Super Bowl ads aren’t as fun as they used to be because, for the $10 million these brands spend, they want to get as much for their money as possible, which means dropping them on YouTube days before the big game. A lot of the ads had already saturated the Internet before airing during the Super Bowl.
If I’m not mistaken, the best Super Bowl ad of the week didn’t even air during the Super Bowl. Cetaphil apparently managed to take advantage of the game with an NFL-themed ad that went viral over the weekend (Lainey even had it in Pajiba Love), but I didn’t see it during the game, so they didn’t have to pay $10 million to get all that exposure. But then again, maybe it didn’t air during the game because Cetaphil stole the idea.
5. Poppi — Not the funniest or the most creative, but the ad for Poppi was perhaps the most effective ad of the night, introducing a new soda that I’m genuinely curious about, and I don’t drink soda. Plus, everyone knows of my love for Alison Moyet’s “Only You.”
4. Cerave — Michael Cera was a big hit at my Super Bowl party, and in a streaming era where many of us don’t see ads very often, the first we knew of either this product or Michael Cera’s campaign for it. I love it even more now knowing that the campaign has been unfolding for weeks.
3. BetMGM — Tom Brady has apparently surpassed Peyton Manning is the go-to-QB for Super Bowl ads this year. His acting is still terrible, but it helps to have Vince Vaughn’s patter carry you. The fact that Vaughn doesn’t say “Vegas, baby, Vegas” is a real lost opportunity here, though.
2. BMW — Everyone has a Christopher Walken impression, and here, everyone does their Christopher Walken impression for Christopher Walken, including Ashley Park.
1. Dunkin — Ben Affleck, Tom Brady, and an embarrassed Matt Damon try to impress Jennifer Lopez with their rap group with delightfully cringe results. “How do you like them … donuts.” The great thing about this ad is that there is another great ad teasing it, but this one came as a complete surprise during the game.
As for the worst, there were a lot of bad ones — Scarlett Johansson’s M&M ad, e.l.f. Cosmetics ad with Judge Judy and the Suits actors, the annoying Temu ads — but nothing so bad as airing the Carl Weathers spot for a betting app only days after the man passed away. The man deserves better than a tribute from an ad promoting gambling.