Super Bowl LVIII is less than two weeks away, and January has been ablaze with ad releases hotter than a post-touchdown pizza, with new names joining the veteran giants.
The Big Game, America's annual televised feast, has transcended mere sporting event status. Since 1972, it has rarely dipped below a 40 rating.
Remember 2015's 114.4 million peak? Well, last year shattered that record with a whopping 115.1 million viewers.
And here's the kicker: viewers actually dig these ad breaks. A 2022 survey revealed that 42% tune in for the commercials, and 50% have succumbed to the persuasive charms of a well-crafted ad, which translates to a high conversion rate.
No wonder advertisers are throwing down serious cheddar for a sliver of screen time, with 30-second slots averaging a cool $7 million last year.
But hey, for brands aiming to sear themselves into consumer brains, the price tag of a Super Bowl ad is a worthy investment.
So, without further ado, let me give you a rundown of what I think are the top five of the quirkiest and most creative Super Bowl ads that you definitely don’t want to miss this year.
M&M’S “Almost Champions Ring of Comfort”
Forget the Lombardi Trophy, M&M'S is redefining championship bling for NFL legends who never quite grasped the Super Bowl ring.
In a blockbuster movie-inspired trailer infused with loads of humor, a “mad scientist” is shown crafting diamond-encrusted "Rings of Comfort" for three Hall of Famers who left their hearts (and maybe a few fumbles) on the field: Dan Marino, Terrell Owens and Bruce Smith.
But this campaign is about more than just bling. It’s about celebrating the grit and glory of every gridiron warrior, regardless of the final score.
And this message is conveyed in an ingenious way, which is why M&M’S made it to my top five. Honoring “almost champions” is on its own unique, but coupling it with the “Ring of Comfort” just makes it extra special.
On top of using NFL legends, M&M’S also capitalized on the use of its brand characters – which have outperformed celebrity endorsers in past Super Bowl ads – by showcasing Yellow’s “movie trailer voice” and Red’s video editing skills.
Kawasaki's “Mullets” packs a punch of humor and hairspray with a full-blown hair-raising ad during the Big Game.
The 45-second video features eagles, turtles, and even a grumpy bear sporting spontaneous mullets thanks to the Kawasaki Ridge's "magic." WWE legend "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, who is known to be bald, suddenly growing a mullet is just ingenious.
While the humor might not land at first, the end gives everyone an aha moment with the reveal of the catchy phrase associated with the mullet, "business in the front, party in the back."
The mullet, while ridiculous, perfectly embodies the Ridge's adventurous spirit and blend of practicality and playfulness. The full spot cleverly uses humor to make a memorable impression and pique interest in the actual motorcycle.
Overall, "Mullets" is a fun and campy commercial that effectively sets the stage for Kawasaki's Super Bowl debut. Whether you're a mullet enthusiast or just a fan of creative advertising, this commercial is definitely worth a watch.
Coors Light Chill Train
Coors Light's rebooted Chill Train campaign isn't just chugging into Super Bowl LVIII, it's hurtling headlong into the virtual world with a frosty twist.
Fans can compete for a chance to occupy one of 100 virtual seats on the Chill Train, appearing virtually in the brand's Big Game ad. This high-speed experience, exceeding 900 MPH, promises fleeting fame for selected participants.
But it’s fans don’t just get bragging rights – each passenger gets a $500 talent contract and a swag bag of goodies.
Coors Light is offering its fans a unique way to engage with the brand by giving them a moment in the spotlight and a chance to take part in Super Bowl history.
And this is why, Coors Light’s Chill Train is on this list. It cleverly combined nostalgia and innovation in a campaign that capitalizes on people’s inner desires to be a part of something epic.
DoorDash’s 'All the Ads' Sweepstakes
DoorDash is pulling out all the stops with its "All the Ads" campaign, giving away all products advertised throughout the Big Game to one very lucky winner.
The campaign is a stroke of genius. It’s the first time a brand has created such an elaborate Super Bowl campaign that allows it to piggyback on the popularity and recall of other big brands across many different industries.
It also grabs viewers' attention like nothing else, dangling a prize catch worth about $480,000.
With the potential for a life-changing win that can go viral, DoorDash guarantees itself a buzz unlike any other Super Bowl campaign.
Although it is a huge gamble for the delivery service company to spend this much on a contest hinged on only one event, it may very well pay off big time, especially if DoorDash endears itself to fans and customers of this year’s Super Bowl brands.
Game Day is still a couple of weeks away, but DoorDash has already made Super Bowl advertising history with this ingenious campaign.
BetMGM’s 'Tom Has Won Enough'
BetMGM's playful spot welcomes everyone to the world of sports betting – except, ironically, for the legendary Tom Brady.
While Vince Vaughn welcomes a diverse cast of fans, from tailgate enthusiasts to Brady's former babysitter, the GOAT himself gets shut down. "The truth is, you’ve won too much, Tommy. Let others have their turn."
This lighthearted jab at the seven-time champ promises an ad full of laughs, inclusivity and maybe even a little competitive spirit. The full one-minute trailer is something everyone can enjoy watching – I know I did.
Using celebrities have not proven to be as effective when it comes to Super Bowl ads in recent years.
But BetMGM is not only betting (yes, pun intended) on their big names and reach – hockey hall of famer Wayne Gretzky also made a cameo appearance – but also in the entertainment value of its ad.
The concept of excluding the legendary quarterback from Super Bowl betting already captures attention. Couple it with the gentle digs at Brady and Vaughn’s comedic timing add a layer of playful banter that keeps viewers entertained.
What to Expect on Game Day
After last year's record-high viewership, the Big Game's advertising beach is packed with major brands ready to throw down creative waves.
Forget predictable plays – diversity is the quarterback this year, with unique ideas breaking tackles and leaving viewers doubled over with laughter.
So, for Super Bowl LVIII, expect to be entertained, get ready to join online contests to maybe win some prizes, and prepare your wallets – real and digital ones – because you may just want to get your hands on some of the products being advertised.