The Super Bowl: it happened! If you’re looking for a play-by-play analysis of the winning touchdowns, our pals at SB Nation
have you covered. But if you’re here for the objectively more entertaining part of this year’s big game — the commercials — then you’ve come to the right place.
The Super Bowl is known for lavish ad buys with absurd concepts (not to mention a few high-profile trailer releases). This year delivered. From three separate commercials about robots longing for humanity to a Game of Thrones commercial that wasn’t actually for Game of Thrones, here are the ones worth watching:
The unnamed assistant device in this trailer (let’s be real, it’s probably an Alexa) laments that she will never know the taste of Pringles. It’s a bit depressing, but the comedic timing on this one is gold.
A separate robot wishes to experience a piece of humanity (this time … it wants to be an accountant?). RoboChild is noticeably way more creepy than the unnamed totally-not-Amazon-Alexa device. What does it hunger for? Taxes, apparently.
This one is not here because it’s a particularly good commercial, but because it completes a weird trifecta. Michelob Ultra continues the robot-trend that we saw with Pringles and Turbo Tax. This poor robot will never get to enjoy the sweet delight of Michelob Ultra! But we superior human beings can, of course. Is this a response to our fear of Artificial Intelligence and our way of assuring that there are things (beer, chips, and kale salad with guac, I guess) that only we can enjoy? Sure. Alright. Blade Runner did take place in 2019, after all.
Michelob ran a second commercial which was not really good, but just … bizarre. It’s an ASMR beer commercial. You’ll have to watch it to really grasp what the hell is going on. Unless you fall asleep first.
Pepsi, self-aware enough to realize it is the inferior beverage choice, turns the classic “Is Pepsi OK?” question into a declaration of carbonated drink awesomeness. There are a few totally unrelated celebrity appearances to tie it all together. Overall, a good time!
Surrounded by high-stakes, action-driven trailers, Olay dropped a commercial that behaved like a slasher film. Ultimately, it’s an ad for lotion, but lotion does
have a sort of stigma associated with movie serial killers
, so good on Olay for playing into that.
Somehow, Bud Light is doing Game of Thrones. The normally cheerful medieval world of the Bud Light commercials got a dark, George R.R. Martin reality check. We hope that this means next season, some character will pour themselves a cool glass of Bud Light and reminisce about the fallen Bud Knight. Dilly Dilly.
This commercial was the fast-food joint’s first in 13 years. The footage, of pop artist Andy Warhol eating a Burger King hamburger, could not be more esoteric: The scene is a cinematic “postcard” collected by Danish director Jørgen Leth for his 1982 film 66 Scenes of America. Don’t say Super Bowl commercials aren’t art!
This has no right to be as funny as it was because, at its core, this commercial is just a cheap joke at Michael Bublé and the word Bubly. But the pauses and delivery, cemented by the kid who comes in at the end, turn this one from a predictable bore into a solid chuckle.
BON & VIV SPIKED SELTZER
This one is pretty “eh” for most of the way through — but has a great little twist. The average viewer probably doesn’t really care about Bon and Viv of Bon & Viv Spiked Seltzer, so their prolonged appearance is a bit tedious, but it’s all worth it for that ending.
There are always a few touching commercials amid the gags and humor. This year, the one that struck deepest was from Microsoft, which highlighted the Xbox Adaptive Controller. The focus is directly on the children that use the Adaptive Controller. By putting the narrative in their hands, the impact is all the more powerful.