They are the show within the show. The 30-second spots between the action that represent the heartbeat of capitalism. For many, they are as important as the game itself or the halftime festivities.
They are Super Bowl commercials. And they have have gotten bigger, more expensive and are being released far earlier each year and tied to viral campaigns on Twitter and Facebook.
The Super Bowl is a national holiday of sorts, and the advertisements have become a ritual celebration for major corporations. And we all love it. So with that in mind, I've compiled a few rumors and commercials that have already been released for your viewing pleasure.
Let the brand management begin!
This Super Bowl Commercial Preview is being brought to you by Kate Upton because, you know, why not?
As you'll see in the slides to come, many companies are releasing their commercials well before the big game, a trend that has increased over the years. Why?
Because instead of getting buzz and attention for one night, companies now know they can generate buzz for a week or two ahead of the Super Bowl. Thus, there is no shortage of teaser ads, viral campaigns on Twitter and Facebook and user-generated content already flooding the Interwebs.
Some companies are sticking with a tried-and-true formula—Doritos is continuing its Crash the Super Bowl campaign, where people vote on which user-generated advertisement they want to see broadcast during the big game—while other companies are sure to unveil a few surprises.
For example, will Clint Eastwood tell an empty chair that it's halftime in America? Gosh, I hope so. One way or another, we've got plenty of rumors and commercials to watch, so click on!
These Super Bowl Rumors are also brought to you by Kate Upton, because any chance to include Kate Upton in anything is a good idea, including washing your car.
But more on that later.
Many of the ad campaigns to come are poorly-kept secrets. But here are a few of the commercials being rumored or reported that I'm most looking forward to:
- Amy Poehler will be appearing in an advertisement for Best Buy, and since she's the funniest woman in the world outside of maybe Tina Fey, that surely means the commercial will be awesome sauce. AWESOME SAUCE, I say!
- Lincoln and Jimmy Fallon are working together on an ad based on several tweets about the Lincoln brand. The campaign is being called Steer the Script. For you nerds out there, this campaign is especially exciting, as Wil Wheaton is involved. Hooray!
- Rumors have it Wonderful Pistachios will be featuring pop sensastion Psy in its commercial, according to Kurt Wagner of CNN.
And then there is this, from Budweiser:
The beloved Clydesdales are back for another year. I'm sure Bud will have a few humorous spots as well.
We start with... who else? Kate Upton!
By now, most American men have likely seen this ad—when Upton is involved, the male gaze is sure to follow—so I don't think I need to say much here.
It's certainly a clever spot, I'll give them that.
And now for the most controversial ad of the pre-Super Bowl advertising window. Volkswagen has taken some heat for what some have dubbed to be a "racist" advertisement.
From Bruce Horovitz of USA Today:
Even more troubled by the spot is Rochelle Newman-Carrasco, chief hispanic marketing strategist at Walton Isaacson, an African-American, Gay/Lesbian and Hispanic agency. "What happens in this ad is that the culture becomes a punch line, and that is offensive."
Pop cultural guru Barbara Lippert is not amused, either. "It made me uncomfortable to see all of those white people in an office setting doing this," she says. "I found it offensive."
Then again, Wykeham McNeill, Jamaica's minister of tourism and entertainment, is quoted in that article saying, ""We view it as a compliment," so there's that.
You be the judge. My verdict? It's a bit stereotypical, absolutely, but more importantly it's really, really corny.
Apparently, driving an Audi to the prom suddenly turns you into Brad Pitt.
Well, Brad Pitt in any movie other than Fight Club or Snatch, as we see by the end of this commercial.
I'm voting for the camel.
Kaley Cuoco from The Big Bang Theory is charming as the genie in Toyota's new ad campaign.
Or, as YouTube commenter MJMixesHDVideos brilliantly notes, "Wow, Penny finally got an acting job."
This is one of my favorite ads that has been released early. It's just so... bizarre. Loco, some might say.
Also, is the name of the cover band in this commercial Diversión? (That joke is for the bilingual hipsters in the house.)
Sorry Century 21, but this commercial isn't doing it for me. I'm sure there will be a few real estate agents at your party that will have a guffaw or two over this one, however.
Ah Skechers, always claiming your shoes suddenly provide massive bursts of speed for whomever dons them.
Sorry Skechers, but I don't recall The Flash wearing your shoes. And that's the ultimate Litmus Test.
Somewhere, Liz Lemon is having a panic attack.
This is another clever commercial. Focuses on the product and takes a realistic premise—we've all been stuck behind a car billowing smoke or a truck pulling a cart full of animals that just smells like manure—but gives it a zany, memorable twist.
Well done, Hyundai.
Anything with the Flaming Lips is a winner. And it even has the big ball Wayne Coyne rolls over the audience inside of at live shows! Hyundai is rocking my world right now.
Well, not really, but good on them for landing an awesome band like the Flaming Lips.
Look, I like Wheat Thins as much as the next guy, but WHAT IN THE HELL JUST HAPPENED HERE?
I wonder how much the Yeti got paid to make a rare public appearance in this commercial. He must have fallen on hard times...
I'm not going to lie, the underlying metaphor in the dad's explanation was a little bit too close for comfort to what Jake probably said. Think about it.
That aside, this a cute commercial for the families watching, and I'm sure young parents will get a chuckle out of this one.
It's the oldest advertising trick in the book—something crazy, sexy, disastrous or utterly bizarre is happening, but all the people in the commercial can focus on is the product.
Been here, done that, Pepsi. You mastered it with Cindy Crawford—lightning won't strike twice.
AXE takes a corny commercial—guy using AXE saves girl by beating up a shark and leaves her smitten and stricken with desire, yawn—and turns it on its head at the end by having an astronaut randomly show up at the beach and win the girl in the end.
Oh yeah, and AXE is going to send someone to space. You got my attention, AXE, even if your product burns the hairs in my nostrils.