There are some people who watch the Super Bowl for football and there are some who watch the game for the ads. Over the years, advertising during Super Bowl has become a competition for brands. Advertisers shell out close to 7 million dollars in return for a spot and they often work doubly hard to win over audiences by rolling out commercials that entertain and stand out. This year, the ads were full of celebrities and many brands used humour, as a tool, to grab attention and advertise their products.
Here are Ritwika Gupta’s top 10 rankings:
1. Doritos and Mountain Dew
Of all the Super Bowl commercials, this one tops my list. The Game of Thrones (GOT) fan in me couldn’t resist. And well, just how many times do you get to see two brands in a single ad? The Doritos and Mountain Dew TVC features Peter Dinklage and Morgan Freeman in a rap battle. We see Dinklage, or ‘Tyrion’ from GOT, lip-syncing to a Busta Rhymes rap for Doritos Blaze, tortilla chips that are topped with spicy powder. He blows fire out of his mouth because the chips are oh-so spicy and hot! Freeman, on the other hand, lip-syncs to Missy Elliott’s “Get Ur Freak On”, in a room full of ice, thanks to the chilled Mountain Dew. The ad is cleverly inspired by the song of ice and fire, a battle that Game of Thrones fans have been waiting to see for the last 7 years. It, in fact, has led to many GOT fans believing that Dinklage’s character is actually a Targaryen, a long held fan theory! Pairing to perfect cast, this is hands down, the most memorable commercial, aired during Super Bowl 2018.
This is a really fun ad which hilariously mocks all commercials that look like they are selling something but end up showing something else altogether. The ad features David Harbour and starts off like a car commercial, then a beer ad, an insurance commercial, followed by a jewellery ad and the list goes on. Throughout the ad, Harbour keeps emphasizing that this is a Tide ad and indeed, it is. Despite not focusing on the product much, we all remember that this is a Tide ad. The TVC has many surprise elements and keeps the viewers entertained
Febreeze’s new ad is about freshening your bathroom for the Super Bowl. This 30-second spot talks about a guy, Dave, the only man in the world, whose ‘bleep don’t stink’. We see family and friends of Dave offering hilarious commentaries and endorsing the same. The ad is sarcastic and ends with, “Dave isn’t at your Super Bowl party, but everyone else is. Is your bathroom ready?” The ad is funny, clever and quite weirdly relevant. The dialogues are hilarious and the actors really pull it off. This is one reason why the commercial works for me.
Toyota’s new spot about Paralympics follows Canadian Paralympic skier Lauren Woolstencroft’s inspiring journey from birth to becoming a gold medalist. The ad introduces us to a newborn baby with incomplete legs and an onscreen ticker starts recording her odds of winning a gold medal. At first, we see her struggle to walk, ski and dance but then we see the same girl growing up to become the eight-time gold-medal skier. Toyota, the global partner of Special Olympics, tells an inspiring story with this ad. The background score touches your heart.
5. Avocados from Mexico
Avocados from Mexico’s ad opens on a bio dome that has “sealed the bad out and the good in.” The commercial creates a utopian world where there are plenty of avocados from Mexico. Things take a hilarious turn when people in the dome realise that they have left the chips locked outside the dome. All of them freak out until the leader of the dome community takes a toast and states, “avocados taste great on lots of things”. The ad is goofy, explores the idea of “chip-less” guacamole while suggesting alternatives that go well with the dip. The ad also smartly targets Super Bowl viewers, who enjoy having guacamole with chips while watching the match and encourages them to try out other ways to have the guacamole dip.
6. Amazon Alexa
Amazon Alexa loses her voice in this ad but wins many hearts. The brand’s star-studded Super Bowl commercial features famous celebrities like Gordon Ramsay, Cardi B, Rebel Wilson and Anthony Hopkins, who fill in for Alexa. But it doesn’t quite go the right way! In a hilarious montage of events, we see Gordon Ramsey, swearing at people who ask for a recipe, Cardi B refusing to play music other than her own and Anthony Hopkins portraying his intimidating ‘Westworld’ character. The commercial is lighthearted and shows us how cool it would be if the personal assistant’s voice was that of our favourite celebrity’s. The concept is fresh, out-of-the-box and definitely entertaining.
From Cindy Crawford to Michael Jackson, Britney Spears and many more, Pepsi’s new ad reminds us that generations of people and celebrities have drank and endorsed its product over the years. The ad takes us on a nostalgic trip down memory lane. It features Pepsi drinkers from the 50s/60s, the evolving packaging of the Pepsi bottle/can and also footages of past Super Bowl ads. At a mere 30 seconds, the ad effectively delivers a smart message of its strong history and shows how much people love Pepsi.
While Pepsi’s ad is high on nostalgia, Coca-Cola’s Super Bowl commercial celebrates diversity and inclusion. This one shows people of different races, ages, and genders doing many regular things like spinning the bottle, gazing up at a star-filled sky and many more. Many of these activities invariably involve bottles and cans of Coke. The ad is well-written and is not preachy. This one tugs at the heartstrings.
Danny DeVito stars in this commercial, in and as M&M. You read it right. So, a red M&M, while taking a stroll with his other M&M friend, finds and uses a lucky penny to wish he was human. DeVito pops up as the human form of the red M&M and takes to the streets to ask random people if they want to “eat” him. After the Doritos & Mountain Dew combined advert, this is possibly the best casting out of the all Super Bowl ads. You simply can’t take your eyes off DeVito. The ad is a bit whacky but super entertaining.
10. Michelob ULTRA
Michelob ULTRA’s Super Bowl ad features Chris Pratt as a super enthusiastic actor, all set to star in the commercial of his dreams – Michelob ULTRA. The ad opens with Pratt, receiving a call saying that he’s bagged the brand’s new TVC. He is then seen preparing religiously for the ‘role’. We see him lifting weights, giving a name to his beer commercial character, advising his friend on how to hold her beer glass correctly and almost goes into a “method acting” zone. However, when Pratt finally shows up at the shoot venue, he is directed towards the “extra crowd” standing near the studio. Yes, he is relegated to the role of an “extra” and that is the hilarious irony of the ad. The TVC is enjoyable and Chris Pratt keeps the viewers engaged with his silly antics.