9 of the Best Super Bowl 50 Commercials

As one of the most-watched television events of the year for Americans, the Super Bowl is an occasion with plenty of reasons to celebrate. For fans on either side of the game, it’s the single most important 4 hours of the year. The rest of us whose teams didn’t make it though are relegated to relative indifference in terms of the final outcome. Still, there’s one thing that keeps even the most casual of football fans engaged for the better part of their Super Bowl Sunday: the commercials.

364 days of the year, most people resent ads and commercials. At our innermost core level, we hate being actively pitched to, which is why companies have come up with slyer more insidious modes of selling their products to the general public. The Super Bowl represents the one day we actually invite the hard pitch. It’s when airtime comes at a premium for advertisers, producing some of the most creative commercials we’ll see all year. This year’s bunch didn’t disappoint either. Here’s what we saw in between the action.

1. Hyundai – “Ryanville”

Deadpool ads are ramping up to critical mass, and we’re seeing Ryan Reynolds everywhere we look right now. This particular bit of marketing is Deadpool-free, placing us in the middle of a beautiful world where Reynolds is every person in a quiet little suburban neighborhood. We can only assume that every Ryan Reynolds is married to his own Blake Lively in this world, making the world that much better of a place for everyone.

2. Doritos – “Ultrasound”

Doritos has never been a company shy about putting out some bizarre Super Bowl ads, and this year’s winner of their “Crash the Super Bowl” contest is no exception. In this one, we see a man eating Doritos as his wife’s ultrasound, only to see the unborn baby display an innate enthusiasm for the cheesy snack-food. It ends with a preemie Doritos-induced birth, placing this one firmly in the “wait what just happened?” category.

3. Mountain Dew – “Puppymonkeybaby”

Part of putting together a memorable Super Bowl commercial is coming up with the most outlandish, randomly insane idea… and that’s basically it. Mountain Dew doubled down on this strategy, giving us the horror of science that is the frightening puppymonkeybaby. It’s only made creepier by the awkward CGI animation used to stitch the mutant creature together, showing us that you don’t need an intelligent ad to have the whole world talking about you when it’s all said and done.

4. Prius – “The Longest Chase”

The Prius has developed something of a reputation as a boring car, albeit one that saves its owner on gas on the regular. Toyota sought to beat the image in their Super Bowl spot, redefining it as a sexy getaway vehicle for four bank robbers. It’s a clever bit of advertising, going a long way toward beating the preconception of it mostly being the chosen car for your Lyft driver on a Friday night.

5. Apartments.com – “Moving On Up”

Jeff Goldblum has built a quiet, if not surprising, career for himself as a jazz lounge pianist, and Apartments.com took full advantage in their Super Bowl commercial. He sits behind the keys singing the iconic Jeffersons theme song, “Movin’ On Up,” eventually stumbling across the literal “George and Weezy” (Washington and Lil). All cameos aside, it’s still hard to resist Goldblum on piano paired with Lil Wayne.

6. Taco Bell – “Bigger than…”

Taco Bell has long proven themselves to be the Victor Frankenstein of Mexican food, gifting humanity with such creations as the Enchirito, the Doritos Locos Taco, and now, the Queselupa. The commercial lives up to the promise of Taco Bell’s latest invention, featuring everything from the Ancient Aliens guy to George Takei. Celebrity appearances always seem to drive the best Super Bowl spots, and here we see that play out to perfection.

7. Avocados From Mexico – “Avos in Space”

It’s always interesting imagining what an alien society might think of humankind, and Avocados From Mexico took that idea to its natural extreme. Our meme-centric Internet culture is one that you don’t have to be from space to find strange. This particular commercial celebrates that idea, and tosses in a Scott Baio cameo just for good measure.

8. Budweiser – “Give a Damn (featuring Helen Mirren)”

There are few things more upsetting than having Helen Mirren be disappointed in your life decisions. Budweiser likely knows this, and that explains why it enlisted the incomparably amazing (and unsurprisingly stern) actor to lecture all of us on the dangers of drunk driving. If this doesn’t convince you to get a cab at the end of your night out on the town, we imagine nothing will.

9. T-Mobile – “Restricted Bling”

Drake’s “Hotling Bling” music video is nothing short of Internet gold. The Canadian hip-hop star dances like your dad at a wedding, while singing what amounts to the most disgustingly catchy song this side of Adele’s “Hello.” T-Mobile capitalizes on this in spades, tweaking Drake’s song to include all manner of accurate information about hidden carrier charges.

Follow Nick on Twitter @NickNorthwest

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