Re-watch the Best Super Bowl Commercials of 2018

America looks forward to watching commercials about one day a year—Super Bowl Sunday. If you missed any Super Bowl commercials while making predictions, hoarding the guacamole, or not having TV at home, we’ve got all the highlights for you right here.

The Super Bowl ads that were clear favorites

1. Everything is a Tide ad [Tide]

The Tide commercial series can be summed up in two words: “playful aggression.” Tide’s celebrity spokesperson, David Harbour, literally interrupts other characters mid-sentence to blare the brand name in their faces and replace their script with a new mantra that’s going to be hard to shake (“This is a Tide ad”).

And we love every second. It’s invasive, but because it’s over the top, we’re laughing instead of bristling.

Repetition is almost always good marketing, but it was especially fun in this campaign because Tide used that structure to build inside jokes into each “episode.” They also tapped into this by referencing viral ad campaigns like the 2010 Old Spice “Man Your Man Could Smell Like” and the 2017 “Sexy” Mr. Clean.

Tide’s choice of spokesperson was also an interesting move. David Harbour is recognizable because of Stranger Things, but he’s also relatively new on the scene, and he’s certainly not known for playing funny characters. In these commercials, Tide taps his budding celebrity status so we’re persuaded by his clout but still excited by his novelty.

The best moments

 The entire Old Spice sequence is fun. Interrupting the “perfect man” is a fun psychological power play that doesn’t cost Procter & Gamble or Old Spice anything. Plus, the comeback, “Get off my horse,” evens out the power balance—and echoes the exact cadence of the original ad, which ends with, “I’m on a horse.”

2. Fire and ice [Doritos and Mountain Dew]

Everyone loves a good lip sync from an unexpected pair—hard-hitting Busta Rhymes with the politely British Peter Dinklage, for example, or the unapologetic Missy Elliott with the often paternal Morgan Freeman. It’s hilarious to have our expectations turned upside down.

Another thing that makes this commercial so powerful is the music. “Look at Me Now” and “Get Ur Freak On” are iconic songs, and with hip-hop now being the most-listened to genre in America, it’s a fitting choice. Plus, the commercial includes the artists themselves, which is a fun way to give them credit.

The best moments

When dark turns to light and Morgan Freeman starts rapping. Either part of this commercial could stand on its own, so the moment you realize it’s a two-parter and you get to see everything you loved about the first one but with new twists is pretty exciting.

3. Crocodile Dundee sequel [Tourism Australia]

Australia doesn’t take the easy (and already pretty effective) road of advertising with beautiful music and captivating landscapes. They create a trailer for a fake Crocodile Dundee sequel with Danny McBride and Chris Hemsworth, make us fall in love with it—and then pull the rug out from under our feet.

The best moments

The reveal is either the best or the worst moment, depending how invested you are in the movie idea or how well you tolerate being tricked. We were pretty amused by it.

4. Alexa loses her voice [Amazon]

This commercial gets most of its power from A-listers with big personalities, and it’s a fun ride the entire time. Jeff Bezos also makes a cameo.

The best moments

The tense silence that follows when the country music guy corrects Cardi B. You absolutely know what’s coming next—more Cardi B—but the ad creators let that silence sit, building the excitement so the punch line is even more rewarding.

The Super Bowl ads worth an honorable mention

1. The Dirty Dancing dance [NFL]

This commercial draws you in with the nostalgia of Dirty Dancing, tickles you with the awkward image of Eli Manning and Odell Beckham dancing, and then returns to sentimentality by promising more special moments from future Super Bowls. It manages to be silly and serious at the same time—and it barely matters that the dancing is noticeably stiff. It might even be endearing.

 2. SUV scales a waterfall [Jeep]

It’s hard to buy the narration, which makes it sound like Jeep is never going to do a conventional manifesto again. But it’s also hard to stop watching that Jeep climb the waterfall at the end. Even if you’re not into off-roading and don’t want to be in the car yourself, it’s amazing to watch a machine as bulky and complicated as an SUV carefully scale a pile of rocks. The beautiful backdrop doesn’t hurt, either.

3. Them [Coca-Cola]

A handful of brands sent social messages this year, and Coca-Cola’s was simple and beautifully put together. One of the most striking moments is when we see a person on-screen while hearing the narrator use the alternative gender pronoun, “them.” If it’s not the first instance in major advertising, it’s among the first wave of clearly inclusive language for people of all genders.

The Super Bowl ads you might forget, but probably made you laugh

1. Robot destruction [Sprint]

Humans are afraid robots will destroy us by taking over our infrastructure. Maybe they can take us down with insults as low-brow as “your mom” jokes.

2. Bleep don’t stink [Febreze]

Some people love cussing and some people hate it—this commercial makes it pretty funny no matter which camp you’re in.

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