By on February 6, 2016

Like those who only read certain magazines for the articles, the Super Bowl brings millions of people together in front of TV screens to, ostensibly, watch a football game. Many will watch the event strictly for the commercials, which have become a cultural phenomenon in their own right. Others will watch for the halftime show, hoping for glimpses of nipples and/or sharks.

Car manufacturers have taken advantage of the massive number of eyeballs focused on the screen, and target them with high-priced, cinematic advertising loaded with celebrities and inspirational messages.

Check them all out … after the jump!

ACURA
First alphabetically is Acura, who have teased audiences for several years with the coming-soon NSX. Van Halen cashed a check from American Honda for this one:

The longer director’s cut:

AUDI
Next is a moving father-son story from Audi, with audio from the recently-departed David Bowie:

… and the director’s cut:

BUICK
Buick unveils the new Cascada, spiritual successor to the Chrysler Sebring convertible, with football star Odell Beckham Jr. and model Emily Ratajkowski. We will add this video once it becomes available online.

HONDA
Honda plays some Queen through the Ridgeline’s new in-bed audio system for a bunch of sheep:

HYUNDAI
Hyundai has four advertisements this Sunday. First is this humorous look at a new Apple Watch remote starter:

Next brings Kevin Hart, another Queen song, and a look at Hyundai’s Orwellian suite of connectivity apps:

Hyundai’s third commercial of the evening is a feel-good story about the gearheads who design its cars:

Finally, a lesson about distracted driving, and how you will kill Ryan Reynolds if you aren’t driving a new Elantra:

KIA
Next is Kia, with a shot across Toyota’s beige bow, starring, Christopher, Walken:

MINI
Mini brings a phalanx of celebrities and others, with a #DefyLabels hashtag:

SUBARU (Puppy Bowl Bonus)
Naturally, Subaru has to be different. Rather than airing their new series of ads during the Super Bowl, they choose to support Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl with four dog-focused shorts:

So, which one was your favorite?

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51 Comments on “Super Bowl 50 Commercial Round-up...”


  • avatar
    RedRocket

    All pretty forgettable. The Kevin Hart one was mildly entertaining. I thought Christopher Walken was trying to sell me some ugly socks.

  • avatar

    Honda. Sheep. LOL.

    Liked the Audi one the best so far.

    Also, for all the money these companies spend on their TV spots, you’d think they’d be able to call them ‘SUPER BOWL’ commercials.

    • 0 avatar
      ClutchCarGo

      Clearly the Audi was the best story-telling, and did a fine job of adding luster to the Audi line. And how brilliant does the Bowie song use look in light of his passing, adding yet another layer of poignancy?

  • avatar
    thelaine

    The Ridgeline looks like a winner to me. I’ll bet it sells well.
    I would strangle my grandmother for the R8.
    I love Serena Williams. And by that, I mean lust.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    -I wish I had a Walken closet, even if it’s occupant shilled KIA to me every time I used it.
    -Honda put a neat feature on their notatruck. In an MY or two, the real trucks will offer something like it too.
    -Harvey, nice to see you. I call it: a poor choice.
    -Subaru did a nice job with the dogs, for a number of reasons.

    The Audi R8 commercial was a winner for it’s product but Subaru has the better overall marketing strategy with those dogs.

  • avatar
    Big Al From 'Murica

    Well I clicked on the Audi ad fully expecting to be greeted with Space Oddity, which given my experience with the electronics in VAG products seemed a better fit. In the R8 I’d probably live with it though.

  • avatar
    ijbrekke

    Ha, I immediately recognized the voice of the lead sheep in the Honda commercial. That’s my friend Fletcher, he’s a studio singer in LA. Awesome talent.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    The Ridgeline should be sold in New Zealand, since the Kiwi’s are the most notorious and aggresive sheep admirer’s in the world.

    Apparently all Kiwi men have Velcro gloves for some reason.

    The David Bowie “tribute” is a good move by Audi.

  • avatar
    April S

    No thanks. I think I will wait until the foot ball sports game show.

  • avatar
    Syke

    The Audi commercial kicks ass. The Acura one misses. Again.

    • 0 avatar
      sproc

      So this. I detest the Subaru commercials, but respect that they’ll resonate amongst a demographic I’m so far removed from. What the hell is Acura thinking? An American who gets aroused by “Runnin’ With the Devil” and liquid metal imagery is probably buying a Z06 for 95% of the performance and half the price. The hyper-rich will go elsewhere. If this is their idea of automotive excitement, they should just stop trying and concentrate on mindlessly pumping out the RDX and MDX.

  • avatar
    415s30

    I did all the graphics for the Super Bowl here in SF. Everything is Hyundai for sponsorship, Bridgestone also has a booth set up at the Super Bowl Experience and has tires on display… because that has so much to do with football…

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Where are the Ford ones, to go with these spy shots I just got?!

    http://pasteboard.co/1mnyf2fl.jpg
    http://pasteboard.co/1mnx1y2D.jpg
    http://pasteboard.co/1mnu5VXa.jpg

  • avatar
    Sjalabais

    Wait, all Asian, except for Audi and Mini? Counting Buick as Chinese here…where are the true Super Bowlers, American brands?

  • avatar
    rpn453

    Interesting game tomorrow. Let’s see if old-man Manning can keep up with the young phenom Newton. Both are impressive to watch, and have excellent and entertaining teams backing them up. I see Carolina winning the first half and Denver the second, but I’m not going to try to guess who takes it. I think Newton deserves a Super Bowl win for his performance this year, but I’d also like to see Manning get one more before retirement.

    As usual, we’ll start it about two hours late so we can skip the commercials and most of the half-time show, along with the sideline reports about how each team needs to score more points and play better defense going in the second half. I don’t think we get most of the big-budget commercials in Canada anyway.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    1. Hyundai First Date – a relevant them in my family.

    2. Audi R8 – touching, sells the car, but few will buy it.

    3. Hyundai / Ryan Reynolds – who needs Volvo or Subaru’s safety systems?

    4. Honda Ridgeline – truck bed audio – nice feature, but more $$ than a boom box.

    6. Subaru hair salon – words aren’t necessary.

  • avatar
    rpn453

    Alright, I watched the first few and found them annoying so I skipped to the Subaru ones because I enjoy looking at labs and retrievers. I like the puppy one. The navigation one’s alright too.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      rpn453 – I liked the Subaru one’s for the same reason. I’m a sucker for labs and golden’s. The first one really resonated with me since I used to do that very same thing with my colicky 1st son. He loved being in the vehicle. I burned a lot of fuel with that kid. The funny thing is that now he is 14 years old he is a “car guy” and my other son could care less about them.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        So Subaru has a reputation as a vehicle for those who love their dogs. I am used to seeing Subarus (quite popular in the Northern half of New Mexico) with stickers like “I love my Lab” or “I love my Corgi” etc. Today I saw something different an Outback with a sticker that said “I LOVE MY REZDOG”. For the uninitiated a “Rez Dog” is one of the mixed mutts from the many American Indian Reservations in New Mexico. The dogs breed like wild and mix their DNA up the way that mother nature intended. These dogs are generally tough and have none of the inherited conditions of purebred dogs. While a purebred will cost you $100s of dollars or more a Rez Dog can be picked up at your local shelter for whatever the adoption fees are in your area.

        To that Subaru owner I say: RIGHT ON.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    I must be getting soft … I enjoyed all of them :).

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    In the Mini ad, who’s the butch blond woman(?) who appears right after that black woman(?) with the big pipes?

    • 0 avatar
      Chris Tonn

      The first woman in the Mini ad is Serena Williams, the tennis champion. The second is Abby Wambach, from the women’s World Cup soccer (football) team.

      • 0 avatar
        brettc

        The little redheaded girl and the guy with the British accent are a dad and his daughter that are acquaintances of ours. They moved to Georgia a couple years ago (I bought his snowblower off him when they moved).

        Pretty amazing that they’re in a Superbowl ad with a bunch of celebrities.

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        Thanks, Chris. Not a lot of zaftig goin’ on with either of ’em but they’d make great bodyguards.

  • avatar
    Shawnski

    The Honda Ridgeline piece is deceptive; to my knowledge you cannot drive the car and play the pick-up bed exciter speakers. Sorry Sheeple.

  • avatar
    PriusV16

    The Honda Ridgeline one and the Subaru ones were amusing and well made.

    The Audi R8 ad was unbearably pretentious. Let’s just hope they didn’t employ rogue engineers on their super duper great super duper car as well. (And let’s also hope that the R8 has gotten rid of its previous tendency to sometimes spontaneously self-combust, a not so pleasant trait it shares with its Lamborghini brethren.)

    The rest of the ads, meh.

  • avatar
    LeeK

    What? No mention of the Toyota Prius ad with Ziggy, Frank, and Nick Sobotka as the bank robbers? With Jack constantly wishing he is the reincarnated Avon Barksdale, I am surprised at he was not all over this.

  • avatar
    Matt Foley

    Audi R8 was my favorite by far, because it reminds us that driving is really, really fun. That’s a message that’s easy to lose these days, with the current push to put us all in self-driven electric Google pods.

    The NSX commercial backfired. All it did was remind me of how great the original NSX and Van Halen were compared to the new NSX and Van Halen.

    Heinz wiener dogs > Doritos dogs > Subaru dogs.

  • avatar
    cackalacka

    Black Pistol Fire absolutely crushed it on that Prius commercial. Those driving beats nearly make that crap-box desirable.

  • avatar
    IronEagle

    I am crying over here people. The Subaru commercial with the cat valet had me laughing out loud. I was expecting the effeminate man saying “itsss a sssubaru”. NTTAWWT.

  • avatar
    VenomV12

    Audi, Toyota and Hyundai had the best car commercials.

  • avatar
    z9

    The thing I liked about the Audi ad was that the commercial is shot in such a way that toward the end when the car accelerates, you really feel it accelerated. I assume it is a hard thing to get right, getting the perfect distance away from the car and the perfect angle so that it really looks as if the car takes off like a rocket (which, yeah, is the whole point, I get it). They probably shot it where the car was actually going 10MPH and it speeds up to 40. Or maybe it’s all CGI.


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