It’s not called the greatest show on earth for nothing – the Super Bowl always delivers entertainment, and the adverts during the commercial breaks are no exception. The Super Bowl is the flagship event of the American National Football League, and always attracts huge viewing numbers thanks to its on-field exploits during the Big Game. However, the event is also famed for its spectacular half-time show (2023’s was performed by Rihanna), and its star-studded advert breaks.
Brands always pull out all the stops for Super Bowl ads, and for good reason. The 2023 edition had 113 million viewers in the United States alone!
Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, stars of the cult favourite TV show Breaking Bad, reunited in this Superbowl ad for crisp brand PopCorners. The ad sees the actors reprise their roles as Walter White and Jesse Pinkman, though this time they’re cooking up air-popped crisps rather than methamphetamines.
The ad also sees a cameo from actor Raymond Cruz, who played Tuco Salamanca in AMC’s Breaking Bad and the spin-off show Better Call Saul. The spot includes references and callbacks to the hit show that delighted fans across social media – including “We don’t eat our own supply!” and “This is art, Mr. White.”.
A theme of this year’s best Super Bowl ads was definitely bringing beloved characters back from the past. Rakuten turned to the big screen rather than television and used the 1995 film Clueless as inspiration.
In this year’s Super Bowl commercial, the financial tech company uses Alicia Silverstone and her character Cher Horowitz to explain the benefits of its cashback scheme. Elisa Donovan also stars as Amber, with the film’s iconic costume of yellow plaid redesigned by Christian Siriano specifically for this year’s advert.
We’re probably all guilty of misusing the word “rockstar” in our day-to-day lives, but Workday’s 2023 ad suggests that it’s time to stop. A truly star-studded cast includes music legends Joan Jett, Billy Idol, Ozzy Osbourne, Gary Clark Jr and Paul Stanley of KISS fame.
The advert shows some of rock music’s most infamous divas and legends and shows them at their best – playing sold-out stadia – and their worst – trashing hotel rooms. The supergroup of musicians explains that the word “rockstar” shouldn’t apply to Workday’s general clientele, but only to the true music elite.
Ben Affleck is famous for many things, but one of the internet’s favourites is his role in the “Juggling Dunkin’” meme. For this year’s Super Bowl, the coffee and doughnut company – presumably inspired by the viral image – had the Good Will Hunting star actually hand out the orders at a drive-thru in Medford, MA.
As he hands out orders and takes selfies with numerous baffled, starstruck and oblivious customers, Affleck comments on the good value of Dunkin’s new special. After a slew of everyday customers, the actor’s wife Jennifer Lopez (herself a former Super Bowl Half Time Show performer) pulls up in the drive-thru, seemingly confused to find her beau dishing out doughnuts.
The Super Bowl is one of the most quintessentially American things possible. So it makes sense for Crown Royal to dedicate their Big Game ad to thanking… Canada. Starring legendary Foo Fighters and Nirvana musician Dave Grohl, the ad lists some of the things the world can thank Canada for.
From poutine to paint rollers, walkie-talkies to whoopee cushions, Grohl lists numerous famous Canadian exports that are now known the world over. Turns out, this includes American Football, too!
General Motors x Netflix
Car ads are always a mainstay of the NFL grand finale, and the 2023 Super Bowl was no exception. For this year’s edition, General Motors partnered with Netflix to create an ad all about their new electric vehicle offering.
Starring comedian Will Ferrell, the ad includes scenes based on many of Netflix’s most popular shows. These include Bridgerton, The Walking Dead, Squid Game and Stranger Things, with a cameo from Priah Ferguson who plays Erica Sinclair in the latter hit series.
In their 2023 Super Bowl ad – titled Jack’s New Angle – Doritos imagined a world where superstar musician Jack Harlow decided to give up rap for a different art form. The commercial sees the ‘First Class’ musician inspired to take up the triangle for his shows – a nod to Doritos’ signature shape, of course.
Harlow’s change of career is met with disdain from singer Missy Elliott, though we see ‘Triangle Fever’ sweep the globe and become the new viral sensation. Rounding off a trio of famous faces, the ad closes with Elton John winning the Triangle Player of the Year award, as Harlow consoles himself with a bag of crisps.
Playing off the massive success of Top Gun: Maverick, Bud Light chose actor Miles Teller and his wife Keleigh Sperry as stars for their Super Bowl ad this year. The pair are waiting on the phone stuck on hold with a customer service number when the Whiplash star grabs a couple of Bud Light cans from the fridge.
The actor then dances around his living room to the beat of the hold music, in a move reminiscent of one of Top Gun: Maverick’s most TikTok-friendly scenes. The pair then dance around, precariously waving their cans of Bud Light in the air, making the most of that most universal of experiences – being stuck in an infuriatingly long phone queue. Stars, they’re just like us!
There were so many amazing ads in this year’s Super Bowl broadcast – which were your top picks? Let us know below in the comments.