Super Bowls come and Super Bowls go. But even non-football fans pay attention to the Big Game because of the commercials. This is the time of year when advertisers unleash the most creative and the most innovative ads, as well as the concepts that are just way out there. Not every commercial is going to land, but those that do join the pantheon of the all-time great TV advertisements. For this year’s game, these are our picks for the best Super Bowl 2021 commercials.
A certain problematic Hollywood star is absent from this unofficial follow up to Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands. But Winona Ryder is back as Kim Boggs, the mother of Edward’s son, Edgar Scissorhands (Timothée Chalamet). Like his father, Edgar has some problems fitting in. But the all-electric Cadillac Lyriq lifts Edgar’s spirits with its hands-free control.
Michael B. Jordan is a fan-favorite actor, but what if he was also the voice and body of Amazon’s Alexa? For one husband, the Jordan-Alexa is his worst nightmare. But for the wife, Jordan-Alexa is everything she’s ever wanted in a man. It’s kind of hard to compete against that!
M&Ms ads are a constant presence during Super Bowls. But this one stands out with some very timely humor, including “mansplaining” and an exploding gender reveal party. Dan Levy also pledges to eat fewer anthropomorphic M&M’S. But thanks to Dan’s taste for sweets, he’s a real killer.
The McConaissance hits a strange new dimension in Doritos 3D’s “Flat Matthew” ad. Poor Matthew McConaughey just isn’t the three-dimensional fellow that he used to be, and he’s getting mercilessly teased about it. On the plus side, being flat makes it really easy for Matthew to segue into a new life as a superhuman thief…if he can lay off the Doritos.
This Tide ad is a callback to Seinfeld, particularly the episode where Jason Alexander’s George Costanza used the theme from The Greatest American Hero as his answering machine music. In the new context, the familiar theme song plays while a hoodie with Alexander’s face goes through some pretty severe use. It really needs a good wash, and the actor has a very “George” moment when he sees the hoodie with his face.
Everybody Loves Raymond veteran Brad Garrett channels his inner Tony Soprano as Tony Bolognavich, the “King of Cold Cuts.” He’s, shall we say, “connected” in the criminal underworld. And when Jimmy John’s moves in on the King’s territory, he’s going to declare a “sandwich war.” Unfortunately, Tony B. doesn’t exactly have the undying loyalty of his sandwich-loving men.
Mike Myers and Dana Carvey are once again playing their classic Saturday Night Live characters, Wayne and Garth, in an Uber Eats special edition of Wayne’s World. Wayne and Garth aren’t against a little subliminal inspiration to get people to eat locally. A cameo from Cardi B. is admittedly shameless. But at least we get to see her dress up as both Garth and Wayne.
Any ad that can pull off a callback to Deep Blue Sea is alright with us. In this commercial, a digital Samuel L. Jackson drops into a very Fortnite-like video game world to berate gamers who blame their losses on a slow connection. Verizon’s 5G network supposedly eliminates that complaint. But at least one player doesn’t take kindly to Jackson’s speech.
The training montage was a frequently used device in ’80s sports films. In E*Trades’s modern update, a kid is inspired by his favorite athlete, who just happens to be a woman, and he decides to turn his life around with a renewed commitment to fitness. While that dream may be out of reach, at least he can count on E*Trade’s to help him reach financial health. Although, he may want to stay away from Gamestop stocks at the moment.
To close out this year’s favorite Super Bowl ads, Tracy Morgan shows a family why the certainty of Rocket Mortgage is better than “pretty sure,” with some really wild examples. He also manages to get the husband into a match with former wrestler Dave Bautista.
If you want to revisit the Big Game ads from previous years, check out the best Super Bowl commercials of all time!
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