Commercials have become as much a part of the Super Bowl as the game itself. Each year, advertisers bring out the big guns to show viewers the cream of the crop—that means creativity, originality and superstars galore. At $50 million per 30-second spot, the 2016 lineup came with high expectations.
It also came without some of the surprise factor. Thanks to the magic of the Internet, fans got to see quite a few Super Bowl 50 ads long before kickoff. Snickers came back with the hangry theme, Bud Light enlisted Amy Schumer's sky-high appeal, and Christopher Walken used his iconic voice to sling Kias.
There were a lot to choose from, but the following were the best of the best—the truly memorable ads from Super Bowl 50.
Bud Light, "The Bud Light Party"
Schumer and Seth Rogan's Bud Light ad almost felt like old news by the time Super Bowl 50 actually started, but it was still a gem. The comedians touched on all the relevant topics of the day—the 2016 presidential election, the unifying power of beer and, of course, the upcoming release of Independence Day: Resurgence. Plus, the star power was on point.
Kia, "Walken Closet"
Actor Christopher Walken possesses one of Hollywood's most distinct voices. It makes you want to follow him wherever he goes yet cower under a table in fear at the same time. The "Walken Closet" theme of his Kia ad was a little cheesy, but that man could definitely intimidate/inspire someone into buying a Kia with those vocal chords alone.
Avocados From Mexico, #AvosInSpace
Avacados in space—the concept might sound weird, but it made for a great commercial. Also delightful were the aliens making fun of 21st century human ridiculousness like air travel and emojis. And the mention of that blue/gold dress (you know the one) was perfect.
Shock Top, "Unfiltered Talk"
Super Bowl commercials don't have to be flashy to be hilarious. T.J. Miller trading insults with a Shock Top beer tap provided some of the funnier moments of the first half. That line about peaking in middle school? Classic.
Audi R8, "Commander"
Sometimes simplicity is the most effective tactic. Audi's ad for its new R8 wasn't funny, crazy or laden with singing animals, but it was extremely well done. A fictional astronaut re-lived his glory days in an Audi as "Starman" by the late David Bowie played in the background. Nice touch.
The Snickers "you're not you when you're hungry" commercials aren't new, but they are always creative. The 2016 Super Bowl edition featured 60-year-old actor Willem Dafoe as a hangry version of the iconic Marilyn Monroe. It was no Betty White circa 2010, but it was close.
Amazon Echo, #BaldwinBowl Party
Amazon advertised its Amazon Echo as Alec Baldwin and Dan Marino ribbed each other at a Super Bowl party. Alexa pointed out that just as Marino has no Super Bowl titles, Baldwin also has no Oscars. Jason Schwartzman brought the funny, and Missy Elliott brought the swagger. Well played, Amazon.
The award for "emotion-evoking ad of the night" goes to Jeep. Its official Super Bowl ad featured dozens of powerful black-and-white photos. Some of the captured faces were more familiar than others, but all provided beautiful imagery. According to Tim Nudd of Adweek, the spot featured portraits of "famous and ordinary people who have a connection to the Fiat Chrysler brand and helped shape its history."
TurboTax, "Never a Sellout"
Anthony Hopkins would never "tarnish his name" by using it to sell products. TurboTax is free, after all, meaning there is nothing to sell. This ad had that chuckle-inducing quality about it throughout, but the real icing on the cake was the dog, aptly named TurboTax Dot Com.
T-Mobile "Restricted Bling"
Drake had to be in at least one Super Bowl ad right? The rapper was surprisingly charming and funny for T-Mobile. He jokingly admitted to lying about being from Canada and hammed it up with T-Mobile nerds trying to mess with his song, "Hotline Bling." Well done, Drake. See you at the NBA All-Star Game.