Super Bowl LVI: A comprehensive ranking of the best commercials

Super Bowl LVI is in the books, and that means it’s time to relive the best commercials from the big game.

More anticipated in some households than the actual Super Bowl, or even the half-time show, are the interstitial advertising spots that break up the periods of play. No matter your level of engagement with the game or your football knowledge, everyone wants to watch the commercials. This year, iconic halftime show aside, the commercials were the most entertaining part of the broadcast.

In the PVR and on-demand generation of viewing, live-event advertising has become coveted ground – the most sacred and lucrative of which is Super Bowl commercial real estate – and this year the average cost of a 30-second commercial during the game was $6 million and got as high as $7 million, up from $5.6 million in 2021.

Despite the price, the biggest day in advertising brought back the usual suspects like Avocados from Mexico, Budweiser, Doritos, Taco Bell, Amazon, Tide, Skechers, WeatherTech, TurboTax and Pringles.

There are more than 30 new advertisers this year compared to last year’s Super Bowl. New big game advertisers included Wallbox and Bitbuy.

Every year, Super Bowl ads are a time capsule that act as a social commentary on the issues and trends of the time. With this in mind, it was no surprise that Crypto currency was a big theme as Kyle Lowry and Tom Brady appeared in campaigns to bring the trend further into the mainstream. Auto, tech, entertainment, travel and health and wellness were the other sectors that featured prominently in ads.

Here’s my (not so) definitive list of this year’s top Super Bowl ads.

35. Planet Fitness – What’s Gotten into Lindsay?

William Shatner, Dennis Rodman and Lindsay Lohan may not be a trio that you’d naturally expect together but here they are, all starring in the same Planet Fitness ad, one in which Lohan pokes fun at her paparazzi filled past. Lohan told People ,”…It was refreshing to put my past to bed once and for all.”

34. Oikos Yogurt – Oikos “Strong” Triple Zero

The NCAA’s name, image and likeness rule meets the Super Bowl. Star NCAA QB, Shedeur Sanders, attempts to out-muscle his hall-of-fame NFL dad and coach, Deion Sanders, in feats of strength to bring to life how every son aspires to be stronger than their dad, and every dad attempts to maintain their dad strength.

33. TD Easy Trade – Becoming an Investor

TD’s Super Bowl ad examines the barriers of entry of the investing world, focusing on the recently launched new mobile app-based service TD Easy Trade.

32. Samuel Adams – Your Cousin Brings Beer to Boston Dynamics

I can’t get enough of Boston Dynamics even if the robots are equally terrifying as they are impressive. Well, there is nothing scary about this ad as real robots engage with real beer. Who knew robots liked IPA’s?

31. General Motors – Dr. EV-il

Dr. EV-il is going all in on electric to help stop climate change from ruining Earth before he has the chance to.

30. Intuit QuickBooks and Mailchimp – Duality Duets ft. DJ Khaled

Wouldn’t be a class of Super Bowl commercials without having at least on entry including DJ Khaled. The “you the best” king is inspiring the sale of candles, clothes, cuisine and more for small business owners.

29. Carvana – “Oversharing Mom”

We all know an oversharer which is why this ad lands so well.

28. Avocados From Mexico – #AlwaysGood

If you’re a late night fan, you’re probably thrilled to see Andy Richter return to the spotlight in this ad for Avocados from Mexico. Playing former Roman General Julius Caesar, he attends a tailgate party at the Colosseum (as one does) – one that is made infinitely better by… you guessed it… avocados.

27. Budweiser – A Clydesdale’s Journey

It doesn’t feel like a Super Bowl without a Budweiser commercial featuring a Clydesdale. This year’s ad – directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Chloé Zhao – focuses on the endurance of the human spirit.

26. Nissan – Thrill Driver

Eugene Levy – action star…?! A novel concept and one that worked out.

35. FTX Official – Don’t Miss Out | Larry’s Cut

Larry David may not be able to see the next great idea coming but as this ad demonstrates the crypt craze has reached the Super Bowl with this spot promoting the FTX app.

24. Expedia – Stuff

The travel industry was hit hard by Covid, which is why it’s no surprise that Expedia would be trying to get people thinking about hopping on a plane again. Their premise? Travel matters more than stuff.

23. Hellmann’s: Mayo Tackles Food Waste

Jerod Mayo and Pete Davidson team up to remind you that if you’re thinking of throwing away food, there’s always Mayo.

22. Bic Lighters – Smoke Turkeys with BIC EZ Reach Lighter

Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart team up to showcase everything lighters are good for. The Martha Stewart/Snoop Dog pairing isn’t a new one, but it continues to deliver.

21. Hyundai – History of Evolution

Jason Bateman seems to be having a moment. Between the success of his hit show Ozark and his wildly popular podcast Smartless, it was inevitable that a brand would try to get him to be the face of their Super Bowl ad, and Hyundai was the winner, using the actor to remind us that technology takes time to perfect, but that the perfect electric vehicle is finally here.

20. – Idris Elba says things

This ad is both funny and purposeful. Idris Elba reminds us all that is a less than creative name, and the company is tempting us all to travel again.

19. Salesforce – the New Frontier

Matthew McConaughey admits this one was a bit of an intentional misdirect. The actor (and football fan!) co-created and starred in this Salesforce spot which leads you to believe it’s going to be about space before bringing you back down to earth.

18. Kia – Robo Dog

The recipe for a successful ad: A classic song, a man’s best friend and a current trend, electric vehicles. According to Ad Week, it’s also part of a partnership between Kia and the Petfinder Foundation, created to help shelter animals find their forever homes. Tough not to support something like that.

17. Skechers – “Legalize”

Musician Willie Nelson has been vocal about his desire for marijuana to be legalized. Shout out to Sketchers for coming up with a creative idea to marry their product and his activism.

16. E*TRADE– E*TRADE Baby “Off The Grid”

The E*TRADE baby finds out about the state of personal finances and realizes he has to pull a Brett Favre and come out of retirement.

15. Doritos – Push It | Flamin’ Hot

It turns out that humans aren’t the only ones who like Doritos. Bonus points for a catchy song – and a dancing sloth.

14. BMW – Zeus & Hera

Ever wondered where Zeus and Hera would retire to? Me neither. But it turns out, Palm Springs is the destination of choice! Zeus isn’t exactly feeling the vibe until he’s introduced to an all-electric BMW vehicle, at which point his “spark” returns. This spot is elevated by the presence of two superstars: Arnold Schwarzenegger and Salma Hayek and does get some points for wit. It’s not a keel over with laughter kind of spot, but it will likely spark a smile.

13. Headspace – Sleep With John Legend

International musical superstar John Legend lets you sleep with him…sort of. This commercial promotes his new Sleepcast in the Headspace app.

12. Caesars Sportsbook’s – Sit Down Dinner

Caesars Sportsbook’s Super Bowl Debut features not one, not two, but four Mannings – Eli, Peyton, Archie and Cooper. And why not throw in J.B. Smoove and Halle Berry for good measure?

11. Sam’s Club – VIP with Kevin Hart

This Sam’s Club ad promotes its new “Scan & Go” app that allows members to skip the checkout line, but comedian Kevin Hart incorrectly believes it was created only for him. This is classic Kevin Hart and it’s hard not to smile while watching.

10. Pringles – Stuck In

As someone who always reaches for the last chip (with zero shame), I appreciate this commercial, because the risk assessment involved in doing so in a public place is real. This guy found out the hard way that some decisions have lifelong repercussions.

9. Squarespace – Sally’s Seashells

Everything Zendaya touches seems to turn to gold so it’s no surprise why Squarespace tapped the Euphoria store to star in their Super Bowl commercial. The spot is very straightforward – there isn’t much in the way of clever humour – but Zendaya’s presence alone makes it a standout.

8. Bitbuy – Kyle Lowry “Again and Again”

According to the Globe and Mail, NBA star Kyle Lowry liked the script so much for this spot from Toronto cryptocurrency company Bitbuy, that he agreed to star in the ad. The concept is a clever one. It probably doesn’t hurt that Lowry also owns equity stake in Bitbuy.

7. Lay’s – “Golden Memories”

It’s tough not to like an ad featuring the ageless wonder Paul Rudd and Canadian comedian Seth Rogen. In this spot, the two get nostalgic over life’s biggest moments, all of which have included Lay’s chips. According to Rogen, Lay’s pitched the general idea to the pair and they took it in a slightly… different direction. Watch and you’ll get it. A bit strange, but they pull it off like only they could.

6. Google – Lizzo in Real Tone #SeenOnPixel

Google’s new spot features a new track from Lizzo and new camera technology that promises to better capture darker skin tones in photos – something that has been previously lacking. According to Google’s CMO Lorraine Twohill, “For too long, camera technology, including our own, has failed people of color by either making them look washed out or too unnaturally bright or dark… Because everyone deserves to be seen as they truly are, we are committed to addressing this gap.”

5. Toyota – Start Your Impossible | Brothers

This Toyota ad featuring the story of brothers and Canadian Paralympic cross country skiers Brian and Robin McKeever will move any sports fan with a heart. Even Bill Belichick would be touched.

4. Michelob ULTRA – Welcome to Superior Bowl

This spot from Michelob ULTRA is HEAVY on the star power, featuring athletic giants including Peyton Manning, Nneka Ogwumike, Brooks Koepka, Alex Morgan, Jimmy Butler and the Queen herself – Serena Williams. Bowling isn’t my thing, but it would be if this was the squad who turned out.

3. Uber Eats – Uber Don’t Eats

Who isn’t in this ad?! And also, what was the budget to secure so many A-listers? Jennifer Coolidge, Trevor Noah, Gwyneth Paltrow and Succession star Nicholas Braun all feature in this spot promoting Uber Eats’ non-digestible offerings. The blooper reel revealed recently on Today makes it look like this one was as much fun to make as it was to watch.

2. Amazon – Mind Reader

In this Amazon spot, real life Hollywood couple Scarlet Johansson and Colin Jost reveal why it’s probably better that virtual assistant Alexa can’t read your mind. We knew SNL star Jost was funny, but here, Johansson flexes her comedic chops too.

1. PepsiCo – Road to Super Bowl LVI

The best acting in Super Bowl commercials this year was don by athletes. That’s not new for Peyton Manning but brother Eli Manning, Jerome Bettis, Terry Bradshaw, Victor Cruz take us on a hilarious ride with their favorite Pepsi drinks and Frito-Lay snacks as they road trip their way to Super Bowl LVI.

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