Up until the last 15 years or so, watching the commercials during the Super Bowl was arguably more exciting than the game itself. Super Bowl XXIV featured the San Francisco 49ers blowing out the Broncos, 55-10, in the worst Super Bowl beatdown of all time. The game might not have been that exciting, but the commercials sure were.
Who could forget Michael J. Fox desperately searching for a Diet Pepsi at the opera, or those German guys spying on the 1990 Toyota Celica while dressed like that dude from Jurassic Park, or that McDonald's one about how the world would go spinning off its axis and end life as we knew it if 22 million people entered one its restaurants at the same time... okay, bad example; I don't remember any of these either.
Nowadays, a handful of the ads are released ahead of the game, for what purpose I'm not exactly sure. Some marketer could probably explain how releasing the ads ahead of time increases brand awareness among a small-but-not-statistically-insignificant subsection of the key demographic.
If history is any indication, then Super Bowl 50 will revert once again to being a lopsided affair thanks to the inclusion of the Broncos. This is Denver's eighth appearance, and all but one of their previous Super Bowls were decided by two touchdowns or more.
It looks like we'll need more than just commercials to tide us over on Sunday. We'll be compiling the ads that come out this week here, so check back and familiarize yourself with all of these commercials, leaving yourself ample time to work on your adult coloring book while the Broncos get waxed by the Panthers.
Also, I don't really want to have to do this, but just in case there's anyone out there who is concerned with making sure they go into Super Bowl Sunday without any hints of what's coming...
With that out of the way, here we go...
- Jeff Goldblum is back in his role as Brad Bellflower for Apartments.com, singing the theme song to The Jeffersons, with a special appearance from Lil Wayne. You might not know this, but Goldblum's a pretty good jazz pianist in real life:
- Amy Schumer and Seth Rogen team up to bring the US a new political party, the Bud Light Party. They want to fix the country using all Americans's love of beer. Maybe Martin O'Malley should have tried this instead:
- Audi has an ad for its R8 that shows a retired astronaut reliving his glory days, all set to David Bowie's "Starman." Pretty cool stuff:
- Snickers continues its long-running gag of having celebrities making incongruous cameos to represent hunger. Here, Willem Dafoe recreates Marilyn Monroe's famous subway vent scene from The Seven Year Itch. Somehow, this is only like the 10th-creepiest thing Dafoe has ever done:
- Amazon has a commercial for its Echo wireless speaker and voice command device. The ad shows Alec Baldwin and former NFL quarterback Dan Marino having a funny discussion about snacking options for their Super Bowl party:
- Wix.com has a crossover ad with Kung Fu Panda (voiced by Jack Black), with a few send-ups of other commercials, like the Budweiser frogs, and Isaiah Mustafa, a.k.a the Old Spice Guy:
- Squarespace is back again this year, this time with an ad where comedians Key & Peele do Key & Peele things:
- Arnold Schwarzenegger continues his run as spokesman for Mobile Strike, complete with one of the better cheesy one-liners he's spoken since he returned to acting:
- Well, this was inevitable: Drake teams up with T-Mobile for some "Hotline Bling" fun:
- Acura's NSX ad uses that isolated track of David Lee Roth's vocals from "Runnin' with the Devil" that made the rounds five years ago:
- This commercial from Avocados in Mexico makes absolutely zero sense, but it seems so far behind the curve of other ads that don't make sense that maybe this one is poking fun at all the other ones that don't make sense, but it includes Scott Baio, and I think I love it:
- Here's an ad for AXE Grooming supplies... that's all you need to know:
- Death Wish Coffee was the winner of Intuit's "Small Business, Big Game" promotion, and was rewarded with a Super Bowl spot:
- Here's Liam Neeson cashing a paycheck for an LG ad about how we have to fight the government by purchasing a $5,000 TV:
- People will probably say that Colgate's water preservation ad is powerful, then go right back to wasting water:
- Hyundai takes us to "Ryanville," a town populated exclusively by Ryan Reynolds... clones? I'd pick Bronson, MO over Ryanville any day:
- Another ad from Hyundai shows us a young couple doing what Hugh Glass couldn't: escaping from a bear in the middle of the woods. Sources say the lead's performance will net him a CLIO award—another statuette that Leo is sorely lacking:
- Heinz has a commercial with a small army of adorable weiner dogs dressed as hot dogs and running toward a group of people dressed as Heinz ketchup and mustard bottles. This commercial really has everything, and gets bonus points for using a Harry Nilsson song:
- It seems MINI is still trying to convince people that its cars are real cars that do real car things. They've enlisted Serena Williams, Tony Hawk, Harvey Keitel, and others to convince us of that. The sad part is, MINI Coopers are real cars that do real car things, and are fast and handle well and you can park them basically anywhere. Dear MINI, stop being so insecure:
- Pokemon is celebrating its 20th anniversary with this commercial, which is basically an Under Armour ad with a couple of Pokemon references. WE MUST PROTECT THIS...(looks for Pokemon that rhymes with 'house,' comes up empty):
- Budweiser hired Helen Mirren to throw down some heckles for drunk drivers. This seems a little disingenuous—the only reason Budweiser doesn't want you to drink and drive is because you won't be able to buy more of their "love-making in a canoe" beer if you're in jail or dead as a result of drunk driving:
- Rocket Mortgage is trying to convince us that it's super-easy to buy a house with your smartphone (so long as you can kindly disregard that whole "needing a butt-load of money" part). Hopefully we can also use our smartphone to sell off our mortgage after the housing bubble bursts again a few years down the road:
- In this Shock Top ad, comedian T.J. Miller exchanges disses with a tap handle, and they both lose (minus points for coming up with a worse version of this joke):
- SoFi's commercial about "great loans for great people" is decidedly not great. That is all:
Head down to the comments and tell us what you think about Super Bowl 2016's advertisements. Once again, we'll be updating this page with more commercials as they become available, so be sure to check back here in the days leading up to the Super Bowl, which is on February 7th, 2016, for those of you out of the loop.