The 52nd Super Bowl featured a wide array of commercials, including the first teaser for Solo: A Star Wars Story, the trailer for season 2 of Westworld, a new Avengers: Infinity War TV spot, and the trailer announcement of a surprise release for the third Cloverfield film. You can find and watch the full list of Super Bowl movie trailers here.
Setting aside movies, television, and the first footage of Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian, there were also a number of commercials that told great stories, had surprising cameos, and featured hilarious characters. We compiled a list of our favorite Super Bowl advertisements that made us laugh, made us think, and made us forget – even for a second – that they were trying to sell us a car or detergent or Mountain Dew. Here are the Best Superbowl Commercials of 2018:
Honorable Mention: Netflix
The biggest surprise of the night was the trailer for long-awaited The Cloverfield Paradox – with one spot during the game and one afterwards, Netflix announced that the film would be made available for streaming that night directly after the Super Bowl. Fans were aware of the film because of its mysterious viral marketing campaign, but its title, release date, and other key information was up in the air. The project purposefully had no trailers beyond its single Super Bowl spot. To be fair, that single spot is easily worth more than the marketing budgets of many small-budget films, but it’s a risky move to invest so much in a single event. If The Cloverfield Paradox is a success, it could greatly change both the way films are advertised and distributed.
While The Cloverfield Paradox is a film, the commercial gets an honorable mention because it also promotes the Netflix brand and streaming service.
7. Black Panther Teams Up With Lexus in “Long Live the King”
Black Panther comes out in theaters next week, but fans can see a little bit of the action early in Lexus’s Super Bowl commercial. While the car is the focus of the commercial, it’s not unlike the Black Panther trailer that came out this week. It seems that footage from the film has been interwoven with shots of the car to create a simple narrative that strongly mimics the tone of the film. Additionally, the commercial features the song “Legend Has It” by Run the Jewels, which fits in with the rest of Black Panther‘s amazing soundtrack. The Black Panther and Lexus partnership make for an action-packed thirty seconds.
6. Olympian Lindsey Vonn Is Unstoppable
NBC ran a number of advertisements that promoted the upcoming Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. One of these ads focused on Lindsey Vonn overcoming injury and adversity to become a gold medal award-winning skier. The ad weaves together old home videos of her childhood, footage of her being helicoptered off a mountain after an accident, and a hardcore training montage – all while Alicia Keys belts “This Girl is On Fire”. The minute-long spot focused on Vonn’s courage to return to the top of the mountain after being knocked down, illustrating the strength and perseverance of Olympic athletes. Vonn’s commercial was inspiring, celebratory, and easily the most emotional advertisement of the night.
5. Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. Recreate ‘Dirty Dancing’ To Promote the NFL
Perhaps surprisingly, one of the best Super Bowl commercials was for… the NFL? The National Football League took time on their biggest night of the year to celebrate their players and fans by showing Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. preparing for next year. While the commercial begins by making it look like Manning and Beckham are going to be practicing passing and receiving, it soon becomes clear that they are actually rehearsing a musical number. As “Time of My Life” plays, they begin doing Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze’s final dance from Dirty Dancing. Some of their NY Giants teammates join in as backup dancers.
The NFL usually discourages touchdown celebrations in the form of dancing, but they would probably make an exception for Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr.’s incredible performance. The commercial was the right amount of silly and sweet, and Manning and Beckham pulled off the jump.
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