All 53 Super Bowl LV Commercials, Ranked
The brands are at it again.
If there's a Super Bowl, there are Super Bowl commercials. Though the ongoing pandemic changed the NFL season and disrupted the usual circus atmosphere by restricting the number of attendees on hand to hoot and holler, the giant money-making media apparatus supporting the Big Game, which also featured a halftime performance from The Weeknd, still operated at full capacity. CBS confirmed that it sold out its ad inventory at a rate around $5.5 million per 30-second spot. The show goes on.
What did companies do with those expensive bits of time? Despite the severity of current events, there were plenty of "normal" ads packed with celebrity faces, elaborate gags, and wacky songs. Like in previous years, we watched the whole game and dutifully ranked the commercials from "hey, kinda funny" to "I will memory-wipe this immediately" on the night of the game. (Note: We didn't include movie/TV trailers, political campaign ads, CBS promos, commercials for the NFL, previously aired spots, anything from the pre-game or post-game, and the regional advertisements that pop up periodically during the broadcast.) Grab your snack of choice and read on.
This one doesn't really feel like a Super Bowl ad. Just a pretty basic explanation of what Mercari, the e-commerce company, offers its customers.
52. WeatherTech, "Family"
WeatherTech, the car floor mat company, has placed commercials in the Super Bowl for a few years now and they never really make much of an impression. This year is no different.
51. WeatherTech, "We Never Left"
More WeatherTech. More vaguely patriotic sloganeering. Not interested.
Indeed, the employment website where you look at job listings, goes the heart-tugging route, putting an emotional ballad over a montage of people looking for work, getting ready for interviews, and, in the last shot, securing that dream gig. If you've seen a commercial before, you know what to expect here. Bleak stuff.
49. Guaranteed Rate
Athletes are strong, resilient, and focused. They push their bodies and minds to the breaking point in pursuit of greatness and that's… just like buying a house and getting a mortgage? If you say so, Guaranteed Rate.
After spending so much of the last year indoors, you might be looking for a change of scenery. This commercial, narrated by Octavia Spencer and directed by Bryce Dallas Howard, dares to ask: How about space? Unfortunately, it's unlikely that the millions of people who watch the Super Bowl will be hitching a ride with tech billionaire Jared Issacman on a SpaceX rocket anytime soon.
In an attempt to compete with Netflix, Disney+, and all the other streaming platforms out there, CBS went into overdrive selling you on Paramount+, the new Viacom-backed streaming service launching in March. Did it leave you excited to climb a mountain of content? Probably not.
This jingle was irritating enough to make you look up from your phone during the broadcast. Does that make it a successful ad?
If you haven't heard of stock trading app Robinhood by now, you need to catch up on the last two weeks of Internet drama. The company's Super Bowl commercial is considerably less dramatic than a Reddit-triggered short squeeze, using calming shots of small business owners and single parents to tell us that we're investors whether we want to be or not. Yikes, but also, not wrong. Stonks are inescapable.
Michael B. Jordan, People's choice for 2020's Sexiest Man Alive, stars in this ad for Amazon's Alexa, where a woman imagines the device as the hunky Creed star. As with most things related to artificial intelligence and Amazon, the commercial ends up being kinda unsettling.
43. Uber Eats
You know that scene in Wayne's World where the film's hero, local cable access host Wayne Campbell (Mike Meyers), says he will "not bow to any sponsor" while simultaneously hawking a bunch of brands like Pizza Hut, Doritos, Pepsi? Classic scene, right? Maybe just watch that instead.
Fiverr, the online freelance marketplace, went the topical route with this ad that referenced Four Seasons Total Landscaping, the Philadelphia company that played host to a bizarre, rambling press conference from Rudy Giuliani back in November. Months later, the joke feels a little sweaty and belabored.
It's hard to believe this Shaggy-centric spot for Cheetos wasn't beamed in from the early '00s when the reggae singer was sitting at the top of the charts with his denial of infidelity anthem. Real-life celebrity couple Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis play themselves, with Kunis as the wife covered in orange snack dust and Kutcher as the easily hoodwinked husband. To be honest, it "can't touch" the MC Hammer version of this gag from last year.
Is it really that fun to stack Pringles? This commercial, which shows astronauts returning to Earth in a pod and getting ignored by stack-obsessed chip fanatics, really wants to sell you on the idea nothing beats a carefully arranged pile of chips. We remain not entirely convinced.
39. Stella Artois
There's not really a funny hook to this Stella commercial. It's just Lenny Kravitz playing drums and looking cool. And then he gets animated. Nothing really to write home about.
"Old Town Road" rapper Lil Nas X serves as the pitchman for Logitech, the Swiss digital product company, but the ad doesn't really put his charm or personality to much use. Instead, there's a lot of cutting to different artists around the globe drawing, recording, and dreaming. Not exactly defying expectations in the realm of Super Bowl ads.
37. Michelob Ultra
"Are you happy because you win? Or do you win because you're happy?" Deep question from this beer commercial. You might think some of these athletes—including Serena Williams, Anthony Davis, and Peyton Manning—are happy because they're likely being paid a bunch of money to appear in a lite beer ad. But maybe they're getting paid a bunch of money to appear in a beer ad because they're happy? Ever think of that, huh?
Fast-casual giant Chipotle tries to get around the do-gooder grandiosity of its first Super Bowl commercial by giving all the heavy proclamations about making its farmers "happier, more organic, more real" to a cute kid and then having another kid undercut it. But it still feels cheesy—and not in the pleasurable burrito bowl sense, either.
It's a credit to Dolly Parton that this ad, which switches the lyrics of her workday classic "9 to 5" to the gig economy's cursed "5 to 9," doesn't feel totally cursed from the get-go. If we're all working overtime to make our dreams a reality, at least there are websites like SquareSpace that make building a business from the ground up a little bit easier. Still, we prefer the original version.
Nick Jonas transforms himself into an old man with just a snap of his fingers in this commercial for Dexcom, a (controversial) company that helps people with diabetes track their glucose levels. If he has that secret aging and de-aging ability, why isn't he sharing it with the rest of us?
Sorry, watching celebrities talk on the phone to each other in a commercial will never be particularly compelling. Even if you've got NFL stars and famous musicians in your ad, it just looks dull.
This phone ad with black-ish star Anthony Anderson isn't particularly memorable. Lots of football trash talk and some phone business.
31. Mountain Dew
There's not really a hook to this spot for the very pink Mountain Dew flavor "Major Melon." It's just John Cena, bopping around in a neon car, introducing a contest involving counting the Dew bottles. But we don't like our Super Bowl commercials with more work added, so that's a ding on this one.
Yes, we all promised ourselves we'd get buff in quarantine, and YES nearly all of us failed at that challenge. But it's not too late to "get in shape financially," as E*Trade's Super Bowl ad promises. Go ahead, sit on the couch for a few more hours, as long as your money is picking up the slack.
Tax season is here, but TurboTax's commercial makes the worst time of year seem at least palatable. The Tax Experts are full of interesting facts to make your tax filing a breeze, like how in Hawaii you get a credit if you maintain a very nice tree, or how in New Mexico, if you've reached 100 years of age you don't have to pay state taxes at all.
28. Bud Light
Bud Light tries to get topical by alluding to how "2020 was a lemon of a year" and showing a bunch of people running from a storm of falling lemons. And that's why you should drink the company's hard seltzer lemonade flavor? It's perhaps better than a more earnest spot trying to sell you hard seltzer during a pandemic, but it's also not particularly clever.
Tony Romo really wants you to enjoy some cushioned footwear in this Skecthers commercial, which piles on the visual gags. Romo is an affable enough pitchman, helping to sell the cheesy one-liners.
It's always fun to see Maya Rudolph pop up in an episode of The Good Place or on SNL. She's the best! But this cowboy-themed commercial for Klarna, the payment service app, doesn't really give her that much to do. At least there's some singing in it.
I'm sure this Frito-Lay commercial—a spin on the Night Before Christmas narrated by Marshawn Lynch—is an absolute delight if you care deeply about football legends like the Mannings or Deion Sanders or Terry Bradshaw. This one is definitely for the sports diehards watching the game rather than those of us who are watching for other reasons.
Everyone loves Sesame Street. This ad finds Hamilton star Daveed Diggs recruiting Big Bird and crew for a pleasant-enough walk around the neighborhood that unfortunately ends up being a DoorDash commercial.
23. Scotts Miracle-Gro
This year, the backyard basically became another room of the house, a place to go when being cooped up inside was just Way Too Much. Scotts Miracle-Gro is here to make your yard look its very best—just not better than Martha Stewart's, or John Travolta's, which he's been using as a TikTok stage.
Babies can't really do much, but the stuff they can do is pretty spectacular. Chewing on literally anything, crying that hits decibel levels we didn't know existed, and doing… well, the stuff that Huggies are for. The baby screaming immediately after being told it lives on Earth? Big mood.
It's unclear how your neighborhood car dealer will feel about this spot, which literalizes the oft-used "[activity X] is torture" metaphor, but it's got a stylish look and a slick little effect when the chair turns over. Instead of trying to sell a bunch of gags, it has one joke and commits to it.
20. Sam Adams
Sam Adams mosied on into Budweiser's territory with this horse-themed commercial. Except this time, the beautiful equine creatures cause chaos thanks to "your cousin from Boston" who releases them onto unsuspecting townspeople. It's all in support of Sam Adams' "Wicked Hazy" IPA, so it feels slightly off topic, but the horsies are pretty.
19. Rockstar Energy
Rapper Lil Baby really wants you to follow your dreams. That could mean doing a skateboard trick, designing a costume, or doing DJ stuff on your computer. Lesson learned: If you drink enough energy drinks, you will feel invincible.
18. General Motors
A very bearded Will Ferrell is pissed that Norway is beating the U.S. in the number of electric cars it sells per capita. So, he attempts to take the fight to the Norwegians by recruiting Kenan Thompson and Awkwafina for a global roadtrip out of a confused sense of national pride. Ferrell yelling is always a pleasure.
There is maybe nothing I have wanted to say during this year of quarantine more than "Let's grab a beer," and Anheuser-Busch's commercial hits that feeling just right. Remember hanging out with your friends? Remember going to bars? Or staying late at the office? Or going to parties? This is the kind of ad that makes you deeply nostalgic for the simplest things.
Timothée Chalamet picks up the blades and puts on the eyeliner to play "Edgar" Scissorhands, the son of Johnny Depp's Edward Scissorhands from Tim Burton's 1990 film. Unsurprisingly, Depp does not make an appearance, but Winona Ryder reprises her role, and we get a handful of decent Scissorhand gags that wouldn't be out of place in the original.
15. State Farm
There are cameos on top of cameos in this ad, which features insurance spokesman Jake from State Farm hanging out with football stars Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers. Mahomes' "stand-in" is Chiefs superfan Paul Rudd, while Jake's is none other than Drake. Get it? Drake...Jake...it rhymes!
14. Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's
Now More Than Ever, the great outdoors is our home away from home, nature's wide open spaces offering us a place to go that doesn't require Lysol hand wipes or obsessive social distancing. Bass Pro Shops' commercial, shot like a Planet Earth documentary, reminds us there's a whole world out there to fish, camp, and roast marshmallows in if we've been feeling especially cooped up these days.
We all know the feeling: you open up the fridge only to discover a bunch of mismatched food items you have neither the skill nor the culinary know-how to make into anything anywhere near edible. But never fear, your Fairy God-Mayo is here, played by Amy Schumer and wielding a jar of Hellmann's mayonnaise to spice up the dregs of your icebox.
12. Dr. Squatch
My dude, my bro, my good man, you're using the wrong soap! Ditch the dish detergent and get you a cleaning product that lets you do Man Stuff, like opening pickle jars and swinging swords around. Dr. Squatch, in the company's traditional tongue-in-cheek fashion, reminds you that you can make stuff out of wood AND smell nice—who knew?
Few things smooth over awkward situations better than something sweet. The addictive candy's Super Bowl ad features sheepish apologies from people who kicked the back of their neighbor's airplane seat, mansplained, or called a woman a "Karen," offering a chocolatey treat to the injured party to help the situation. They're so tasty, Schitt's Creek star Dan Levy will eat them even if he knows the Green and Brown M&M's personally.
After reportedly pursuing him for over a decade, Jeep got Bruce Springsteen to appear in a Super Bowl commercial. The mere existence of the car ad, which was apparently shot just last Sunday, is perhaps more interesting than the actual footage. It's a somber, serious attempt at healing a fractured nation, with the Boss playing the role of America's spiritual guide, reminding viewers that "we can make it to the mountaintop."
Any ad that starts with Samuel L. Jackson yelling "GAMERS!" is doing something right. This Fortnite referencing Verizon commercial is obviously goofy, but, even in animated-form, Jackson makes for a fun pitchman.
8. Bud Light
If Super Bowl ads have to be an ouroboros of self-referential schtick, this is how you do it. Bud Light brings an all-star team of "legends" out of Super Bowl ad retirement and everyone gets a little screen time as they assemble, Avengers-style. The “Real Men of Genius” singer, the Bud Knight, Cedric The Entertainer, and Post Malone are all here. What more do you want?
Reddit kept its sneaky commercial short, so we'll do the same with this blurb.
6. Rocket Mortgage
Tracy Morgan's always hilarious delivery really sells this series of hypotheticals which illustrate how being "pretty sure" is not as good as being "certain," the latter of which apparently Rocket Mortgage can provide. Dave Bautista is also there to threaten our prospective home buyer.
5. Michelob Ultra
This Michelob commercial sells the "realness" of the company's organic hard seltzer by having actor Don Cheadle point out a bunch of phony movie star lookalikes. The best part? Cheadle's lookalike in the spot is played by his actual brother, who apparently gets mistaken for him a lot.
4. Jimmy John's
You want a sandwich war? You got a sandwich war. Brad Garrett is the King of Cold Cuts, a terrifying mob boss who's built his sandwich empire on the blood of his enemies and the upsetting non-texture of synthetic turkey. Everything's looking sunny side-up for the King… until little old Jimmy John's rolls into town, boasting high-quality, reasonably-priced, customizable sammies for the average joe. Anyone else hungry?
As far as inspirational Super Bowl commercials go, this one, which tells the story of 13-time Paralympic gold medalist Jessica Long, is at least visually striking and clever. The 28-year-old swimmer, who was adopted from a Siberian orphanage at the age of 13 months, moves through water-logged scenes from her own life in a manner that bends time and space. It might even make you a little choked up.
Matthew McConaughey isn't quite feeling like his normal, bongo-loving self in this Doritos ad, which finds the True Detective actor wandering the world as a "flat" version of himself that resembles a cardboard cutout. Queen's "I Want to Break Free" plays on the soundtrack as he picks up coffee, gets his foot eaten by a Roomba, and goes on Jimmy Kimmel. Finally, he's saved by 3D Doritos, which restore the Oscar-winner to his full body mass. Stars… they're just like us.
"Weird" Seinfeld related humor has had a long shelf life on Twitter, so it makes sense that some of that sensibility would eventually surface in a Super Bowl commercial decades after the show ended its run. This one gets extra points for saving the celebrity cameo for the last minute and finding a few funny places to place the bizarre Jason Alexander clothing. Would we suggest wearing the sweatshirt? No, not really. But the larger pro-doing-your-laundry message is a noble one we can get behind.
Need help finding something to watch? Sign up here for our weekly Streamail newsletter to get streaming recommendations delivered straight to your inbox.