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When the Super Bowl rolls around, both football fanatics and those who can’t tell a touchdown from a homerun can find common ground in one thing—the Super Bowl’s wild commercials. The ads shown during the Super Bowl are a class of their own, featuring higher cinematography and humor than most other commercials. Nearly everyone tunes in to watch the Super Bowl, even if it’s just for the commercials, leading to a sense of community in the following days when discussing the viral commercials with those around you.
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If you’re looking to take a trip down memory lane, check out these products and brands featured in iconic Super Bowl commercials from the past few years.
Part of the magic of Super Bowl ads is bringing an unassuming product to the forefront of your mind thanks to a wild commercial. You might not even know what’s being advertised until the very end. Tide takes this concept to the extreme in a hilarious series of ads from 2017’s Super Bowl LII, wherein the company posits thatevery Super Bowl ad is a Tide ad since the actors’ clothes are immaculately clean. Generic beer, medication, car, soda and insurance ads are all spoofed. Even some name brands such as Old Spice and Mr. Clean are spoofed, making a lasting impression on viewers (especially for alaundry detergent).
Mountain Dew Kickstart
Some commercials are notable because of how downrightbizarre they are. Take Mountain Dew’s 2016 ad, for example, where they unleashed the “Puppy Monkey Baby” upon the world. In the commercial, three men are watching TV when they’re interrupted by the eponymous chimera entering through a panel in the wall, carrying a cooler of Mountain Dew Kickstart. It begins dancing and shaking a rattle while chanting its name. The end of the commercial says that like the Puppy Monkey Baby, Kickstart combined three “awesome” things — caffeine, juice and “Dew.” If you say so, Mountain Dew, if you say so.
In 2020, Doritos aired a commercial capitalizing on the success of Lil Nas X’s record-breaking single, “Old Town Road.” In the commercial, Lil Nas X has a dance off against Sam Elliott outside an Old West Saloon, both of them competing for a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos. Lil Nas X eventually wins the gold. The commercial doesn’t forget about Old Town Road’s guest star Billy Ray Cyrus, as it ends with him proclaiming, “I ain’t dancin’.” It’s a cute commercial to honor the musical hit and breakout star. And now we’re hungry just thinking about it.
Gravity has stopped working. Trees are spontaneously combusting. Fish are raining down from above. There’s a hurricane in Nebraska and a tsunami in Paris. The end of the world is obviously at hand. The culprit? A dead phone. For its 2015 Super Bowl ad, the portable charger company, Mophie, actually does a pretty good job of painting the horror of a phone dying. The tagline #staypowerful isn’t just an empty brag either; they really do havethe best portable charger money can buy.
Last year, actress Scarlett Johansson and her husband, SNL star Colin Jost, were featured in a Super Bowl ad in which they showed off the power of Amazon Alexa. Normally an astutesmart speaker, the commercial takes it a step further and posits that the device can read minds. Awkward hilarity ensues when the device schedules for Jost to fake his death ahead of attending his wife’s performance, plays Fleetwood Mac’s “Little Lies” after Johansson states that she dislikes love scenes and announces to dinner guests that the food they’re eating was left in the car for hours. While Amazon Alexa can’t actually read your mind, it remains a great part of theAmazon Echo smart speaker.
BIC EZ Reach Lighters
Some Super Bowl ads make memes while others simply tap into them. The latter is the case for last year’s BIC EZ Reach Lighter commercial which capitalized on the memetic friendship between Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart. The commercial proves you don’t need a high concept to be effective. All they needed to do was simply show the utility of the EZ, making it easy to light things like candles and fireplaces, all while winking and nudging toward the audience regarding what wethink Snoop will use the lighter for.
Canadian singer Michael Bublé stars in a simple, yet humorous 2019 Super Bowl commercial for the sparkling water brand, Bubly. In the commercial, Bublé pronounces the drink the same way one would pronounce his name instead of how it should really be pronounced. “bubbly”. The farce is carried on by him pronouncing the “e” in “bicycle,” “Dave,” “muscle,” and “poodle” the same way. In the end, it leaves the audience hankering for a bottle.
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The M&M brand tends to be a regular when it comes to Super Bowl commercials. The brand’s “spokescandies” have had an odd year, culminating with them apparently getting theax in favor of a human spokesperson, Maya Rudolph. Believe it or not, this isn’t the first time the candies have been replaced by humans—sort of. In a 2018 Super Bowl advert, the iconic red M&M wishes to become human, turning into a man played by Danny DeVito as a result. The iconic actor and the staple chocolate candy fit surprisingly well together.
A Super Bowl ad doesn’t have to be funny to be exciting. For Always’ 2015 Super Bowl commercial, the company decided to go with an inspiring message, showing that the phrase “like a girl” shouldn’t be a point of mockery. With its commitment to boosting the confidence of girls and women, the commercial ended up being one of the most popular of the year.
Some of the most iconic Super Bowl ads feature loads of pop culture references. This is the case for Walmart’s 2019 commercial wherein they show off several famous cars in a store parking lot. No matter who you are or how old you are, it’s hard not to feel a bit of nostalgia for the cars on display. While Gary Numan’s 1979 song “Cars” plays, we see the likes of the Mystery Machine, Lightning McQueen, the Batmobile and the showstopper: the Mandalorian time machine in flight mode. We won’t tell anyone if you went to Walmart afterward hoping that you might catch one of the iconic vehicles.
Taking it back a decade, we have Best Buy’s 2013 commercial featuring Amy Poehler. In it, she asks a Best Buy associate a barrage of questions including “what makes smart TVs so smart?” and a series of increasingly urgent questions regarding the cloud. The commercial does a good job of capturing the wonder of shopping at Best Buy and seeing all the various electronics on display.
Along with previews, beer is one of the biggest advertising staples at the Super Bowl and in 2019, Bud Light teamed up with HBO Max to advertise one of the biggest television shows of the 2010s—Game of Thrones. Part humorous, part dramatic, the commercial had an exciting finish that hyped up viewers for the final season. The taste of the commercial might be a bit bitter in hindsight, but fortunately, HBO Max has other shows to watch such asPeacemaker andHouse of the Dragon,Game of Throne’s well-received prequel. well-received prequel.
In 2021, Pepsi teamed up with The Weeknd for the ultimate synergy. The Weeknd was performing the halftime show that year, making audiences primed to see him on television. Just picture The Weeknd driving a vintage Mercedes with “Blinding Lights” playing. Suffice to say, it made for a very cool commercial for a very cool drink.
In 2020, Snickers took its “you’re not you when you’re hungry” slogan to its logical conclusion when it aired a commercial with the premise that theentire world needed a Snickers. In the commercial, many people sing about their troubles before congregating around a giant hole that a similarly giant Snickers is airlifted into to “feed” the Earth. Let’s just say, it got the job done.
In 2021, Mike Myers and Dana Carvey reprised theirWayne’s World roles to film a commercial for Uber Eats filmed in the same style as the classic 90s duology and theSaturday Night Live skits before it. It was a blast from the past to those who grew up with the films. Myers and Carvey are as hilarious as ever, spoofing various commercial tropes such as using babies to tug at heartstrings and having celebrity guest appearances. As Garth would say, it’s “mega-excellent.”
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Story Credit: usatoday.com