As a die-hard NFL fan, I personally cannot stand when people say “I only watch the Super Bowl for the commercials“. If you only watch the Super Bowl for the commercials, you and I can’t be friends. However, during this year’s Super Bowl LIII, I was one of those people and it was excruciating. The actual game itself was awful, as the score was 3-3 until just over seven minutes in the fourth quarter. I’ve watched paint dry that was more interesting than watching Tom Brady throw three-yard outs a million times and Todd Gurley just standing on the sideline. But I digress. This year, the SB commercials were the saving grace of the night and there were some pretty good car commercials in there. Here are the five best.
5: Jeep: Gladiator is Back
Jeep is always good for at least one smile-inducing Super Bowl commercial every year. This year, the iconic American brand had two; one which featured an emotional rendition of the Star Spangled Banner and this one, which showed off the new Jeep Gladiator. While the former was the more touching and inspiring, as it reminds us of what makes America special, the latter was more entertaining and it introduced a new car. It shows the original Jeep Gladiator getting put in a car crusher but before it can be completely crushed, it fights back, grows into the new Gladiator and breaks the crusher. It’s a cool commercial that reintroduces a classic. Also, it has the coolest car name in the business: Gladiator.
4: Hyundai: The Elevator
This commercial is more about Hyundai’s Shopper Assurance online buying program than an actual car, which is sort of boring. But it features Jason Bateman and his deadpan delivery is as hilarious as ever. It features a couple getting into an elevator with Bateman as the elevator operator. He asks where they’re going, they say “car shopping”. So he takes them to their “floor”, only after passing the floors featuring “Jury Duty”, the “Middle Seat” of an airplane and a “Vegan Dinner Party” featuring something called “Beetloaf. For each floor, Bateman has some great quips and it’s genuinely funny.
3: Toyota: Toni
We’ve come to expect touching Super Bowl commercials from Toyota now. A few years in a row, the famous Japanese brand had put out some really good commercials, wtih good messages. This new one for the new Hybrid RAV4 features Antoinette “Toni” Harris, who’s the first female non-kicker football player on a college roster. Harris, who plays free safety for Bethany College, drives the new Rav4 in this commercial and it’s all about breaking norms and expectations. It’s a good commercial with a good message and the new RAV4 looks surprisingly good. It’s not pretty but it’s far more interesting than the bland, beige transportation appliances that RAV4s have been in the past.
2: Toyota Supra: Wizard
While BMW didn’t have a Super Bowl commercial of its own, there was one for the Toyota Supra and that’s sort of a BMW commercial. It shows off the new Supra for the first time in ages on a world stage and that in itself is exciting. But it also shows the Supra driving quickly on a sort of pinball-machine stage, with The Who’s “Pinball Wizard” playing in the background. It’s fun, it’s entertaining and it features the Toyota Supra for cryin’ out loud.
1: Audi e-tron GT: Cashew
It’s surprising BMW didn’t have a commercial in this year’s Super Bowl because both of its main competitors did. Both Mercedes-Benz and Audi had TV spots during America’s biggest game and the latter of which had the best of the bunch. Its commercial, titled “Cashew” shows off a man walking through a field Gladiator-style before seeing a house in the middle of nowhere. As he approaches, he sees his seemingly deceased grandfather on the porch. As they recognize each other and embrace in a hug, the grandfather tells the man he has something to show him.
The grandfather leads him into a barn, where he uncovers an Audi e-tron GT. Excited, the man gets inside and starts it up, ready to drive. Until he gets pulled back unusually and the dramatic music stops. The surprise is pretty funny and clever. But the reason why this is the best commercial of the bunch is because it shows off a genuine electric sports car that looks great and will actually be released this year. It also says that a third of Audi’s products will be electrified by 2025. So it not only shows off an awesome car with some humor but it makes a statement about the brand.