It's nearly Super Bowl Sunday and we all know what that means - commercials! But not just any kind of ad break, the best commercials know to man. The very tip of the advertising spear. These game-day ad spots come at an absolute premium and the companies who pick them up spare no expense when it comes to the casting and creation of some of the most entertaining and inventive commercials you'll ever find.
Not only have we got the pick of the bunch from this year's Super Bowl but also the Super Bowl commercials Hall of Fame just below them, with our top 10 selection of the most memorable, significant and, ultimately, culture changing TV adverts from over the decades.
So, enjoy the very best Super Bowl commercials 2023 and cast your minds back to the greats of the past too. Oh, and if you're looking for how to watch Super Bowl 2023, well, you know where to look. Enjoy!
Best Super Bowl commercials 2023
Apple TV+ (2023) |Call Me with Timothée Chalamet
Yes, Timothée Chalamet is one of his generation's greatest actors, idolized on the cover of glossy fashion magazines and loved by legions of adoring fans. But does he have a show on Apple TV Plus? This immensely amusing ad sees Chalamet spiral into self-doubt and obsession as he browses Apple’s top-notch streaming library, whose titles feature heaps of his award-winning peers: Jennifer Lawrence, Jason Sudeikis, DeNiro, DiCaprio. By the time Jason Momoa announces he's got a new Apple Original coming out, he’s absolutely bristling. Because "at this point, who doesn’t, right?" Oh, Apple. Just call him already!
Note: This ad was not made specifically for the Super Bowl and is just part of Apple's yearly campaign.
By the way, have used your Apple TV Plus 7-day free trial yet?
Michelob ULTRA Club | New Members Day (2023)
Grand Slam champion Serena Williams is pushing pints for Michelob ULTRA beer in this nostalgic ad that playfully riffs off of classic ‘80s comedy, Caddyshack. It’s New Members Day at Bushwood Country Club and Serena is teeing off against Emmy-winning actor Brian Cox. The irate golfer is thrown off his game, however, when a bunch of spectators crank up the Kenny Loggins while enjoying a glass of Michelob and get grooving like a certain golf course-dwelling gopher. If the sport is a fraction like this advert, I'm in.
Downy Unstoppables Super Bowl Commercial | I’m Not Doing It Yet (2023)
Can Downy Unstoppables really prevent your favorite, freshly washed garment from ponging by the time Super Bowl 2023 comes around? A certain celebrity is determined to find out, putting Downy’s claim of “fresh 12 weeks from wash to wear” to the test by draping his hoody over his head and sniffing it until game day. Despite withholding his endorsement, we’re all pretty sure that it’s that scamp Danny McBride – sorry, “Downy McBride” – under there, the star of Pineapple Express and The Righteous Gemstones.
Paramount Pictures | Scream VI trailer (2023)
Someone has taken their love of the Super Bowl too far. Following the critical and commercial success of Scream (2022), last years “reboot” of Wes Craven’s iconic slasher franchise, Paramount Pictures will air a trailer for Scream VI during the match to promote the film. Moving from Woodsboro to the busy metropolis of NYC, Jenny Ortega, Melissa Barrera, and OG star Courtney Cox will find no peace from knife-wielding maniacs as they’re hunted by what looks like an entire cult of Ghostface killers.
Not on there yet, but take advantage of the 30-day free trial of Paramount Plus while you can.
Warner Bros. Pictures | The Flash (2023)
"Alfred! Is that Barry Allen in the Batcave?” The Flash season 9 might be hitting TV screens but The Flash is also getting the Hollywood treatment. Well, kind of. Influenced by the comic book storyline “Flashpoint”, The Flash movie will see Barry travel back in time to prevent his mother’s murder. And along the way we’ll meet, not only Ben Affleck’s Caped Crusader, but a Batman from an alternative timeline, and thrillingly familiar to Tim Burton fans – Michael Keaton! We’re excited to see how this time-tinkering impacts the DC Extended Universe movies as a whole.
Catch up with the rest of the DC movies on HBO Max.
Best Super Bowl commercials: Hall of Fame
Hyundai | “Smaht Pahk” Hyundai Sonata (2020)
Hyundai harnessed one of America’s most beloved regional accents – and a bunch of native talent – to highlight the remote parking feature on their 2020 Sonata. And the resulting trailer was wicked funny. Behold Captain America’s Chris Evans and SNL alumnus Rachel Dratch verbally sparring in their best Bostonian accents as John Krasinski attempts to squeeze his car into a seemingly impossible spot. But, as Krasinski breezily informs them, everything’s pissa because he’s got “smaht pahk.” “It’s okay, he’s got Smaht Pahk!” Dratch hollers up to a concerned observer – the one and only Red Sox legend David Ortiz. It’s a win for the Boston tourist board.
Snickers | “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry” feat. Betty White (2011)
This Snickers commercial set the internet ablaze and reminded America – not that they needed it – that Betty White was a national treasure. Centered around the slogan that “You’re not you when you’re hungry,” we witness a 90-year-old Betty on a football pitch before she’s body slammed to the ground. “Mike, you’re playing like Betty White out there” someone chides, to which the Golden Girls legend retorts, “that’s not what your girlfriend says.” A tussle almost breaks out until she’s handed a Snickers and Mike’s brought back to his senses. The ad reignited her career and remains a fitting tribute to Betty’s comedic genius.
Wendy’s | “Where's the Beef?” (1984)
My, what a big bun you have! But…where’s the beef? In this ad for Wendy’s, three old women marvel at the size of the bun in front of them, only to realize it contains the most miniscule of burgers. “Where’s the beef?” TV personality Clara Peller angrily demands. At Wendy’s, it turns out, where that simple catchphrase would boost sales of their beefy burgers by a whopping 31% and become an established saying throughout North America.
McDonald’s | Larry Bird vs. Michael Jordan (1993)
Back in 1993, McDonalds brought together Larry Bird and Michael Jordan for an ad spot in which the peerless players compete over a Big Mac and fries. The only caveat? No dunking (and they don’t mean ketchup). These being two of the world’s greatest NBA basketball players, they keep executing more and more fantastic trick shots, until the final shot finds them atop Chicago’s 100-storey John Hancock Center, but still getting “nothing but net”.
Coca-Cola | "Hey Kid, Catch!", feat. 'Mean' Joe Greene (1979)
This sweet-natured commercial for Coca-Cola shows that even the gruffest of footballers can be soft at heart. Part of the company’s “Have a Coke and smile” campaign, it features the Pittsburgh Stealers former defensive tackle “Mean” Joe Greene limping off the pitch after a match. He’s approached by an awestruck young fan, initially being dismissive of the wide-eyed boy. That is, until he hands Joe his bottle of coke. Greene gulps it down (refrains from belching) and tosses the boy his jersey as a keepsake.
ETrade | “Baby” Super Bowl ad (2013)
While we’re not sure about taking financial advice from a toddler, the ETrade baby has been successfully promoting the e-trading platform since 2008. It’s hard not to be endeared to that combination of pudgy cheeks and fiscal acumen, while a montage of shots of the baby demonstrating what you could do with your ETrade savings – including running the bulls in Pamplona and partying on a luxury yacht – prove that the kid's got game.
Apple | Ridley Scott’s Apple Mac ad (1984)
Ridley Scott recently directed a short film for the Galaxy S23 Ultra launch, but it's far from the only ad he's made. Raising the bar for Super Bowl ads at the time and transcending mere Super Bowl commercial success, Scott directed this chilling commercial for Apple. He positioned the fledgling tech company’s new Macintosh computer as a liberator from industry giant IBM’s monolithic influence. Inspired by George Orwell’s vision of totalitarian control in the novel 1984, Scott’s analogy sees a lone woman tearing through grey swarms of pasty-faced conformists to hurl a sledgehammer through a looming TV screen of “Big Brother”.
Volkswagen | The Force (2011)
This Star Wars-inspired ad for the Volkswagen Passat is as indomitable as Darth Vader himself, often cited as Americans favorite Super Bowl commercial. It brilliantly melds the unfettered imagination of a child with multiple generations’ affection for cinema’s greatest sci-fi franchise. Soundtracked to John Williams’ “Imperial March”, a child in full Darth getup strides through the house, trying to use the force on domestic appliances and pets. It’s only when his father returns home in his new Passat that Supreme Commander Vader appears to have any success, as his doting dad remotely brings the car’s engine roaring to life, much to the kid’s amazement.
Reebok | Terry Tate: Office Linebacker (2003)
This series of commercials for Reebok practically gave viewers whiplash when they debuted in 2003. Featuring former NFL player Lester Speight as office enforcer Terry Tate, he’s an unconventional hire who launches himself at colleagues when they haven’t followed office protocol. Forgot to refill the coffee pot? Making a call on the company’s dime? Well then, expect to be tackled to the ground because “the pain train’s coming!”.
Old Spice | The Man Your Man Could Smell Like (2010)
Okay, so it’s not “technically” false advertising. The impossibly good-looking Isaiah Mustafa stars as the perennially shirtless “Old Spice Man” in this insanely popular commercial, which garnered 11 million views in the four months after its debut. The smooth operator woos his apparent female audience with the promise that, while their man might never look, or dress, or be as giddily confident as him, at the very least they might smell like him with Old Spice body wash. It's all filmed in one assured and breezy take as we're guided through a surreally luxurious tableau promising a life of sailboats, diamonds, and horseback rides on the beach. Because “anything’s possible when your man smells like Old Spice and not a lady.”
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