The Most Talked About Super Bowl 51 Ads -- So Far.
Image credit: Budweiser

The Super Bowl is fast approaching, and you know what that means — the commercials, whether they are good, bad or controversial are being rolled out. 

For all those less interested in the sport and more in the festivities, you've come to the right place. From Joe Flacco the “party pooper” to DJ Khaled the “personal trainer,” these celebrity-infused ads are hilarious, witty and top-notch. For many companies, Super Bowl ads are an opportunity to change how their brands are perceived — in fact, nearly 40 percent of people say that these ads have the power to do that, according to data by ad network MGID.

Related: What Super Bowl Ads Can Teach Entrepreneurs About Marketing

So before we see the Pats take on the Falcons on Feb. 5, take a look at some of the Super Bowl ads released so far.

1. Audi 

Audi’s Super Bowl ad features a young girl blazing to a first-place finish in a go-cart race while her father, standing on the sidelines, wonders how he can explain to his daughter why it is that men are paid more than women. The end of the minute-long commercial ends with a message: “Audi of America is committed to equal pay for equal work. Progress is for everyone.”

While the car company clearly wants to take a stance on and do something to ameliorate the gender pay gap, the commercial has garnered criticism on social media, with some saying that Audi’s hiring practices don’t reflect the message of the likely well-intentioned ad.

The company’s six-person Board of Management is made up of entirely men, and of the 14 members of Audi USA’s executive team, only two are women. However, the company responded to comments to that effect on its Facebook page, writing, “Audi has diverse hiring practices to ensure equality across our staff and we pledge to put aggressive hiring and development strategies in place to increase the number of women in our workforce, at all levels.”

2. Budweiser

Although it claims it’s not making a political statement, Budweiser sure did drop this commercial at the right time. In the midst of President Donald Trump’s immigration ban and the controversy it has caused, Budweiser has released its Super Bowl 51 ad, which tells the story of company co-founder Adolphus Busch’s 1857 journey from Germany to the United States.

The campaign, called “Born the Hard Way,” takes place on the Mississippi River, where Busch (played by Sam Schweikert) jumps off and makes his way to the shore of St. Louis. The ad shows his difficult journey to the land of freedom, and the commercial ends with Busch having a beer with his “new friend” and co-founder, Eberhard Anheuser.

The immigrant story was inspired by stills from The Revenant and Peaky Blinders to create a “gritty, compelling short film,” AdWeek reports.

3. Tide

Tide’s Super Bowl 51 commercial is bound to be a hit — considering it stars football hunk Rob Gronkowski, also known as “Gronk.” The ad takes Gronk out of his natural habitat — he’s not playing football or partying, but running a dry cleaning shop.

When a customer, played by Jeffrey Tambor, comes in to pick up a shirt, he finds Gronk’s cleaned it in a way he didn’t quite expect.

4. Tostitos

Tostitos is taking a stand this football season. Instead of gearing towards a fluffy, funny ad, it’s taking a more serious approach. The ad starts out with pro football player Delanie Walker sharing a tragic story of his aunt and uncle being killed by a drunk driver. The ad debuts Tostitos new “party safe” bag, which can detect if someone has been drinking. If the bag senses even a drop of alcohol, a red steering wheel will appear, reminding the person not to drive and giving them a $10 Uber code.

5. Wendy's

As Wendy’s constantly reminds us: its beef is never frozen. Just because it’s the Super Bowl doesn’t mean the company’s not going to bring this up.

To Foreigner’s “Cold As Ice,” the commercial features a man working in a meat freezer, using a hair dryer and attempting to defrost the pounds and pounds of patties located throughout the fridge. Without much success, the ad ends with the line, “Don’t settle for frozen beef.”

6. Snickers

Snickers is changing it up this year with the country’s first ever live Super Bowl ad. The 30-second clip will kick off the third quarter and star Adam Driver. The ad will come after a 36-hour livestream from the commercial set, hosted on SnickersLive.com, which will run from Thursday, Feb. 2, until midnight on Friday, Feb 3. Snickers will continue to stream other live content before, during and after the big game.

The commercial will be a "fully integrated 360 campaign to reinforce the brand's connection to hunger satisfaction before, during and after Super Bowl LI," the company told AdWeek.

We don't know what to expect until the commercial starts livestreaming during the third quarter, but Snickers has revealed some teaser videos hinting at a western theme.

7. Pepsi

Every Super Bowl party has a party pooper. In Pepsi's new ad, professional football player and “former party pooper” Joe Flacco address a very serious issue: party pooping. But for all you party poopers turning down the music or using a selfie stick — there’s hope … thanks to Tostito’s and Pepsi. “Go from ‘not him again’ to top of the guest list,” with these tasty products, Flacco says.

Flacco gets emotional as he recalls his party pooping past, but he offers a solution to all those out there with the similar issue.

8. Skittles

In a cliche story about “young love,” Skittles takes on Super Bowl 51. To get “Katie’s” attention, a teenage boy throws Skittles at her bedroom window in the middle of the night. Katie, her parents, her grandmother, a robber and even a cop take turns catching the Skittles in their mouths. Sounds odd — but Skittles gets some brownie points for cleverness.

9. TurboTax

Who knew a tax commercial could be so entertaining? TurboTax’s Super Bowl ads feature a number of celebrities such as Kathy Bates, DJ Khaled and David Ortiz. In one ad, Kathy Bates has just moved into a new home, which appears to be haunted by creepy children. She contacts TurboTax through its app to ask if she can claim them as dependents. In the next ad, baseball star and “tennis coach” David Ortiz appears to be hitting tennis balls — but his swing is so hard the balls end up cracking windows, disrupting weddings and even breaking his tennis rackets. He consults the TurboTax app to see if these “business” expenses are covered. In the third sequence of ads, DJ Khaled has launched a personal training program in his crazy-fancy mansion where a group of people run on a golden treadmill. He too consults the app to see if these luxurious amenities he calls “business expenses” are tax-deductible.

Related: You Can Do Super Bowl Marketing on a Shoestring Budget

10. Lexus

As a sleek car company, Lexus stays true to its reputation with its Super Bowl 51 commercial titled “Man and Machine.” The ad, which isn’t too wow-worthy, features dancer Lil Buck showing off his moves around a 2017 Lexus LC model to Sia’s song “Move Your Body.” After a minute of dancing, a woman’s voice — which happens to be Minnie Driver's — introduces the new model.

11. Wix

Wix is participating in its third Super Bowl this year, revealing an action-packed ad that takes place in a restaurant called Chez Felix. While a man (played by Jason Statham) and a woman (played by Gal Gadot) seem to be causing havoc in the restaurant, the owner, Felix, is completely oblivious because he’s too focused on putting together his Wix website.

12. Intel

Watch football stud Tom Brady brush his teeth and flip pancakes in Intel’s Super Bowl 51 commercial. These simple actions look epic — in part because of Intel's new 360 feature … but mainly because of Tom Brady.

Related: The Best and Worst Ads of Super Bowl 50

Can’t get enough? Don’t worry — the commercial has a replay.

13. Squarespace

Squarespace is making its fourth Super Bowl appearance this year. In its new spot, actor John Malkovich attempts to create his personal website at JohnMalkovich.com only to find that the URL is already taken. Angered, the actor types an email to this other John Malkovich.

14. Tiffany & Co. 

From an acting debut in American Horror Story to belting out “The Hills Are Alive” onstage at the Grammy’s — Lady Gaga’s repertoire is impressive. Soon, you’ll see her on stage during Super Bowl 51's halftime show.

And that’s not the only time you’ll see her during the big game. Lady Gaga is the star of luxury jewelry brand Tiffany's upcoming Super Bowl commercial.

Although you can only see a preview of the ad now, it features Gaga promoting Tiffany's new HardWear collection in a black-and-white format. This new Super Bowl ad will mark the first time in 20 years that Tiffany’s is partaking in the big game.

But hey, did you know? The company has been responsible for creating the Super Bowl trophy since 1967.

15. Sprint

Expensive phone bills are enough to drive anyone off the edge — literally. In Sprint’s new Super Bowl ad, a man is seen faking his own death to get out of his Verizon contract. In the end, this wasn’t quite the best option. Sprint spokesperson (and former Verizon spokesperson) Paul Marcarelli appears and tells him how he could have avoided this if only he’d used Sprint’s services.

16. Buick

Buick’s new Super Bowl ad features football star Cam Newton and Australian model Miranda Kerr. In the video, a group of parents are watching their kids play a pee-wee football game when a fancy new Buick pulls up to the field.

In awe of its beauty, one of the fans in the crowd doesn’t believe it’s really a Buick — saying that if that’s a Buick, his kid is Cam Newton. Next thing you know … well, you'll see in the ad yourself.

17. Nintendo

Nintendo is using the Super Bowl in a big push to promote its new Switch console, which will be available on March 3 for $299. This is the first time Nintendo has ever participated in the big game, and the company does an excellent job portraying the complexities of the new product.

In the video, people play on the Switch console in a number of different scenarios — dueling at a party, a father and son boxing in their living room and students taking a break between classes to play Splatoon tournaments.

18. GoDaddy

Not only is GoDaddy’s “Good Morning” ad fun to watch, but it’s also a scavenger hunt with memorable memes scattered throughout. In the ad, GoDaddy introduces the world to The Internet, a character who represents all the fun and humor that the internet has to offer. The meme-laden commercial also promotes GoDaddy’s new GoCentral product and is the first time in two years that the company has participated in the Super Bowl.

19. KFC

In KFC’s first ever Super Bowl commercial, actor Billy Zane takes the spotlight — decked out in head-to-toe gold body paint. The ad features two colonels — Zane as one and Rob Riggle as the other. Riggle plays KFC’s typical white-haired Colonel, and Zane is the gold Colonel — promoting KFC’s new Georgia Gold Chicken. 



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