fun tax season. To help us get through these tough times, Turbo Tax has created a 45-second Super Bowl ad that takes a perfectly dark and funny look at what it might be like if Humpty Dumpty used the Turbo Tax mobile app to file his taxes.
Wix “Big Game First Spot with Jason Statham & Gal Gadot”
Web development platform Wix.com is throwing its hat into the Super Bowl ad ring this year with an high-speed spot starring action stars Jason Statham and Gal Gadot. Funny and fun, the commercial shows the duo destroying a restaurant during hand-to-hand combat while the owner is busy creating the perfect website.
Mr. Clean “Cleaner of Your Dreams”
Have you ever had a thing for Mr. Clean? No, me neither. But in Proctor & Gamble’s first ever Super Bowl spot staring the bald mopper, he is looking a little more desirable, if only because he is tackling shower scum. Two thumbs up, both for creativity and for breaking the tired cleaning commercial trope that janitorial duties are primarily for women.
Ford “Go Further”
Besides Budweiser’s pro-immigration ad, he big Super Bowl commercial winner for me so far is Ford’s 90-second spot that focuses on new innovations and concepts like self-driving cars, ride sharing, bike sharing, and electric cars. The ad is beautifully shot, filled with everyday moments and totally tapped in to some real, human emotions, all with Nina Simone singing in the background and Bryan Cranston’s voiceover.
Justin Bieber, Rob Gronkowski, and Terrell Owens team up for T-Mobile’s Super Bowl ad, which explores the history of the celebration dance and introduces T-Mobile One, a flat-rate cell plan that includes unlimited data and calls. Come for the attractive superstars, stay for the dance moves.
Tiffany & Co. “Legendary Style”
Lady Gaga is scheduled to rock the Super Bowl’s Half-Time Show, but that’s not the only time you’ll see her face on Sunday. The pop star is also the focus of Tiffany’s first-ever game day spot, where she will talk intimately about her creative process as part of the jewelry company’s Legendary Style campaign. You’ll have to wait until February 5 for the full one-minute take, but we have a short preview below.
Buick “Not So Pee Wee Football”
Buick’s new Super Bowl ad asks us to imagine what it would be like if Cam Newton played on your kid’s pee wee football team (and also what it would be like if your kid’s pee wee football coach was Miranda Kerr). The result is cute, light 60-second commercial that also highlights two newly-designed Buicks, the Cascada convertible and Encore compact luxury SUV.
Budweiser isn’t the only company getting a little political during the Super Bowl this year. Luxury car manufacturer Audi devoted its one-minute big game ad not to one of their products, but to their commitment to getting equal pay for women. The spot centers on a little girl kicking butt in a soapbox derby, with her dad’s voiceover in the background, explaining why equal pay is important to him. I am loving these public pledges for equality, and I can’t wait to see this roll live during the third quarter.
Bud Light “Ghost Spuds”
While the Budweiser commercial for this year’s Super Bowl was a deep look into immigration, this year’s Bud Light commercial was, much like the beer itself, a lot lighter. The one-minute “Ghost Spuds” spot played on the story of A Christmas Carol, in which the brand’s favorite dog showed a man how much he is missing when he stays in for the night. It’s cute and amusing, though I still think the real star of the Super Bowl ads is the main Budweiser commercial.
Kia “Holding Out for a Hero”
I love everything Melissa McCarthy touches, and this year for Kia’s big game day ad, she is getting into a bunch of hilarious messes while trying to save the world. The one-minute Super Bowl commercial leans hard on physical comedy, but it’s a light and fun romp from the icebergs of Antarctica to the plains of Africa. The environmentally-friendly product is also worth the watch: Kia is unveiling its redesigned hybrid SUV crossover, the Niro.