Alright, let’s get one thing straight.
The game is fun and all, but what we’re really watching for is the ads.
The usual big players are out in force this year, but not without leaving room for new contenders to enter the field. Expect comedy, cars, creative daring, corporate social awareness appeals and, of course, a whole lot of celebrities.
So without further ado: here’s The Moon Unit’s list of ads to look out for this weekend.
Better get the popcorn ready.
Michelob ULTRA - Robots
The light beer brand is back at Super Bowl LIII with a 30-second spot to look out for. Their offering follows a cast of sporty robots outperforming various bewildered looking athletes during their workouts.
The scenario flips as a robot, looking as distraught as a robot can, watches forlornly as a group of people enjoy a Michelob inside a pub while the text “It’s only worth it if you can enjoy it” appears on-screen. Let that be a warning to all you fitness freaks (and robots) out there.
Colgate - Close Talker
Colgate is quick to the race this year, dropping the first full spot on the roster. Luke Wilson, in his Super Bowl debut, plays the kind of co-worker you’d hate to have – a close-talker.
It’s hilarious, literally in your face and slightly reminiscent of FedEx’s famous Super Bowl ad “Fast Talking Man” in all the best ways.
Kia - The Great Unknowns
This year the South Korean car manufacturers are turning over a new leaf, leaving the fool-proof celebrity endorsement approach behind in favour of social awareness.
Kia are launching what they call “The Great Unknowns Scholarship,” using their bought ad time to promote a program aimed at helping “young people in need get a foothold in higher education.” The full ad should be one to look out for where details are concerned.
The effort is likely aimed at connecting the brand to common people rather than A-listers – which, given the fact they’re not Maserati, is probably a move in the right direction.
Devour - Food Porn
The Kraft-Heinz frozen food sub-brand is heating things up with a side-splitting spot that’s already proved too racy for uncensored broadcast at the game.
The ad riffs on the social media trend of ‘food porn,’ introducing the woes of a woman whose boyfriend has become addicted to frozen food porn in a worryingly carnal way. It’s a brilliant ode to the damaging nature of a real porn addiction, while at the same time making Devour’s food look irresistible enough to turn America’s male population into ‘3-minute-men’.
Unfortunately, the commercial will be censored and cut down to a 30-second spot during the game – but we’ve linked the uncensored version for you to enjoy. Responsibly.
Bumble - In Her Court
For those not in the know, Bumble is a dating and social app with a twist – in heterosexual match-ups, only the woman can initiate the conversation. That’s exactly the point they’re highlighting in their Super Bowl spot “The Ball is in Her Court,” starring (wait for it) Serena Williams.
So far there’s only a small teaser of what’s to come, but there are rumours of a fleshed out campaign developed and produced primarily by women. Look out for the full spot in the first half of the game on Feb 3rd.
Budweiser - Wind Never Felt Better
It just wouldn’t be the Super Bowl without a Bud spot, would it?
Thankfully, the brewers are back with their signature Clydesdales, a Bob Dylan backing track and a timely ecologically conscious approach. It’s a beautiful looking spot that hits all the right emotional switches, and could well prove to be a classic in their advertising portfolio.
The spot, titled “Wind Never Felt Better,” is aimed at showcasing the fact that Budweiser is brewed using “100% Renewable Electricity” – a claim that’s at least functionally true, with around 50% of the company’s 12 breweries electricity usage coming from renewables, thus allowing the brewer to say that their second largest sub-brand is all renewable.
Semantics aside, Budweiser is tapping into the zeitgeist in a hugely positive way, a move that’s sure to influence other brands to follow alongside.
Expensify - Expensify This
Software company Expensify is making their Super Bowl debut a bang, enlisting rapper 2 Chainz and ‘Parks and Recreation’ star Adam Scott in a catchy and over-the-top music video. And it’s not even the actual game day ad.
The video prompts viewers to pause it and scan ‘receipts’ for a chance to win ridiculous prizes such as an ice-sculptured sports car or a diamond-encrusted football. There’s a whole lot of hype building around what might be one of the Super Bowl’s first interactive ads ever. Even if it isn’t, it’s a genius bit of marketing.
Leave a comment below if you think we've missed anything - or for further time-wasting, check out our favorite Super Bowl spots of all time