One needn’t know the difference between a touchdown and a turnover to enjoy the Super Bowl. For many viewers (and we suspect many a TVLine reader), it’s all about the ads.
Each year, advertisers pony up big bucks to wave their wares in front of more than 100 million viewers (even though most commercials are now released online, ahead of the Big Game). So, who drafted famous faces to shill? And who among them delivered the biggest laughs?
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Below you’ll find a curated selection of commercials that everyone will be talking about for the next 24-48 hours, featuring the stars of such iconic TV properties as 30 Rock, The A-Team, Arrested Development, Community, Friday Night Lights, Friends, Judge Judy, Martin, NCIS, Parks and Recreation, Star Trek, Scrubs, The Sopranos, Suits, Ted Lasso and Wednesday.
You’ll also find several athletes in the mix, including NFL vets Emmanuel Acho, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Dan Marino, Terrell Owens, Tony Romo, Shannon Sharpe and Bruce Smith.
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Keep scrolling for our quick takes on the best and worst Game Day commercials released ahead of kickoff — which we’ve playfully categorized as Touchdowns, Field Goals and Fumbles — then hit the comments with your reviews. (We’ll be adding several more throughout the broadcast, so keep refreshing!)
Spokesman Vince Vaughn invites everyone — including NHL legend Wayne Gretzky — to try their hand at winning on the sports betting app. Well, everyone except for Tom Brady, who has won just about enough for one lifetime.
Christopher Walken can’t go anywhere without being approached by someone with a Christopher Walken impression. That includes Emily in Paris star Ashley Park. Halftime Show headliner Usher also makes a cameo.
Tina Fey is joined by 30 Rock co-stars Jane Krakowski, Jack McBrayer and… wait, is that Glenn Close?
The Budweiser Clydesdale is a sight for sore eyes, as it makes its record-setting 46th (!) appearance during the biggest sporting event of the year.
Fumble: Bud Light
After the transphobic backlash it faced for enlisting transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney for an ad during March Madness, Bud Light plays it (too) safe with a new mascot — the Bud Light Genie — and cameos by NFL Hall of Famer Peyton Manning, singer and rapper Post Malone, and UFC CEO Dana White.
For weeks now, Michael Cera has been spotted in and around New York City shilling CeraVe — and now we know why: The Arrested Development star is revealed as the inventor of the popular moisturizing cream in CeraVe’s first-ever Super Bowl commercial. (In Ron Howard voice: Michael Cera is not the inventor of CeraVe moisturizing cream.)
Field Goal: Coors Light
It takes too long to reveal LL COOL J as the engineer aboard the Coors Light Chill Train. We do, however, appreciate the swipe that Coors takes at its competitor, Corona.
“Flavor Icons” Dina and Mita have far more screen time than Wednesday‘s Jenna Ortega, which feels like a real miscalculation on Frito-Lay’s part.
Touchdown: Dunkin’ Donuts
Ben Affleck and his fellow “DunKings” Matt Damon and Tom Brady make fools of themselves in front of Jennifer Lopez.
Field Goal: Drumstick
Comedian Eric Andre finds himself in physical distress on an airplane. Unfortunately, Dr. Umstick’s medical bag only contains Nestle ice cream treats. It’s not ha-ha funny, but it’s far from the worst commercial of the night.
Touchdown: e.l.f. Cosmetics
Suits crosses over with Jury Duty and Judge Judy, as e.l.f. enlists the services of Gina Torres, Rick Hoffman, Sarah Rafferty, the honorable Judith Sheindlin and Ronald Gladden. The over-the-top legal parody also features cameos by Meghan Trainor, RuPaul’s Drag Race vet Heidi N Closet, comedian Benito Skinner, Judy Justice law clerk Sarah Rose and former NFL linebacker Emmanuel Acho.
It might not have the glitz and glam of the e.l.f. Cosmetics spot, but it does have Suits‘ well-dressed leading men — Gabriel Macht and Patrick J. Adams — along with a bevy of familiar faces, including Bradley Cooper, Common, Jennifer Hudson, Laura Dern, Zach Braff and Donald Faison.
The late Carl Weathers shows up to motivate a despondent Ron Gronkowski and coach him towards a second chance success — precisely as his Apollo Creed character did with Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa in Rocky III.
Field Goal: Hellmann’s
Kate McKinnon promotes “taste over waste” with the help of a (talking?) cat — a famous feline who winds up dating… Pete Davidson? Yeah, we’re not sure how to feel about that.
M&M’s transforms peanut butter into diamonds with an assist from almost-NFL champions Dan Marino, Terrell Owens and Bruce Smith, and almost-Oscar winner Scarlett Johansson (who keeps showing up in great Super Bowl commercials).
Touchdown: Michelob Ultra
Major League Soccer star Leo Messi and
AFC Richmond football coach Ted Lasso Jason Sudeikis leave the pitch behind for a day at the beach. And look, it’s Dan Marino in his second Super Bowl ad of the night!
Fumble: Miller Lite
Rob Riggle leads Miller Lite’s confusing attempt to run 1,000 simultaneous ads with the help of a few indistinguishable QR codes. (We’re guessing they didn’t intend to have a member of the film crew in the background at the 0:21 mark? Oopsie daisy!)
Touchdown: Mountain Dew
America’s sweetheart Aubrey Plaza is clearly having a blast — a Baja Blast! — as she reunites with Parks and Recreation co-star Nick Offerman.
Field Goal: Oikos
Martin Lawrence shows off the power of Oikos’ protein-filled yogurt and gives muscle man Shannon Sharpe a run for his money.
A cameo by Kris Jenner leads us to believe that America’s favorite cookie is to blame for Keeping Up With the Kardashians — and we’re not sure that’s something Nabisco wants credit for!
Watching Sir Patrick Stewart straight up murder Hey, Arnold’s titular “Football Head,” while Creed rocks out in the distance, makes for the fever dream-iest of Super Bowl commercials — and easily the funniest of Paramount+’s many “Mountain of Entertainment” ads.
There is no cheese on this planet as stinky as this intense Edie Falco commercial commissioned by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Well intentioned or not, it just doesn’t land.
Touchdown: Pluto TV
The free streamer reveals the trick for getting in front of so many eyeballs: Growing its very own couch potatoes.
You may not agree with casting Chris Pratt as the voice of Super Mario or Garfield, but you’ve gotta admit: the Terminal List star looks the part of Mr. P.
After more than 50 years, a cryogenically frozen Ken Jeong is thawed and introduced to Popeye’s new and improved chicken wing… as well as several other improvements the world has made since he first subjected himself to the big chill. It’s easily Jeong’s funniest role since his days on Community.
Turns out that almond milk also makes strong bones. Just ask Jeremy Renner! It’s been a little more than a year since his snowplow accident, and the Mayor of Kingstown is feeling better than ever, paired here with his real-life daughter Ava.
Field Goal: Skechers
Mr. T puts the nonexistent “T” in Skechers and takes his schtick to 11, acting opposite Tony Romo.
Field Goal: Squarespace
Directed by the legendary Martin Scorsese, Hello Down There is described as “a humorous take on capturing the essence of human life consumed by the digital world.” But it doesn’t really have anything to do with building a website, which is the service that Squarespace provides.
Touchdown: State Farm
Like a good neighba, Arnold Schwarzenegger is there! And he’s joined by Danny DeVito in a surprise Twins reunion.
Touchdown: STōK Cold Brew
Sir Anthony Hopkins channels his inner Hannibal Lecter before making his debut as Wrexham AFC’s mascot, Wrex the Wred Dragon! We doubt it was actually Hopkins in Wrex’s costume, but we loved this all the same.
John Travolta’s out and Jason Momoa‘s in for Scrubs duo Zach Braff and Donald Faison‘s latest T-Mobile ad. It culminates in a Flashdance homage, complete with a Jennifer Beals cameo. (This is what us football fans call a home run!)
The Ferrara Candy Company probably would’ve went in a different direction with its Addison Rae-led ad had they known that T-Mobile was also planning a Flashdance homage.
Touchdown: Uber Eats
Ok, but is he or is he not her lobster? In Uber Eats’ crowd-pleasing commercial, Jennifer Aniston has no recollection of Friends co-star David Schwimmer! Also suffering from bouts of amnesia are David and Victoria Beckham (who struggle to remember that Victoria was in the Spice Girls), Jelly Roll (who tries to scrub away his facial tattoos before realizing they’re permanent) and — well, hello again! — Halftime Show performer Usher.
Field Goal: United Airlines
Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose… with Friday Night Lights’ Kyle Chandler channeling his inner Coach Taylor and shilling affordable flights during the big game.
Surprise, Beyoncé‘s dropping new music! But first, she’s breaking the internet again, with an assist from Tony Hale, as the surprise star of Verizon’s Super Bowl spot.
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