There are two types of people at Super Bowl parties; those that are there to actually watch the game and those who just want to eat the food and watch the halftime show and commercials. I’m in the former camp, as a die-hard football fan, which means I’m naturally antagonistic toward the latter. I usually couldn’t care less about Super Bowl commercials unless they’re trailers to some upcoming nerd movie. However, I do pay attention to the car commercials because it’s usually interesting to see how brands market their upcoming cars on advertising’s biggest stage.
During this year’s Super Bowl, there were a few interesting car commercials, though I do have to say the overall quality of them was rather yawn-inducing. Though, there were some good ones, so let’s check ’em out anyway to see which were the top five.
5: Polestar — “No Compromises”
This one deserves a spot simply for existing. While the commercial itself was simple by design; just some text over some b-roll of a Polestar 2, it was cool to see a Polestar commercial during the Super Bowl. Polestar is well-known among car enthusiasts but, outside of that, the Swedish EV brand might as well be Martian because so few customers have ever heard of it. So giving it the biggest possible stage for advertising in America was pretty cool to see.
4: BMW — “Zues & Hera”
We saw this one earlier in the week and it was entertaining because Arnold Schwarzenegger looks funny dressed up as Zues and I don’t think anyone tires of seeing Salma Hayek for any reason, ever, at all but it wasn’t as entertaining as its star power suggested it would be. Though, it was interesting to see the BMW iX on such a massive stage, giving it the exposure it deserves.
3: GM — “Dr. EV-il”
Between the commercials and the fantastic halftime show, this year’s Super Bowl seemed to have been catered to millennials and, as one myself, I was very much enjoying it. While an Austin Powers-themed commercial might go over the heads of younger generations, I very much enjoyed it. Admittedly, I’m an unapologetic lover of Austin Powers, so this made me very happy. Though, it was admittedly a bit silly and seemed to be trying too hard but it was nice to see the old gang back together again.
2. KIA — “Robo Dog”
There’s an old saying that you can’t go wrong with either dogs or babies in a Super Bowl commercial. KIA decided to use the former to promote its new EV6 electric car but did so with a twist. Instead of an ordinary dog, it was a robot dog and, despite being a robot, was still adorable and still made you feel for it. Especially when it jumps off the roof of a building and seems to meet its end. Until it gets charged up by the car and becomes the driver’s sidekick. It didn’t have star power but it had a cool robo-dog who was a very good boy.
1: Nissan — “Thrill Driver”
Eugene Levy with long, flowing hair, driving a rear-wheel drive sports car during the Super Bowl. Do I need to say more? This commercial was over-the-top, ridiculous fun in the way Super Bowl commercials should be. Eugene Levy is a delight every time he appears on screen, so seeing him with long, Fabio hair pulling Michael Bay-style stunts in the new Nissan 400Z was great. Though, he wasn’t the only star power in the funny Nissan ad, as it also featured Danai Gurira, Dave Bautista, and Brie Larson, all three of whom are ironically in the Marvel Universe. Not only was it packed with great star power but it was funny, featured some cool driving, and even came in a few different parts. If Nissan made “Thrill Driver” a sort of comedic short film series, a la BMW Films, I would be very much there for it.