Super Bowl LVIII Reaction – Commercials and Trailers

Well, the latest season of NFL football is over. It has been quite the spectacle and veered closer into the Pop Culture atmosphere than it has in recent years. With the Kansas City Chiefs defeating the San Francisco 49ers 25-22 in overtime, there is no way you can say this season was not filled with drama.

Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift. PHOTO: EZRA SHAW/GETTY

Much of the added attention had to do with the intersection of music and sports with the very public romantic relationship between Kansas City Chiefs tight-end Travis Kelce and mega pop star Taylor Swift. Swift’s presence anywhere generates buzz, and this season, her travels to support her boyfriend and the camera time that she received on NFL broadcasts were the cause of a buzz that rivaled the rumble of a 747 on takeoff. A lot of the noise was generated by those same folks who were upset that a quarterback had an opinion and kneeled to protesting police brutality. For many of us, the apoplectic reaction to a woman attending a football game to support her romantic partner was gloriously rewarding karma.

The Super Bowl is the ultimate showcase for new advertisements and film trailer releases, and this year despite prices around seven million dollars for thirty second ads, plenty of companies and organizations plunked down their cash to try to ride the Taylor wave of football viewership. Let’s breakdown what we saw.

PSAs – Hit or Miss

There were a bunch of spots during the game that were not trying to sell anything at all. Some Public Service Announcements were well done, and some were head scratching to say the least. On the positive side, there was a body positivity ad sponsored by Dove and a couple of anti-bullying promos staring NFL players as well as a PSA calling attention to homelessness and another calling for people to stand up to hate.

On the more icky side of promos were the “Washing Feet” commercial which is sponsored by the He Gets Us people, and the Mark Wahlberg starring ad for the Catholic app Hallow. In both of these cases, the organizations behind the ads have long been against inclusivity and acceptance of marginalized groups which make the messages in the ads ring hollow.

The most egregious and offensive promo of the night was the ad that was sponsored by a super PAC supporting the candidacy for independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Right in the middle of the biggest event of television watching of the year, millions were subjected to images of RFK Jr. reusing the jingle and similar visuals to a spot that called back to his uncle, the late John F. Kennedy Jr. Our reaction was visceral and immediately negative. Most reaction that we have seen on the internet is the same, and Kennedy himself issued an apology to his family if the spot “caused anyone in my family pain.”

The Ads

For the most part, the corporate ads this year were tame. It seemed clear that there was not an appetite for antagonizing the left or right wing political extremes in this year’s slate of promos. Most of them were average to boring. A few companies went all in with multiple spots and in those cases, most, specifically Temu and Homes.com, the commercials were not striking or memorable. Celebrity appearances were definitely the theme of the day. Some of the most interesting and memorably good commercials included:

  • Pfizer commercial celebrating science
  • Paramount Plus ad featuring Patrick Stewart throwing a cartoon character.
  • A BMW commercial with folks immitating Christopher Walken to his face.
  • Michelob Ultra ad including Leo Messi, Jason Sudekis, and Dan Marino
  • Dunkin’s spot which flipped the script on last year’s commercial starring Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez, Matt Damon, Tom Brady, and others.
  • A T-Mobile commercial with a plethora of celebs including: Laura Dern, The guys from Suits, the guys from Scrubs, Bradley Cooper, Common, and more.

There were a bunch more that were cute or funny, these are just some of the most memorable.

Trailers

The Super Bowl is the time studios take to roll out the big movie and TV trailers coming this year. While the quantity of big trailers feels down this year compared to others, there were some interesting ones. A theme that ran through them was that instead of blowing $21 million on a minute and a half trailer, a few ponied up the dough for a thirty-second spot and directed viewers to go watch the full trailer online. While the fiscal responsibility is understandable, it makes the viewing experience significantly different. Deadpool III and Wicked were the biggest hits in our estimation.

Here is a rundown and links to what is coming:

The Quiet Place Day One – in theaters July 28


Deadpool and Wolverine – in theaters July 26


Wicked – arriving Thanksgiving


Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes – in theaters May 10


Twisters – in theaters in July


Despicable Me 4


If – in theaters on May 17


Monkey Man – in theaters April 5

Which ones are you most interested in? Let us know in the comments or on our social media posts for this article.

 

Thoughts?