The US TV commercial fest that is the Super Bowl took place yesterday, with tons of ads shown across the event. Oh, and in between the ads some kind of sports game took place too.
The Super Bowl is the one time of the year when huge viewing figures across the States (and the wider world) are still guaranteed, so ad breaks are expensive and brands try to give it their best to get our attention. This year, the major themes featured can be split broadly into two camps: laughs and politics.
Here’s our pick of the best spots shown:
Kia: Hero’s Journey
We begin our selection with this amusing spot for Kia starring Melissa McCarthy. It’s not a patch on McCarthy’s recent SNL Sean Spicer sketch of course, but delivers chuckles nonetheless.
84 Lumber: The Entire Journey
84 Lumber – a building material supplier based in Pennsylvania – bought 90 seconds of airtime at the Super Bowl to post a provocative and moving ad about immigration. Fox apparently rejected the original script so the TV ad became a trailer for this longer version of the story, which played out on online.
Budweiser: Born the Hard Way
Another political spot (though apparently this wasn’t intended when it was conceived) now, this time from Budweiser. The spot tells the story of how the brand’s founder journeyed to America, and has caused inevitable debate across social media since its release a few days ago.
Bud Lite: Ghost Spuds
In contrast to the Budweiser spot, this Bud Lite ad goes for out-and-out silliness in this take on A Christmas Carol featuring the ghost of the brand’s 1980s mascot, Spuds MacKenzie.
Mercedes AMG GT Roadster: Easy Rider
The Coen Brothers directed this new take on Easy Rider, which sees Peter Fonda revise his classic role and still manage to appear very cool.
Avocados From Mexico: #AvoSecrets
Avocados From Mexico’s ads for the Super Bowl are reliably silly and fun. And so it goes again here.
Mr Clean: Cleaner of your Dreams
Mr Clean gets dirty in this new ad. It’s weird and a bit unpleasant (and mildly sexist?) but impossible to ignore.
Snickers: Live Super Bowl Commercial
Snickers attempted a live ad during the Super Bowl this year. It doesn’t quite come off but of course that’s part of the fun, and good on them for taking a chance in one of the most expensive ad slots you can find.
Skittles does romance. It’s pretty funny. Not vintage Skittles but pretty funny.
10 Hair Care: It’s a 10 Hair Care Super Bowl Commercial
This spot is essentially a one-liner about Trump’s hair but is weird and amusing regardless.
More politics here, with Audi’s spot about equal pay, which has inevitably caused some controversy since its release last week.
Honda CR-V: Yearbooks
The message here is pretty cheesy, but the array of stars is impressive, plus looking at old yearbook pictures will always be amusing.
Airbnb: We Accept
Airbnb’s straightforward message of acceptance and unity is hard not to like right now.
Michelob Ultra: Our Bar
We’re including this one here largely for the curious juxtaposition of the theme from Cheers with lots of people working out (and later on having a beer together). Is this what modern beer-drinking looks like in America?
NFL: Football Is Family
We close with this charming ad which continues the NFL’s clever theme of highlighting the babies born nine months after the Super Bowl. And it features toddlers dressed up with facial hair, what’s not to like?