The Super Bowl is not only football’s biggest stage, but it’s also the height of advertising.
Just as the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots will battle for the 2018 Super Bowl championship, major companies and ad agencies will fight for your attention. With more than 100 million Americans expected to tune in for football’s biggest game, commercials for companies grow more expensive and extensive with each year. According to Sports Illustrated, NBC Sports charged more than $5 million for a 30-second spot during the Super Bowl LII.
While that’s a lot of cash, that doesn’t include the costs to create a commercial that will grab attention and make headlines. Indeed, per tradition, the Super Bowl ads this year feature a slew of celebrities, cameos and special effects.
While not every ad has been released yet, here’s a ranking of some of the best 2018 Super Bowl commercials.
The Best Cameos
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos took a brief break from taking over the world to appear in his company’s Super Bowl commercial. But he wasn’t the only high-profile individual to make an appearance. Indeed, celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, rapper Cardi B, actress Rebel Wilson and actor Anthony Hopkins took a shot at replacing Amazon’s Alexa in this 90-second ad. And, yes, we all now want Cardi B’s voice to replace Alexa’s for good. (We can assume that decision will be up to Overlord Bezos.)
The Best Break in Tradition
The Budweiser Clydesdales took a break once again this year in the company’s new and emotional Super Bowl commercial. Instead of promoting its beer, Budweiser used its ad to show the work that went into bottling water this year in response to numerous natural disasters all over the world, including in Puerto Rico and California. Budweiser has donated 79 million cans of drinking water in response crises around the world during the last 30 years, the company said. The ad, which follows one factory worker who helps bottle the water, is set to the song “Stand By Me.” Last year, Budweiser’s ad focused on the story of its co-founder, who immigrated from Germany to the U.S.
The Best Running Joke
Febreze went all in on the story of “The Only Man Whose Bleep Don’t Stink.” That is, the only guy who doesn’t leave behind a gross smell when he exits the bathroom. This documentary-style commercial focuses on the story of this man — Dave — with interviews with his parents, his former wrestling coach and his ex-girlfriend. The stand-outs, certainly, are Dave’s parents: “My friend — her son’s a lawyer. But, my son — his bleep don’t stink,” says the mom. “That’s better than being a lawyer,” the dad responds proudly.
The Best Appeal to Football-Watching Bros
Chances are you’ve heard the phrase “Dilly Dilly.” Bud Light’s popular catchphrase — perhaps most commonly used amongst college-aged boys — returns in the company’s two-part Super Bowl commercial. Set in a fantastical world a la Game of Thrones, the ad builds upon others from the company that results in a battle between the underdogs and an eager army — all over a few cases of Bud Light. The battle concludes when the Bud Knight gallops into the battle on horseback, grabs some beer for himself then uses his sword to conjure some kind of magical power that wins the battle for the underdogs.
The Best Thing That Could’ve Happened to Lexus
In perhaps the most conveniently timed Super Bowl commercial of all, Lexus and Marvel partnered to create a commercial that somehow leads you to believe the Black Panther drives a 2018 Lexus LS 500 F Sport. The cool-factor of the luxury car, which is available this month, is greatly aided by the star of the highly anticipated Marvel film Black Panther, which comes out Friday, Feb. 16. King T’Challa, played by Chadwick Boseman, stars in the ad, where he runs through the streets and leaps in the air, diving through the car’s sunroof.
The Best Reminder That We Do Not Deserve Tiffany Haddish
Groupon has kindly reminded us all that we do not deserve comedian Tiffany Haddish. The break-out star of Girls Trip graces Groupon with her presence and asks, “What kind of person wouldn’t want to support local business?” The ad then flashes to a wealthy man, saying he does not support local businesses, and opens the door only to get punted in the stomach with a football. That must’ve not felt too good, responds Haddish with her iconic laugh.
The Best Song of Ice and Fire
A Doritos-Mountain Dew battle is afoot, and apparently actors Peter Dinklage and Morgan Freeman are the representatives for each. The commercial features a rap battle between the two actors, with Dinklage sinisterly lip-synching Busta Rhymes’s verse on “Look At Me Now”and Freeman retorting with Missy Elliot’s “Get Your Freak On.” More can be expected to the ad, as Doritos says “only one can win.”(And, yes, Games of Thrones fans have already pointed out that Tyrion Lannister himself is in a Super Bowl commercial that could, in fact, convey The Song of Ice and Fire.)
The Best of Famous Actors Doing Weird Things
Danny DeVito being the human version of an M&M is probably one of those things that you’ve never thought about. But once you do, it all makes so much sense.
Meanwhile, Friends star David Schwimmer keeps up with Skittle’s odd sense of humor in the teasers for its 2018 Super Bowl commercial.
And Bill Hader shows off his comedic range in Pringles’s Super Bowl ad, where he says “wow” in the most obscure ways possible.