Apparently, the Super Bowl is something people still care about. This comes as a shock to me for many reasons, mainly that the NFL has been a literal magnet for controversy this past year, whether it be about the kneeling issue or the concussions issue. (Which, seems to be no issue for halftime performers Maroon 5). But also, on a less important level, football is just so boring. Think of all the Netflix you could be watching, or crushes’ Instagram stories you could be refreshing.
Regardless of personal opinion, the Super Bowl is very much happening this Sunday, and with that, so are its infamous commercials.One of (if not the) prime times for advertises to promote their products, slots during the game cost roughly around five million. They’re usually trying to be funny — and some of them succeed, mainly when Tiffany Haddish is involved — but some them are not only unfunny, but also offensive. Let’s take a look back at some that aired in the past that… would hopefully never pass a pitch meeting now.
Carl’s Jr. Sexist Burger Commercial (2015)
I feel like we can all imagine the people around the conference room table who thought this was a good idea. Without a doubt, four of them were named Brad. In efforts to promote ‘all natural” beef (wtf is the rest of beef? Oh yeah, chemicals) they have a woman… you guessed it, eating a burger almost-naked while being ogled by men that look like they think going to an Irish Bar in Times Square counts as a “night on the town.” Of course while doing this she is erotically describing the burger — she’s only human! Wait JK, women aren’t human in this world.
GM’s Suicidal Robot Commercial (2007)
Not a joke, General Motors truly thought it would be a good idea to put a commercial out that starred a robot who commits suicide after losing its job. Unclear how this seemed okay to air at anytime, but this would 100% not fly today. Not only does this poke fun at suicide, it also laughs off the stress and mental issues that come with someone losing their job which — read a news article, is happening at an alarming rate.
Homophobic Snickers Commercial (2007)
Because after two men kiss, they have to immediately either prove their masculinity, or drink motor oil. Or in this case, both. Not only is this commercial homophobic, it’s just plain dumb. Besides, who the hell splits a Snickers? Also, hate to burst ya’lls bubble but: Snickers are pretty phallic, so I guess any hetero guy who’s afraid of their sexuality, maybe just eat some kale. Let’s see how that works for you.
Pro-Life Commercial (2010)
Remember when you had to deal with people randomly stopping what they were doing to ‘Tebow’? No wonder we’re the species that caused climate change. This advertisement for ‘Focus on the Family’ seems to just be like the most boring confessional in a reality show, but it faced immediate backlash for it’s seemingly pro-life message. Which, checks out, because it’s for a Christian conservative organization that promotes things like abstinence-only sex education and is against all things LGBTQ+. K.
Holiday Inn’s Transgender Commercial (1999)
Maybe Y2K should have taken us all out after all, if this is what people were truly thinking of in ‘99. A commercial comparing a woman and her elective surgeries to a piece of property is awful as it is, so let’s just thrown in some transphobia to be the cherry on top of the pile of shit that we are. Seriously, f this. Bob Johnson does look great though.
SalesGenie.Com Racist Commercial (2008)
Because nothing is funny than stereotypes, right? Wrong. This commercial aired in 2008 at the 42nd Super Bowl and was immediately hit with backlash for its racial insensitivity and also just being really f*cking stupid.
Deforestation Commercial For GroupOn (2011)
Pro tip: never start a sentence with “but not all deforestation is bad…,” because guess what? It is all bad. This commercial completely missed the mark in terms of what metaphors should and shouldn’t be used when talking about Brazilian waxes. Still love your dress made up of safety pins though, Elizabeth Hurley.
The Super Bowl is less than a week away, which means I should probably Google which teams are playing. Or not. Whatever. But what it really means is that all the brands are starting to release their big Super Bowl commercials, I guess because even the advertisers know that all the guys at your Super Bowl party are going to talk over the commercials and you won’t be able to hear anything. If I had to make predictions, I’d say that we’ll probably see a ton of Budweiser commercials, some random ads that will make you cry, maybe a good Dorito’s one, and a lot of celebrities schilling products they’d never actually use. In the spirit of that last category, let’s talk about the brand new Pepsi ad that just dropped this morning.
The commercial is called “More Than OK,” and it features appearances by Steve Carell, Lil Jon, and, most importantly, Cardi B. That sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, and I’ve got to wonder what amphetamine-fueled meeting conceived of this grouping of people. The premise of the ad is that someone tries to order Coke at a restaurant and the waiter asks if Pepsi is okay, and I’ve got to say, I appreciate that Pepsi is finally saying what we’ve all been thinking our entire lives. I hope Coke comes out with this exact commercial, but the woman ordering says “No of course Pepsi isn’t okay” and the commercial ends there.
But anyway, back to Cardi B. I do find it pretty interesting that Cardi is agreeing to do Super Bowl ads, considering that she turned down the halftime show over the NFL’s treatment of Colin Kaepernick. Like, Pepsi isn’t personally responsible, but Cardi is still profiting off the Super Bowl, even if indirectly. It’s a little questionable of a move, but then again, I’m not one to fault a woman for getting her check.
Cardi B’s political choices aside, Pepsi clearly spent a lot of money putting this commercial together. Super Bowl ad time is unbelievably expensive, and celebs aren’t cheap either. I did some digging, and found out what all of these stars typically charge as a booking fee. Lil Jon is the cheapest of the bunch, at 25-40K, but Cardi B can go as high as half a million dollars. I’m not positive about Steve Carell, but by the time he left The Office, he was making several hundred thousand dollars per episode, so I’m sure he made a nice chunk of Pepsi change. The best part is that Pepsi was able to book all these celebrities directly through the Fyre app! Just kidding, that app was conceptually flawed from the beginning!
Pepsi has a long history of paying top celebrities to be in its commercials, from iconic ads with Michael Jackson and Britney Spears to train wrecks like the Kendall Jenner commercial. You know who doesn’t really do that sh*t? Coke. Pepsi totally knows—and now outwardly admits—that nobody wants to drink their product, so they constantly chase after the biggest star they can get to say they like it. But just like the Kardashians hawking waist trainers on Instagram, there are plenty of people who will buy something just because a celebrity claims to use it.
Images: Shutterstock; Pepsi / YouTube
Congratulations! If you’re reading this, it means you made it through another Super Bowl Sunday, the one day of the year when it’s basically a requirement that you sit down and watch sports. Even though your mind was probably on Kylie Jenner having her baby, you still had to like, be in the room while football was happening. But everyone really only watches the Super Bowl for three things: delicious junk food, the half time show, and the commercials. We can’t physically send you food through your computer screen, and we’re kind of sick of talking about Justin Timberlake, but let’s talk shit about commercials.
This year, a 30-second ad during the Super Bowl cost about $5 million, so all these companies better fucking hope they didn’t waste their coins on a lame commercial. Really, there are probably like six ad teams around the country just waiting to be fired today once their boss sees that their commercial flopped. We’re looking at you, Dodge commercial that tried to use a Martin Luther King speech to sell trucks. Come on guys, not a good look. So while you were busy shoving your face with seven-layer dip and escaping to the bathroom with your girlfriends, we came up with our ranking of the best Super Bowl commercials this year. And yeah, we probably missed some, it’s really not that serious.
10. Michelob Ultra
Chris Pratt is funny and adorable and also very hot when shirtless, and he brings a lot to the table in this commercial. We’re not sure who actually drinks Michelob Ultra, but nevertheless Chris is very excited about it.
I can barely get the wifi in my apartment to work, so I’m a little pissed that Keanu Reeves is apparently able to seamlessly build a website in the middle of the desert, but otherwise this is amazing. Am I like, turned on by Keanu Reeves?
While teenagers are busy eating Tide pods, the actual people who work there were hard at work making this epic commercial. Stranger Things star David Harbour makes the case that every ad is a Tide ad, and we kind of almost believe him by the end. It’s a Tide ad.
7. Winter Olympics
While we’re a little disappointed that we haven’t moved past the un-ironic use of “Girl on Fire,” we fucking love the Olympics. This series of ads highlights some of the top Team USA athletes, so you’ll know who to pay attention to.
6. Jack in the Box
I’ve never eaten at Jack in the Box, but when someone says the words “Martha Stewart feud” I usually appear within 10 seconds. Martha and Jack have some serious beef (or chicken, I guess) over their new sandwich, and when she takes off her earrings, you know it’s serious.
Was being in this commercial the Giants’ punishment for having one of the worst seasons ever? That’s unclear, and it’s also unclear why the NFL needs a commercial while 100 million people are *currently* watching an NFL game, but we’re here for the dancing.
Tiffany Haddish is a national treasure and she must be protected at all costs. Tiffany dismisses the haters that say using Groupon makes her cheap, because who has time for that kind of negativity? We need to go to a spa with her ASAP.
Pepsi flawlessly rebounds from last year’s Kendall Jenner fiasco with a nod to its historic commercials throughout the years. We see Cindy Crawford, Michael Jackson, and our lord and savior Britney Spears, and it’s all narrated by Jimmy Fallon. Four for you Pepsi, you go Pepsi.
2. Amazon Alexa
If Amazon is going to take over the world, please let it be like this. In this ad, Alexa loses her voice and is replaced by a bunch of celebrities, including Cardi B and Rebel Wilson. Fuck country music, you’re listening to “Bodak Yellow” tonight.
1. Doritos & Mountain Dew
Add this to the list of things we never knew we needed. Morgan Freeman and Peter Dinklage engage in a rap battle and we are literally screaming the whole time. If you spent all of ninth grade trying to memorize the Busta Rhymes verse in “Look At Me Now,” prepare to be jealous because Peter Dinklage still knows the whole thing. Brb watching this on repeat for the next seven hours.