The best – and worst – Super Bowl 2023 ads so far
Super Bowl LVII is days away, which means brands are vying for consumer attention with memorable, star-studded ads.
On 12 February 2023, the Kansas City Chiefs will face-off against the Philadelphia Eagles at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, as an estimated 100 million people watch.
The sports spectacle isn’t the only entertaining aspect of the night, however, as viewers will also tune in for Rihanna’s halftime performance and the commercials.
And while we are still nearly a week away, it looks like brands are expecting a massive turnout, as Fox Sports revealed in September 2022 that it had already nearly sold out its commercial inventory. At the time, Mark Evans, executive vice president of ad sales for Fox Sports, estimated that Fox had five or fewer 30-second spots left to fill, according to Variety.
From a PopCorners campaign featuring Bryan Cranston as his Breaking Bad character Walter White to a Doritos love triangle featuring Jack Harlow, these are some of the best – and worst – Super Bowl ads this year, so far.
Cranston, who starred as a chemistry teacher turned drug dealer in the AMC show, teased his upcoming cameo on Instagram on 4 January. “Breaking soon. 02.12.23,” Cranston captioned an Instagram photo of himself dressed as White and holding a bag of PopCorners.
The chip company shared the same photo along with the caption: “Say. Our. Name.”
Avocados from Mexico and Anna Faris
In its latest Super Bowl commerical, the produce company stars Faris as Eve in the Garden of Eden as a narrator notes that “since time began, there has been one fruit with the ability to change the world, one fruit that can alter history with one small bite”.
“One fruit with the ability to make everything better,” the narrator continues, as Faris opens a gold-lit avocado in her hands.
Doritos has also waded into the pre-Super Bowl ad space with a new campaign, with the chip company sharing a teaser of its game day ad on 9 January. In the photo, which was shared to Instagram, fans eagerly crowded around a car for a glimpse of an unidentified celebrity, who happened to be holding a Dorito in his hand.
In the caption, the company wrote: “A bag of Doritos BBQ, paparazzi and a mysterious person walk into a bar…”
Doritos later revealed that the “mysterious person” was none other than Harlow, when it released another brief teaser last week. In the clip, the rapper is greeted by a mob of fans before closing the car door and picking up a bag of Doritos. However, before he is able to block out the yells from the fans, Harlow hears one photographer shout a question about a love triangle.
“Is it true about the love triangle?!” the reporter asks, prompting Harlow to contemplate the question before replying: “Maybe” and taking a bite of his chip.
“The real love triangle is us, @jackharlow, and Doritos BBQ,” Doritos captioned the video.
After a controversial statement announcing that Maya Rudolph would be replacing its “spokescandies” after backlash over the mascot redesigns, the candy company has confirmed that the decision is a hint at what is to come during the Super Bowl.
“Rest assured, the characters are our official long-term spokescandies,” a spokesperson told The New York Times, adding that, although “the iconic M&M’s characters are in fact spending some time pursuing their other passions,” they will be “right where they belong at the heart of the brand” during the Super Bowl.
The controversy hasn’t stopped the comedian from having fun with her new role as M&M’s spokesperson, as Rudolph claims in a teaser ad that M&M’s will now be referred to as “Ma&Ya’s”.
“Hi again, America. Since we all love M&M’s, and let’s face it, me, it only makes sense that I am renaming America’s favourite chocolate candies Ma&Ya’s.
In the lead-up to the Super Bowl, chip companies appear to be dominating the ad space, as Pringles has also teased its game day commercial.
On Tuesday, the company shared an Instagram photo of an unidentifiable woman dressed in a hot pink feathered outfit reaching her hand into a can of cheddar cheese Pringles. “#StuckInPringles tick tock, tick tock… 2.12.23,” the brand captioned the video.
According to Forbes, the ad by Kellogg is a sequel to the company’s campaign last year, which saw a hand get stuck in a can of the chips, forcing its owner to go about life with the Pringles can attached to their arm.
In a new teaser, Pringles revealed that the woman is no other than Meghan Trainor, who can be seen filming what appears to be a TikTok before her hand gets stuck in the can.
Crown Royal and Dave Grohl
Similarly to years past, campaigns for alcohol brands will take up a number of pricey ad spots during this year’s big game, with AdAge reporting that liquor company Diageo will make its Super Bowl debut with an ad for Crown Royal whisky.
The ad is set to be directed by Jake Scott, whose father, Ridley Scott, directed Apple’s 1984 Macintosh commercial, according to Forbes.
The 1984 ad, which was titled “1984,” showed a woman throwing a sledgehammer through a screen at a Big Brother-like figure after running from police in a dystopian world. The ad, which is largely considered one of the best Super Bowl ads ever, concluded with the words: “On January 24th, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh. And you’ll see why 1984 won’t be like 1984.”
As for the 2023 campaign, the brand appears to have partnered with Foo Fighters founder Dave Grohl, who reads off a list of seemingly random objects in the teaser for the ad.
Coors Light or Miller Lite
It is not yet clear which beer company will be featured in an ad during this year’s game, as Molson Coors, which owns both brands, is reportedly letting the brands battle it out ahead of Super Bowl LVII.
In the lead-up to the big game, which will mark the first time Molson Coors has a Super Bowl ad in more than three decades, the company is advertising both brands on billboards and print ads, with the ad for Miller Lite reading: “The big game hasn’t tasted this great in 30 years,” while the nearly identical ad for Coors Light reads: “The big game hasn’t been this refreshing in 30 years.”
Sports-betting site FanDuel will star Rob Gronkowski in its 2023 Super Bowl ad, which will see the retired NFL star participate in a “kick of destiny”.
A teaser for the campaign promises to be amusing, with a FanDuel employee informing Gronkowski that bettors can win a $10m payout if he can kick a field goal.
“Wait, I don’t kick, I catch,” Gronkowski tells the employee, who seems unconcerned by the difference.
Sarah McLachlan and Busch Light Beer
McLachlan has poked fun at her emotional animal cruelty commericals in an ad for Busch Light Beer ahead of the Super Bowl. In the video, it begins with the brand’s “Busch Guy” explaining a guide for surviving life out in the wilderness. “Three things are required in the great outdoors: food, drink and shelter,” the company’s spokesperson said, while holding a can of beer in his hand.
However, right after he uttered “shelter,” McLachlan was seen sitting in a tent nearby as her song “Angel” began to play.
“Hello, I’m Sarah McLachlan,” she says to the camera in the new ad. “For just dollars a day, you can help helpless animals find shelter.”
“Wrong shelter, Sarah,” the man informs the singer, before noting that the dog she was cuddling was actually a wolf.
Sam Adams dreams of a “brighter Boston” in its newest Super Bowl ad, which stars “your cousin from Boston”. In the campaign, the cousin dreams of a Boston where neighbours greet one another and Red Sox and Yankee fans embrace.
Michelob Ultra starring Serena Williams, Brian Cox, Alex Morgan Canelo Alvarez, and Tony Romo
In the teaser for the Super Bowl ad, the “Dynamic Duo” play a round of golf, with the commercial noting that “Bushwood Country Club” is reopening on 12 February. The ad appears to be a homage to the 1980 film Caddyshack.