Photo: Paramount Pictures
The second Sunday in February is impending, and you know what that means. It’s time for the Super Bowl … commercials! Yes, the real main event is coming, when all of the companies in America put together their best minds and biggest budgets to create the commercial most likely to be quoted by sixth-graders come Monday. In the age of the internet, however, commercials are encroaching on Grammys territory, not only by booking a DJ. Companies are debuting their ads weeks in advance and putting out teasers meant to drive the hype. Capitalism truly does breed innovation. Or endless nostalgic repetition. Case in point: An old Office joke returns. Below, plan out your snack breaks by watching the ads before they make their TV debuts.
Cetaphil is making a big play for “commercial most likely to make Chiefs dads cry during the game.” To be fair, there’s a lot of heightened emotions during the Super Bowl anyway, so that might be an easier category than “commercial most likely to make dads cry during reruns of Ghost on CBS,” or whatever else dads watch. Still, the Taylor Swift x Girl Dad commercial is pretty effective — whoever thought up that friendship-bracelet shot should get to make a short film, stat.
Following the Ken of it all, it’s safe to say this is a big year for horses. In the new Budweiser commercial, a snowstorm makes it so cars can no longer deliver beer. The solution? Horses. And that’s called horsepower.
If you watched the teaser for writer-director John Krasinski’s upcoming film If, you might be puzzled as to why Randall Park gaslights Ryan Reynolds into believing he’s the one who made the upcoming fantasy comedy. It is truly bizarre out of context. For people who are confused, the teaser stems from a prank pulled in an episode of The Office where Randall Park’s character does the same thing to Dwight. It’s a high-concept, ultrameta teaser, we’ll give them that.
This Toyota commercial’s audio sounds like a network TV sex scene, but it actually features people hanging onto the Tacoma handle for dear life and screaming with fear, not delight. Hopefully, the people listening to the TV while getting more dip in the kitchen don’t make any assumptions.
Farmers are growing couch potatoes galore in the Pluto TV Super Bowl spot. We are particularly fond of the gay, Housewives-loving couch potato. Would certainly make him into waffle fries.
You thought I was feelin’ you? Ice Spice refuses to get back together with her ex lemon-lime soda because Starry is simply more refreshing. Sprite think he the shit? He not even a fart.
In the commercial for Reese’s new caramel-infused peanut butter cups, the audience goes through emotions as more updates are shared. We are particularly fond of the young man kissing the grandma at the end — love is love.
One of the most low-key commercials of the evening released thus far is the Lindt Chocolate commercial featuring a flying chocolate ball set to Perry Como’s “Round and Round.” I would simply catch and eat the chocolate, personally.
There’s nothing Aubrey Plaza loves more than having a blast. No, really. In the Mountain Dew Super Bowl commercial, she’s having deadpan fun in loads of situations, including riding dragons with her Parks and Rec pal Nick Offerman.
Martin Lawrence and Shannon Sharpe are starring in Oikos’ Super Bowl spot, with Lawrence getting to be the strongman for a change. Apparently, Greek yogurt turns him into Mr. Incredible.
BIC knows what its lighters are for (weed, blunts, doobies, etc.). But that doesn’t mean it’s going to say it. The company’s new commercial features Willie Nelson, Martha Stewart, and Snoop Dogg chatting over Zoom about the benefits of BIC lighters, which are the best at lighting … candles.
A booking.com Super Bowl commercial sounds like the kind of thing Jack would force Liz to write on 30 Rock — but now she’s starring in one. Tina Fey booked booking.com alongside her 30 Rock co-stars Jane Krakowski and Jack McBrayer. Also Glenn Close. Why not?
Foo Fighters. There — we got it out of our system. A new BMW commercial gives a tease of what it would be like to be Christopher Walken, and, man, is it bleak. Everybody doing impressions of you all the time to you. Even Usher?
DoorDash is promising to send one lucky winner everything from all the Super Bowl ads. Who has space for that? How many cars is that? This simply cannot be feasible.
E*Trade is still running with that baby thing, this time putting ’em on the pickleball court to talk mad smack about saving for “retirement.” Still, to anyone under 40, the idea of retirement is the biggest joke.
Etsy, it turns out, is not just a super-common crossword clue; it’s also a website! Specifically, the crafting website that you use to buy personal gifts now has a “gift mode.” Cheese lovers, consider asking for gift cards.
Jason Momoa doing a shimmy and singing into a chicken wing fashioned as a microphone is not how we thought this T-Mobile commercial would go, but alas, the company seems to like fun. Rounded out by Zach Braff and Donald Faison, the trio parody Flashdance. With a cameo from the original film’s star Jennifer Beals, they try to make the case that home internet is really something to sing about.
Superhero movies might have reached peak market saturation, but that’s not stopping State Farm from getting into the racket. In a new teaser spoofing needlessly dramatic Marvel trailers, Arnold Schwarzenegger takes center stage as Agent State Farm, the first character to debut in the insurance company’s cinematic universe.
Well, actually, he’s cruising the streets in a pimped-out limo as Steppenwolf’s “Magic Carpet Ride” soundtracks his wild night on the town. A magical bottle of Bud Light appears to be the catalyst for his good time.
Forget about all the pro-TSA propaganda spouted in Get Out. In reality, the airport security agency is out here doing quite nefarious stuff, like stealing Eric Andre’s carefully packed Drumsticks, even though you can bring anything frozen through the checkpoint. Criminal.
The word mayo kinda sounding like meow is the central pitch of this Hellman’s commercial, which debuted January 30 and stars Kate McKinnon, Kate McKinnon’s cat, and Pete Davidson, who somehow squeaks a cameo into a 30-second ad. How much do you think Davidson made for his two seconds of screen time? Actually, don’t answer that.
An animated child, a pig, a dolphin, and a talk-show host walk into a commercial … You know how that one ends. Paramount+ released its official big-game ad on February 1, featuring a bevy of its biggest leads, including the stars of Reno 911, The Drew Barrymore Show, Star Trek: Picard, Survivor, Hey Arnold, Peppa Pig, and the Miami Dolphins. Plus Creed. Creed isn’t on Paramount+, but we’re still happy to have them.
When you search “Totino’s SNL,” an ad starring former cast member Pete Davidson is probably not what you’re looking for. Still, that’s what we have to offer here. Davidson makes his second appearance on this list, delivering pizza rolls via robot. We’d play that game.
If you can make it through the Miller Lite commercial, out January 28, without simply staring at Rob Riggle’s extremely prominent nipples, you deserve a Super Bowl ring of your own.
In Kawasaki’s full Super Bowl spot, released January 25, there’s a lot of mullets: mullets on men, on bears, on eagles, on bald men, on turtles, etc. And they’re all brought on by the simple pleasure of driving an ATV real fast. But coastal elites beware: These are rural mullets, not Brooklyn mullets.
Globally, if someone mentions a “football star,” they’re picturing Lionel Messi, not Taylor Swift. Michelob Ultra is betting on that appeal. The brand’s full Super Bowl spot, released February 1, features Messi playing footie against drunk people at the beach, which is not really a fair fight. There’s also cameos from a man who knows this type of football well, Ted Lasso himself Jason Sudeikis, and Dan Marino, a former NFL Hall of Fame QB who is probably more familiar with the American version.
Perhaps the only thing more exciting in American culture than a new movie franchise is when a company debuts a new catchphrase. We have fun here. Oreo is making a play for one in its Super Bowl commercial, out January 31, with “Twist on it.” In its telling, when you twist an Oreo, the side that the frosting stays on can decide what your next move is. Move over, coins! And if you can’t get enough “Twist on it,” there’s a 90-second version as well.
Following their son Brooklyn’s not-quite-successful pop-up restaurant collab with Uber Eats, Victoria and David Beckham are getting in on the fun. On January 30, they released a teaser for their commercial, which features a reference to their Netflix documentary from earlier this year. Victoria Posh may not remember many things, but it’s only because she has so much on her mind, like which little Gucci dress to wear.
Jenna Ortega is in search of Doritos Dinamita in the Doritos teaser, released January 25, and the bodega has run low. Maybe try the one across the street?
Big change. Incoming.
Crisp Rat is the new Pringles mascot in a teaser released January 24, and he has the handlebar mustache to prove it.
What a feeling it is when Addison Rae stars in a teaser commercial for Nerds. The commercial for the candy features an anthropomorphic gummy doing the Flashdance water scene, except it’s getting showered with Nerds. Then, after the audience has formed an emotional connection to the gummy, he gets eaten by Addison Rae. What a monster!
The Popeye’s teaser, out January 23, promises the story of a man born before fried chicken was created. Sad.
Coors Light doesn’t discriminate against genre, with an ad featuring both recently minted country-music Grammy winner Lainey Wilson and LL Cool J helping fix an awkward family moment. A testament to the power of beer.
Volkswagen is making a play for being your dad’s favorite commercial by focusing on car history in its teaser, released on January 17.
“How’d we get here? Well, to answer that, I’d have to go back to the beginning,” Kris Jenner says in the teaser for Oreo’s Super Bowl ad, which came out January 17, next to a big glass container of Oreos. “I’d better go warn the kids.” If you’re confused, it’s because this is confusing.
This story has been updated throughout with new ads.