Super Bowl ads 2020: Best and worst commercials

·7-min read

Love them or hate them, Super Bowl LIV viewers are not only waiting for the final score of the big game, but also looking forward to seeing some of the most entertaining advertisements of the year.

Some of the biggest companies in the world make a significant investment to be included in the commercial breaks from the Super Bowl, bringing on the most popular comedians, Hollywood actors, musicians and athletes to captivate the audience.

Although Super Bowl ads throughout the years have become cultural phenomenons, every year there are a couple standouts, while some leave people wanting more.

Here are the Super Bowl LIV ads that were great and the ones that missed the mark:

Best Super Bowl ads:

Company: Amazon

Title: Before Alexa

Society being, debatably, too reliant on technology was a theme in a few Super Bowl LIV ads, but Amazon’s was the most entertaining option.

Ellen Degeneres and Portia de Rossi imagine what life was like before Alexa. We walk through various “Alexas” of the past, with people asking questions they would typically ask a virtual assistant, like requests to change the temperature or play their favourite song.

This is one of the ads that gets political, referencing both “fake news” and showing a Richard Nixon-esque man asking an assistant to delete his tapes.

Company: Mountain Dew

Title: As good as the original, maybe even better

I can’t remember the last time I drank, or wanted to drink, a bottle of Mountain Dew but this Bryan Cranston and Tracee Ellis Ross ad for the company is a treat.

The two actors recreate legendary scenes from “The Shining,” with Cranston taking on Jack Nicholson’s role as Jack Torrance, trying to get a bottle of Mountain Dew Zero to Ross, channeling Wendy Torrance (originally played by Shelley Duvall).

Make sure you watch the full ad so you can see the “Breaking Bad” actor dressed as “The Shining” twins.

Company: Walmart

Title: Famous visitors

The retail giant allowed us to remember some of the television shows and movies that we love from the past, and not-so-distant past.

The ad shows fictional characters like Bill and Ted, Buzz Lightyear, Marvin the Martian, Groot, R2D2, C-3PO and more, picking up the orders they reserved from Walmart in the company’s blue reusable bags.

Generations of Super Bowl LIV viewers will see some of their favourite characters - it’s a win for nostalgia.

Company: Hyundai

Title: Going away party & Smaht Pahk

Car ads can be hit-and-miss during the Super Bowl but Hyundai got the internet’s favourite couple to promote the Genesis.

Chrissy Teigen and John Legend are at an event to throw “old luxury” a going away party, making room for “young luxury” to take over. That’s when Legend pulls up in the car, but he’s delayed and ruins his wife’s big reveal.

When she tries to get into the Genesis, Legend asks for the “magic word,” which is “sexist man alive,” a shout out his People magazine title.

Hyundai also did a great job with another Super Bowl ad, featuring Chris Evans, John Krasinski, Rachel Dratch and Boston Red Sox player David Ortiz.

Evans and Dratch are watching Krasinski showoff how the Remote Smart Parking Assist works on his Sonata, with the stars showcasing their best Boston accents.

Company: Jeep

Title: Groundhog Day

Another iconic movie got some attention at the Super Bowl. Bill Murray is back as Phil Connors from the 1993 film “Groundhog Day.”

Stephen Tobolowsky also reprises his role as Ned Ryerson, while Murray drives away with a groundhog in an orange Jeep Gladiator. Great movie, great ad.

Company: Tide

Title: Laundry later

Get excited Canadians, one of our own “Schitt’s Creek” stars makes an appearance in a Tide ad with Charlie Day.

The “It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia” star is freaking out because Emily Hampshire stained his white shirt. The Canadian actress says they’ll clean his shirt after the Super Bowl, causing Day to think about when exactly “later” will be.

Company: Microsoft

Title: Be the one

For anyone who might not be the biggest football fan, you should know the San Francisco 49ers have the first female coach in Super Bowl history.

Katie Sowers is the offensive assistant coach for the team and in the Microsoft ad, she walk us through her history with the sport and how we have assumptions about what women do versus what men do.

Her story is inspired and it’s told in an impactful way in this ad.

Company: Doritos

Title: The Cool Ranch

Even though I personally have heard the Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus song “Old Town Road” a few too many times, an ad featuring the artist and Sam Elliott smacking his butt to the song is just, funny.

Company: Rocket Mortgage

Title: Jason Momoa comfortable

If you’re a fan of Jason Momoa’s looks, you’ll see him like you’ve never seen him before in this Rocket Mortgage ad.

The actor, along with his wife Lisa Bonet, are relaxing on the couch. Momoa is in a housecoat and glasses, with a balding head of hair, playing with his toys. It’s a quick spot but entertaining.

Worst Super Bowl ads:

Company: Pop Tarts

Title: Fixed the pretzel

Let me start by saying that I LOVE Jonathan Van Ness but I just wanted more from a company that scored one of the most energetic and entertaining celebrities we know.

The Pop Tarts commercial is promoting a new pretzel variety, in a style reminiscent of an infomercial.

It’s not a bad ad - I just had higher expectations with such a big name involved.

Company: Snickers

Title: Fix the world

Snickers is a company that’s known for having some great ads all year round, but this Super Bowl ad left more to be desired.

It starts with a group of people singing about how the world needs to be fixed because there are people doing things like naming babies after produce and texting dirty pictures, but it will all be fine once the world is fed a giant Snickers bar.

The song isn’t particularly catchy and it just makes the jokes fall flat.

Company: Saint Archer Gold

Title: Patience

This might be the most boring ad I’ve seen in a while. Saint Archer Gold’s Super Bowl ad shows someone skateboarding around California, on the hunt for this beer, which is selling out everywhere.

Maybe I just need more patience to appreciate this ad?

Company: Bud Light
Title: Posty Store

This ad also falls in the category of things that are alright, but I just wanted more.

Post Malone is in a convenience store and is trying to decide between buying Bud Light or the company’s new seltzer drink. We’re transported inside his mind, Disney’s “Inside Out” style, to see how he makes the decision.

Again, it’s a fine ad but nothing special.

Company: SodaStream

Title: Water on Mars

Space-related content was also a theme in Super Bowl LIV ads but unfortunately, they weren’t the most impactful of the bunch.

This one from SodaStream shows a pair of astronauts finding water on Mars, which is brought back to the spaceship. But then, a fellow colleague accidentally pours it into a SodaStream bottle to carbonate and drink - ruining their discovery.

It’s cheeky but I wouldn’t really call it humorous or all that entertaining.

Company: New York Life

Title: Love takes action

New York Life’s ad also falls into the “boring” category and I’m not quite sure this is the most effective way to get their message across.

This ad goes through four Greek words for “love,” showing people displaying these different forms of love.

It just feels very disconnected and just doesn’t tug at your heart strings like I think the company intended to.

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