The Super Bowl is one of the most important events of year for commercials creators to score a major touchdown, otherwise, they may incur the wrath of an army of sports fans for the year ahead.
OK, the stakes may not be quite that extreme but there’s still plenty on the line.
On average, more than 100 million American sports fans tune in to watch the biggest game in the country’s sporting calendar, meaning a 30-second spot becomes one of the most lucrative pieces of television real estate.
And the average price for an ad? $US5 million, or roughly $7.46 million.
While advertisers in recent years opted for politically-charged motifs and deeper messages to match the zeitgeist, the dominant trend this year was the return of the celebrity.
So without further ado, here are some of the standout Super Bowl commercials that went well out of their way to grab audience attention.
Jeep’s Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray
One of the Super Bowl commercials that stood head and shoulders above the rest was Jeep’s revival of beloved 1990s movie Groundhog Day. Bill Murray steps back into his role as Phil, who dreads repeating his day-to-day routine before a mysterious new object enters the fray, and turns his life around.
Rocket Mortgage, starring Jason Momoa
Most people associate Game of Thrones and Aquaman star Jason Momoa with one thing: His rippling physique. But in this commercial that’s not for the squeamish, Momoa shows us what happens behind the scenes when the cameras stop rolling, tearing off his muscles to reveal the wiry frame underneath.
Pringles, starring Rick and Morty
Rick and Morty has made a name out of lampooning pop culture, and joke-making that strays into the downright absurd. Their starring roles in this Super Bowl commercial hits both those marks with aplomb, showing what could happen if insidious advertiser got their way.
Mountain Dew, starring Bryan Cranston
In the second movie spoof of note, Mountain Dew tackled one of the most notorious movie scenes of all time: Here’s Johnny! in The Shining. Starring Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston as the crazed Jack Torrance, and Tracee Ellis Ross as wife Wendy, this recreation flips what the audience knows on its head.
Hyundai’s ‘Smaht Pahk’, starring John Krasinski, Rachel Dratch and Chris Evans
We all love a fun play on accents. And while it may seem somewhat foreign to Australians, the Boston accent is one of America’s most recognisable. Here, the trio of Massachusetts-born actors watch on in awe as Krasinski ‘pahks’ his car. Because guess what? ‘He’s got smaht pahk!’
Amazon Alexa, starring Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi
You would be hard pressed to enter a home in 2020 without encountering a voice-activated smart device, and it may make you wonder: What did we ever do before them? Ellen and wife Portia attempt to find out the answer to that question by revisiting the not-too-distant past to hilarious effect.
Michelob Ultra, starring John Cena and Jimmy Fallon
It’s hard enough working out without having a man mountain in John Cena exercising alongside you, so it’s easy to sympathise with late-night host Jimmy Fallon in this spot for an American beer company. Something tells us he may just be hiding an ice bath under his Tonight Show desk.
Pop-Tarts, starring Jonathan van Ness
Resplendent, fabulous, technicolour: There are no words that can quite do justice to this take on the infomercial starring Jonathan van Ness. In true Queer Eye style, he takes the crusty old pretzel and transforms it into glittery goodness — or in his words, from “ho-hum to so yum!”
Squarespace’s Winona in Winona, starring Winona Ryder
Winona Ryder has garnered a cult following over the years, and for good reason. The Stranger Things star won fans over with her underrated turn as the oddball Joyce Byers. She reprises that vibe as she’s inexplicably discovered laying next to a street sign for the town Winona, where she grew up (and what she’s named after).