The Super Bowl is the most-watched show on television every year and there’s no close second. With an audience that will undoubtedly eclipse 100 million tuning in to watch the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI, advertisers pay huge amounts of money to get commercial time.
And that big stage means companies doing their best to roll out brand new commercials to win over viewers and get people talking.
While the trend of Super Bowl commercials being dissected, reviewed, ranked, and critiqued is a relatively new one, some of the most iconic commercials of all time were aired during the event. From Joe Greene of the Pittsburgh Steelers tossing his jersey to a kid who gave him a bottle of Coke to Apple breaking the mold of commercials with an advertisement for a Macintosh personal computer that never even showed the product.
Now it’s a contest to create the most inspiring or comedic ad possible with the internet offering immediate feedback.
A few of those commercials came out in the days before the Super Bowl LI, but we’ll keep track of the best ones here as they air:
Budweiser paid tribute to its immigrant co-founder
With immigration and refugees dominating news headlines in the United States due to the policies of President Donald Trump, Budweiser’s timely ad shows the story of Adolphus Busch who came to America from Germany:
While it may seem like an immediate response to the immigration order issued by Trump, the commercial was made months in advance and released Jan. 31 — five days before Super Bowl LI.
Coca-Cola aired their “America, the Beautiful” commercial again
On a related note, Coca-Cola showed this commercial originally from 2014 again. “America the Beautiful” sung in multiple languages immediately garnering a response from people on Twitter who think only English should be spoken in the United States, calling to #BoycottCoke.
Airbnb sends strong message with “We Accept” commercial
“We believe no matter who you are, where you’re from, who you love, or who you worship, we all belong. The world is more beautiful the more you accept,” is the main line of the 30-second spot. Read more about the commercial and Airbnb’s response to President Donald Trump’s travel ban here.
Avocados from Mexico dropped a quick Deflategate joke
With the Patriots in the Super Bowl, there’s a good opportunity to stir things up with topical jokes about Deflategate. The problem is that commercials don’t just get put together after the conference championships. So Avocados from Mexico probably got lucky that the Deflategate joke in its commercial ended up being perfect for the game.
Fake moon landing, Bigfoot, Area 51 — there’s conspiracy theories aplenty in the ad and it ends with the characters falling victim to subliminal advertising for avocados.
Mr. Clean is sexy now
Mr. Clean has been around for over 50 years now, but he’s never exactly been a sex symbol. Apparently that changed.
That’s some high-quality, computer-animated muscle definition right there.
NFL brought back Super Bowl babies
I’m sure these kids are gonna looove being reminded of the exact moment of their conception in the future as much as the rest of us, but they look so darn cute in their NFL costumes.
Snickers did a live commercial
Everything went wrong, but it was on purpose. We knew it was live because the score at halftime was said in the middle of the scene (21-3, Atlanta).
Humpty Dumpty fell off the wall because he was doing his taxes
The tale of Humpty Dumpty falling off the wall has a fresh take from TurboTax, with the famous egg slipping and smashing to pieces while doing his taxes on his phone. It’s a clever ad, even if the realistic face struggling to stay conscious and vomiting yolk is a little jarring and gross.
A different version of the commercial first aired during the AFC Championship between the Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers, with a final version for Super Bowl LI.
Well Skittles guy, at least you tried
The romantic cliché of tossing a pebble at a girl’s window in the middle of the night has a new rule: Don’t use Skittles.
The candy is just a little too good to get a girl up out of bed and over to the window. Instead, she’ll invite her family and a whole bunch of others (even a gopher?) to the room to have some Skittles. Better luck next time, Skittles guy.
Gronk, Terrell Owens, and Justin Bieber celebrate touchdown dances
Justin Bieber is a celebration expert, and he joined T.O. and Gronk to take us through the history of touchdown dances:
It’s not just us, right? Bieber kind of looks like Eminem in this one.
Cam Newton hilariously stiff-arms small children
There’s no dabbing, but Newton more than makes up for that by tossing small youths out of the way so he can launch a touchdown into the arms of an even smaller youth.
Miranda Kerr makes an appearance too. But it must have been an awkward film shoot, because they have almost nothing in common.
Audi’s “Daughter” ad is proudly feminist at the perfect time
In one of the more moving commercials of the year, a father watches his daughter cart race and wonders how he could ever tell her the world doesn’t value women the same as men.
It shouldn’t be a radical idea that a company is advocating for equal pay, but it got some riled up.
Tide trolled us all
Terry Bradshaw had a huge red stain on his shirt and for a minute there, he had us going. We even ridiculed him in a post, before realizing it was ALL AN AD FOR TIDE. The brands are smarter than us and they are everywhere.