The Philadelphia Eagles won Super Bowl LII (their first) and left Tom Brady’s Trump-loving ass sitting sadly on the turf. While the game had plenty of drama, the commercials were no slouches, either. While the Martin Luther King Jr.-quoting Ram commercial was definitely the worst of the bunch (especially since the first ad hocking those cars featured vikings and a Queen remix), almost all of the best commercials featured celebrities front and center.
The charitable ads all felt oddly self-serving as they piggybacked their products on the backs of their causes, but those that went for humor, practicality, or cleverness managed to salvage a crop of Bud Light nonsense and insurance ads. Those select few made our list of the ten best commercials of the 2018 Super Bowl.
10. Peter Dinklage and Morgan Freeman Rap Battle, Doritos/Mountain Dew
Peter Dinklage sexily approaching the camera is never a bad plan. This joint commercial features some intense lip-syncing to Busta Rhymes and Missy Elliott that coalesces into an epic showdown between ice and fire (though not as intense as in Dinklage’s Game of Thrones).
9. “Human,” M&Ms
Danny DeVito may not be voicing Detective Pikachu, but he has become the anthropomorphic red M&M whose grumpiness is matched only by his perseverance. He goes around, Billy on the Street-style, asking people to eat him, and is pleasantly surprised that people don’t eat each other. Then he gets hit by a car. Wonderfully oddball, and DeVito is a madman.
8. “The Perfect Fit,” Michelob Ultra
After a beautiful piece of first-quarter setup, the one good beer ad from the Bowl features Chris Pratt undermining his newfound leading man persona. He spends the first ad preparing for a role in the commercial, then finds out he is an extra. This is him as that extra.
7. “Jeep Jurassic,” Jeep
Jeff Goldblum recreates his Jurassic Park escape scene (“must go faster”) while also proving that the man has only gotten more attractive with age. It’s simultaneously intimidating and charming.
6. “Make It With Keanu Reeves,” Squarespace
Keanu just surfs on a motorcycle down a desert highway while singing, because who even knows why? But go make a website, I guess.
5. “Who Wouldn’t,” Groupon
Tiffany Haddish promotes Groupon by promoting local businesses by promoting physical violence towards Mr. Burns-esque fatcats. So, yes, this is in fact the best possible outcome of capitalism.
4. “Anti-Manifesto,” Jeep
This ad lets the Jeep speak for itself as it just drives the hell over a river. So I’ll let it speak for itself, too.
3. “Time of My Life,” NFL
Yes, I know what’s on your mind / when you say: / “Stay with me tonight.” You mean, “watch this video of Odell Beckham Jr. and Eli Manning dance with each other. Now, just remember: Eli Manning’s intense concentration during his dance is the one thing I can’t get enough of.”
2. The Cloverfield Paradox, Netflix
There is no bigger flex than using the Super Bowl as the red carpet premiere of your movie. Dropping the first trailer for an entry into the secretive Cloverfield franchise is cool, but what’s really cool is saying that the film will be available as soon as the game is finished.
1. David Harbour’s 1,000 Different Ads, Tide
The internet’s hot dad-bod boyfriend made incredible use of his newfound visibility with the help of Tide’s meta-marketing that infiltrated every other kind of advertisement. Beer ads, erectile dysfunction ads, snack ads, Old Spice ads – all of them were revealed to be secret Tide ads because they all had zero stains and a heaping helping of David Harbour’s energetic enthusiasm. I wonder how many RTs were needed to get him to do these commercials?
Jacob Oller is a writer and film critic whose writing has appeared in The Guardian, Playboy, Roger Ebert, Film School Rejects, Chicagoist, Vague Visages, and other publications. He lives in Chicago, plays Dungeons and Dragons, and struggles not to kill his two cats daily. You can follow him on Twitter here: @jacoboller.