Super Bowl ads use celebs, humor, lots of dogs


 (AP) — Advertisers bet big that viewers were turning to the Super Bowl for a comforting escape, and delivered a series of advertisements that relied on familiar celebrity faces, light humor, and plenty of cuddly dogs.

This wasn’t a year for edgy humor or experimentation. After the global pandemic, with economic uncertainty looming ahead and the war in Ukraine stretching on, advertisers just wanted people to feel good.

And it worked.

“This year’s ads took a very light touch and focused on being fun and making the viewer feel good,” said Charles Taylor, a marketing professor at Villanova University. “Most followed a clear formula of combining A-list celebrities with humor, with some using nostalgia and/or music to good effect.”

Super Bowl advertisers each year try to reach more than 100 million people tuning into the broadcast. It’s a pricey proposition: ads can cost as much as $7 million for 30 seconds.

It was a year of change for the Super Bowl since other alcohol ads were allowed to air after Anheuser-Bush gave up its exclusivity deal and the halftime show sponsor changed from Pepsi to Apple music after a decade.


Many of the ads were released early, but there were still some surprises in store for viewers. In its first Super Bowl ad, Dunkin’ Donuts enlisted superfan Ben Affleck and their wife Jennifer Lopez.

In the ad, Affleck mans the drive-through booth at a Dunkin’ Donuts in Medford, Massachusetts, with a Boston accent and shocks customers. Lopez comes through the line of cars and asks him what he’s doing. “You’re embarrassing me in front of my friends,” he says. “Grab me a glazed,” she demands. Affleck has a long association with the brand and is often spotted carrying Dunkin’ Donuts drinks in paparazzi photos. He directed the ad, too.

GM and Netflix enlisted Will Ferrell to tout their deal to show more electric vehicles in Netflix shows. Bud Light’s ad showed Miles Teller and his wife Keleigh and his dog Bugsy, who all dance to hold music. Melissa McCarthy sings a jingle for, and Adam Driver makes multiples of himself for Squarespace. Pepsi Zero Sugar hired Ben Stiller and Steve Martin. Avocados From Mexico enlists Anna Faris for one of the few slightly risque ads this year that envisions a present where everyone is naked — including the Statue of Liberty. Tennis star Serena Williams stars in two ads: one for Michelob Ultra and one for Remy Martin. T-Mobile enlisted Bradley Cooper and his mom to star in a blooper-filled ad.

One unusual star: a group of donors bought two ads to feature Jesus in a campaign called “He Gets Us.”

And U2 ran an ad announcing its Las Vegas residency that showed unidentified orbs floating over cities. One of the orbs has a baby in it who says “Achtung!”. U2′s shows are opening up a venue called MSG Sphere, so the orbs make sense. But coming the same day the U.S. announced it shot down a fourth unidentified flying object, the images of orbs floating over cities struck a jarring tone.


Many marketers tried to capitalize on well-loved TV and movie properties. This year, online shopping site Rakuten hired Alicia Silverstone and Elisa Donovan to recreate a scene from the 90s rom-com “Clueless.” Popcorners, a snack brand from Frito-Lay, brought back “Breaking Bad,” which first aired in 2008, with stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul.

Other advertisers trying to capitalize on favorite content from years past: T-Mobile’s ad showed John Travolta singing a T-Mobile home internet-themed version of “Summer Nights” from “Grease” with “Scrubs” stars Donald Faison and Zach Braff. Michelob Ultra evoked “Caddyshack” by setting its ad at the Bushwood Country Club that’s in the movie.


Those not using celebrities opted for humor. Kia showed a dad on an epic quest to pick up his child’s forgotten “binky.” And E(asterisk)Trade brought back its famous talking babies: this time, they attend a wedding. Some ads were offbeat: a Tubi ad showed giant blue rabbits throwing people into holes to demonstrate the idea that Tubi helps people “find rabbit holes you didn’t know you were looking for.”

Ram’s ad went slightly risque and poked fun at erectile dysfunction ads by having couples talk about “premature electrification.” Villanova’s Taylor said that approach just might work.

“Given the turn, the Super Bowl has taken away from sexual appeals or humor over the past decade this will make the ad stand out and generate buzz,” Taylor said. “While they are risking offending some consumers I think the ad will be well remembered and mostly well received.”


It’s not a Super Bowl without cute animals — particularly dogs.

Jeep stuffed a bevy of animals, including meercats, a bee, a bear, a goat, and many others, in its ad that shows the animals dancing to a tune emanating from a Jeep 4xe. The dog food subscription service called The Farmer’s Dog showed a heartwarming tale of a girl growing older with her dog.

Other ads feature dogs alongside celebrities: a Skechers ad shows Snoop Dogg shaving a poodle; Pringles shows Meghan Trainor cuddling with her dog and Pepsi Zero Sugar shows Steve Martin as a vet operating on a dog. Amazon’s ad shows a family getting a puppy companion for their older dog.


Advertisers sometimes try stunts to capture attention. The biggest one this year was from FanDuel, which enlisted former NFL player Rob Gronkowsi to try to kick a field goal live during the broadcast.

If he made it, customers who wagered at least $5 on the Super Bowl were to get a share of $10 million in free bets. But the problem with stunts is they’re risky. FanDuel caused confusion with its ad, which appeared to show Gronkowski making the kick. But FanDuel said he missed but announced bettors would still get a share of $10 million in free bets.

More successfully, Peacock’s late-game ad tried a stunt by acknowledging other ads. The concept behind its show “Poker Face” is that Charlie, played by Natasha Lyonne, can tell when someone is lying. The ad shows Lyonne watching the game with a companion at a bar. She tells him that the M&M’s characters “never left” and a kid in the Google Pixel ad is actually 19 -- both references to ads that aired earlier in the game. Peacock says it created the ad in partnership with Google and M&M.

 The 2023 Super Bowl delivered some of the most star-studded commercials of the year, and while you might have missed a few of them while grabbing snacks or not caring about football, we've got you covered.

We've been through all the Super Bowl ads and we're here to say, not all of them are created equal.

Here are all of the must-see Super Bowl ads that we watched during the game, and the ones that are so bad you can't look away.

FOX reportedly charged each advertiser about $7 million just to run a 30-second ad during the game, so you be the judge. Were these worth it?

Pepsi (Steve Martin) 2023 Super Bowl commercial

The Pepsi Super Bowl ad was probably our favorite ad of them all, mainly because of how clever it was.

Unlike other ads, it seems like Pepsi wasn’t trying too hard by plugging in as many unnecessary jokes. We can totally see the whole marketing trope of “am I acting, or am I actually happy,” working to convince people to try the new Pepsi Zero Sugar drink.

And not to mention Steve Martin’s memorable cameo. But let’s be real, when is Steve Martin not memorable?

PopCorners (Breaking Bad) 2023 Super Bowl commercial

Breaking Bad is without a question, a highly loved show, so why wouldn’t people love a Breaking Bad-themed ad?

PopCorners definitely knew what it was doing by featuring beloved characters Walter, Jesse, and Tuco from Breaking Bad.

Rakuten (Clueless) 2023 Super Bowl commercial

We love a good blast from the past, so seeing Alicia Silverstone, aka Cher from Clueless get back into her most memorable character and sport the iconic yellow and black checkered two-piece suit for the Rakuten ad was obviously a good move.

Doritos (Jack Harlow and Missy Elliott) 2023 Super Bowl commercial

Doritos knew what it was doing when it featured Jack Harlow, Elton John, and Missy Elliot in its 2023 Super Bowl ad and the cherry on top was that it was also actually funny.

Now Harlow might just need to feature the triangle in his next single.

Workday (Ozzy Osbourne) 2023 Super Bowl commercial

Anything with Ozzy Osbourne is funny, so the Workday 2023 Super Bowl ad did not miss the mark by featuring the iconic Black Sabbath singer in the ad.

And let’s be honest, the term “rockstar” really is overused.

The ad comes less than two weeks after Ozzy canceled a bunch of performances and declared that he is no longer healthy enough to tour.

Downy (Danny McBride) 2023 Super Bowl commercial

We can always appreciate a clever pun, so when Downy’s ad featured Danny McBride as Downy McBride and showed him actually falling down… it’s safe to say it was up there as one of the more clever ads from the 2023 Super Bowl.

Crown Royal (Dave Grohl) 2023 Super Bowl commercial

The Canadian whisky company Crown Royal had to give Canada a substantial shoutout and they delivered perfectly.

David Grohl thanked Canadian celebrities like Celine Dion, Seth Rogan, and Eugene Levy, and the Canadian representation was highly appreciated.

DraftKings (Miller Lite versus Coors Light) 2023 Super Bowl commercial

The DraftKings Super Bowl ad was actually quite clever and the plot twist at the end is something you don't actually see coming, which is one of the reasons why we would consider it a very successful Super Bowl ad.

They made the most out of the $7 million price tag and advertised three beers in one!

Sam Adams 2023 Super Bowl commercial

Who doesn’t love a Boston accent? You’ll hear plenty of it in the Samuel Adams Super Bowl 2023 ad.

It also has a sweet reminder to recycle your used cans and we stan an environmentally friendly brand!

Heineken 0.0 (Marvel's Ant-Man) 2023 Super Bowl commercial

If Ant-Man himself chooses to drink non-alcoholic beer, then why wouldn’t the rest of the world?

That’s why Heineken’s ad, featuring Paul Rudd as Ant-Man was a very smart choice and a good reminder that you can still enjoy a beverage while working and not worry about going overboard.

Budweiser (Kevin Bacon) 2023 Super Bowl ad

The best word to describe the Budweiser ad is "wholesome."

Although we didn’t see a celebrity on screen, it doesn’t mean that there wasn’t one part of the ad.

The narration of the ad was done by Kevin Bacon so if you thought the voice sounded familiar, that’s who it was!

FanDuel (Rob Gronkowski) 2023 Super Bowl ad

This definitely wasn’t the best ad and to be frank, was far from memorable but it was somewhat redeemed because of Rob Gronkowski.

Michelob Ultra (Serena Williams and Brian Cox) 2023 Super Bowl ad

This was one of those ads that did too much and tried really hard to be funny but didn’t deliver at all.

Even Serena Williams and Brian Cox’s cameos weren't able to save it.

Pringles (Meghan Trainor) 2023 Super Bowl commercial

This was another ad that had so much potential but failed to deliver.

The ad basically shows Meghan Trainor, and other random people, getting their hands stuck in a Pringle’s can…and that’s literally it. That’s the ad.

Do you see the missed potential?

Avocados from Mexico (Anna Faris) 2023 Super Bowl commercial

This ad was just…weird.

It somehow linked Adam and Eve, to the Statue of Liberty, all while featuring nudity.

So you see how it makes no sense, especially since the ad is about avocados from Mexico.

Experian (John Cena) 2023 Super Bowl commercial

It would have made a lot more sense to use Pharrell Williams in this Happy-themed Experian Super Bowl ad.

M&M's (with Maya Rudolph) 2023 Super Bowl commercial

Maya Rudolf’s M&M ad, dubbed as “Ma&Ya’s” for the Super Bowl, was honestly just confusing for lack of better words.

The ad was advertising “candy-coated clam bites,” and the actors trying the questionable confectionary were definitely not enjoying it, so it doesn’t really make sense how the advert was supposed to get people to go out and buy M&M’s.

It was definitely not the best ad from the 2023 Super Bowl.

He Gets Us (Jesus) 2023 Super Bowl commercial

Even Jesus had an ad during the Super Bowl and it's safe to say it was definitely a little weird!

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