These days, Super Bowl ads come in waves. Some are released before the game to generate interest. Companies spend so much money on their clips for the coveted air time, and they have to show it at every chance they can to get their moneys’ worth.
Other companies produce commercials that can be broken up into phases, so they can release “trailers” for the ads that will be played during the actual game. This practice has become particularly popular this year, with fans already excitedly discussing the sponsored skits that will play tonight.
For Super Bowl LII, many commercials are out early, either in part or in full. Advertisers have resigned themselves to the fact that most of their views will come online either before or after the game between the Patriots and the Eagles. They’re faced with the impossibly task of drawing in a savvy, cynical audience that has plenty of platforms to discuss and decide for themselves which commercials are good and which aren’t.
Here’s a look at the best trailers out before the Super Bowl.
Amazon seems to be extremely proud of the ad campaign they’ve cooked up for Alexa. Judging by the money they’ve poured into it, it will probably see a lot of use outside the Super Bowl itself.
The video features celebrities including rapper Cardi B, celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, and actors Anthony Hopkins and Rebel Wilson. Front-and-center in the ad is the company’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, who gained recognizability this year when he broke through to become the richest man in the world for a short time.
Doritos and Mountain Dew are often used as a shorthand descriptor for immature people who spend too much time online or playing video games. For that reason, it seems like they’d want to separate their ad campaigns to reduce the association, but they took a different tact.
The companies steered into the skid, drawing a strong dualistic connection between their products in the ad. They shelled out for two of Hollywood’s most commanding, respected actors, and two of hip-hop music's biggest icons.
Peter Dinklage’s presence in the commercials served their subtle reference to Game of Thrones, drawing on the fire-and-ice theme for their #SpitFire and #IceCold competition. They’ve set up the ad as a poll to see which new flavor fans want to keep on the shelves, but either way, both companies are probably making money on the deal.
Bud Light threw some serious money into a surprisingly irreverent commercial. It’s set in a medieval fantasy world, also likely capitalizing on the Game of Thrones fever right now, and the production value looks almost as good.
The central “Bud Knight” hero of the ad will undoubtedly become a rallying cry at frat parties on college campuses across the country, just as the advertisers were hoping.
Lexus might have scored the biggest celebrity endorsement of the season for their Super Bowl ad with Chadwick Boseman appearing in costume as Marvel’s Black Panther. The King of Wakanda saves the day in 60 seconds in their commercial before making off with the secured vibranium in a Lexus.
Black Panther is expected to be one of Marvel’s biggest movies yet, and anticipation for it has taken on a viral status of its own. While T’Challa probably doesn’t need a car in the hyper-futuristic world of Wakanda, his approval will do a lot for Lexus.
Tiffany Haddish offers a pretty down-to-Earth pitch for Groupon, selling the service in simple dollars-and-cents terms. The comedian, fresh off the success off Girls Trip, lends legitimacy to the company’s attempt as zany, fast-cut humor.
“What kind of person wouldn’t want to support local business?” she asks before cutting to show us what kind of imaginary person that would be. This commercial has come out in several phases, and we likely haven’t seen it all yet.
The sentient, talking M&Ms have gotten stranger and more confusing over the years, and in this year’s Super Bowl ad they take it to a new level.
Danny DeVito, the unofficial Best Sport in Hollywood, has embraced the comparison between his physique and that of an M&M with arms and legs. That’s a feat of humility, and his reward, apparently, is a pool of milk chocolate. When the full commercial plays, it promises to be one for the ages.
The ground-breaking website service has clawed their way from offering promo codes on any podcast that would take them to the absolute height of advertising — the Super Bowl.
Not only that, but Squarespace nabbed one of the most universally loved stars out there for the ad — Keanu Reeves. They get the unique boost of advertising his website along with their service itself. This gives their company a more generous, personable feel.
Squarespace seems to have gotten plenty of footage with Reeves, so hopefully there’s more to come during game time itself.
Skittles has woven a web of meta-narratives around their Super Bowl advertising. They began their campaign in January by announcing that they’d be making a Super Bowl commercial, but only showing it to one person — a teenager named Marcos Menendez.
Since then, they’ve released four teases for four completely different commercials, all featuring actor David Schwimmer, all possibly what Menendez will see on Sunday night. The videos have drawn a lot of curiosity, but the idea is that whichever one is real, only Menedez will see it anyway.
By turning the purpose of advertising itself on its head, Skittles has arguably generated more curiosity than they would have with a simple flashy commercial. The company is livestreaming the teen’s reaction to the ad on Facebook.
Pringles stuck to the simple and reliable formula of having a fun and charming famous person show off the value of their product.
Their commercial shows Bill Hader on the set of a hypothetical movie eating Pringles with members of the crew. They show off how flavored pringles can be stacked in a multitude of combinations to achieve varying flavors.
Hader has broken into mainstream success in movies since leaving Saturday Night Live, and last year he even dipped his toe into the waters of action franchises with Power Rangers.