The Super Bowl: the one time of year people not only tolerate but actively seek out commercials.
Hell, if you’re a cord-cutter or DVR owner with an ad blocker, it may be the one time of year you actually see commercials.
Perhaps you were hoping this year’s commercial breaks might provide an escape from our country’s current political insanity. Wrong!
Budweiser probably didn’t expect its German immigrant founder’s story to be so controversial when it was greenlit last October, but it’s taken on new meaning in our current political climate. One construction supply company even tried to include a border wall in its ad, but Fox wouldn’t have it.
Others are going to extreme lengths to stand apart from the crowd. Hyundai will become the first brand to film its post-game ad during the event itself. Snickers will air the first-ever live commercial with Adam Driver during the third quarter.
As in the past few years, many advertisers tried to build buzz by releasing their ads ahead of time. After all, they did pay nearly $170,000 per second to air them.
Below are all the Super Bowl ads we know of so far. We’ll be updating the list throughout the game.
Honda leaned hard on star power with an ensemble of celebrities offering bits of light-hearted advice from their old high school yearbook photos.
A thoughtful narrator dad wrestles with how to explain gender inequality to his young daughter as a race track serves as a metaphor. The equal pay message has already been slammed online by some who are critical of Audi’s own gender diversity and others who are just mad about feminism.
Avocados from Mexico
A secret illuminati-like order discusses how they faked the moon landing, deflated Tom Brady’s footballs and oversold the number of shades of gray. Oh, and they also hid the health benefits of avocados for some reason. The whole premise is actually a sly reference to the fact that government regulators only recently let avocado suppliers advertise the fruit as “healthy.” But you don’t have to know about avocado bureaucracy to find it entertaining.
GoDaddy returns to the Super Bowl with a human embodiment of internet memes and not a single bikini in sight.
Christopher Walken who seems to show up in every single Super Bowl recites the lyrics to *NSYNC’s “Bye, bye, bye” with Justin Timberlake. The former boy band star is actually an investor and “chief flavor officer” for juice brand Bai.
The Coen Brothers directed their first-ever Super Bowl ad with this “Easy Rider” tribute starring Peter Fonda.
The ghost of Spuds Mackenzie, Bud Light’s previously retired spokesdog, makes his triumphant return to the screen to convince some guy not to be a wet blanket. The dog was last seen in an ad in 1989. The original Spudz, a bull terrier whose real name was Honey Tree Evil Eye, died in 1993 and was last seen on TV in 1989.
Budweiser follows the journey of its founder, Adolphus Busch, from Germany to America. In our current political climate, it seems like a moving statement about the value of immigration but the company says it didn’t intend it that way.
Justin Bieber explains the evolution of the touchdown dance with help from a caveman Gronk and T.O.
The carrier also brought co-stars and BFFs Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart together for a delightful conversation.
Kristen Schaal plays a Verizon customer addicted to pain in yet another of the company’s ads.
Mike Ditka, Joe Namath, Bill Belichick and other Super Bowl legends are surprisingly adorable in baby form.
John Malkovich is dogged by an imposter who’s being John Malkovich in this clever nod to Being John Malkovich. Fun fact: In an ironic twist, Malkovich had to get the legal blessing from the rights holders of that film to make this commercial.
Melissa McCarthy plays a hapless environmental activist who painfully fails at everything she does. It’s supposed to be slapstick fun, but it comes off as a little dark given the recent onslaught of very real blows to environmentalism. Anyway, she’s promoting an eco-friendly car.
After six consecutive Super Bowls, Pepsi ceded its spot to the company’s new “premium water brand” this year. LifeWTR debuts with a colorful commecial set to John Legend.
Cam Newton calls plays for some Pop Warner kids in the car brand’s second Super Bowl appearance.
Website builder Wix.com enlisted Jason Statham and Gal Gadot to beat up some goons and blow up a restaurant in a pretty well-done action sequence. Somehow, that inspires a chef to launch a food truck.
Construction supply company 84 Lumber tells a story about a family of Mexican immigrants, despite Fox nixing its plan to show a border wall. Making the best of the situation, it turned the ad into a cliffhanger with an ending to be posted online during the game.
“It’s a 10!” hair care
The hair care brand made quite an impression with its first Super Bowl appearance between a backpack shaved out of back hair, a full-face beard and a hat in the shape of a pig’s head made out of hair.
Airbnb recycled a diversity-themed ad that’s been rendered all the more timely. The campaign actually first launched as part of a PR campaign to repair the startup’s image in the wake of accusations of racism among hosts.
Bill Nye is wowed by parallel dimensions in this detergent ad.
Tom Brady proves anything is exciting in replay. Intel made a winning bet in tapping the Super Bowl quarterback well before the Patriots made the big game. Though with four wins under his belt already, it wasn’t the longest odds.
Yet another version of Colonel Sanders introduces the chain’s latest new style of chicken. This time he’s made of solid gold.
A teenage boy stands outside the bedroom window of a girl he’s chasing and feeds her Skittles. And her family, a burglar, a cop and a beaver. It’s all pretty strange, but not terribly funny.
A computer-generated Mr. Clean gets sexy in his Super Bowl debut. But it’s also a bit creepy.
Jeffrey Tambor finds out Rob Gronkowski is a terrible dry cleaner. It’s an unlikely pairing but it sort of works.
Fresh off a gravity-defying turn in an Apple ad, dancer Lil Buck provides some abstract visuals for Lexus.
Kathryn Hahn narrates the struggle of a half-time bathroom break. Febreze is one of three P&G household brands to join the big game this year.
A dad tries to fake his own death against his kids’ better advice before Sprint’s Verizon-turncoat spokesman shows up.
Nintendo makes its Super Bowl debut to advertise the Legend of Zelda.
Humpty Dumpty falls off a wall while doing taxes.
An especially loud can of beer disturbs nearby forest animals.
The fast food chain makes its Super Bowl debut with an ad about a guy thawing beef with a hair dryer.
Yellow Tail becomes the first wine ad to advertise in the Super Bowl despite Anheuser-Busch’s deal that guarantees no competition from other alcohol companies. To circumvent this rule, the brand bought enough local ads to cover 80 percent of the country.