In the spirit of “Who actually watches the game?,” here is our ranking of all the Super Bowl commercials we have been able to track down so far, from best to worst.
Ground rules: Only ads being shown on the national CBS broadcast during the game are eligible. Certain spots, including several advocating a boycott of Tesla and a number of CBS promos for its own primetime series, were omitted from this ranking.
Commercials not available beforehand or with a live component — including spots from FanDuel, TurboTax, the Foundation to Combat Antisemitism and the controversial Chinese e-commerce company Temu — will be added after the game. (If Travis Kelce proposes to Taylor Swift in a surprise ad for The Knot, we will probably have our winner.)
The Best of the Bunch
These are the ones we’ll remember for at least a day or two.
Christopher Walken makes fun of people making fun of Christopher Walken, with a cameo performance by the Super Bowl halftime star Usher. As always, he walks the walk.
Aubrey Plaza flat-affects her way through life with the help of a carbonated citrus beverage. Plaza is reliably droll, and there’s a late “Parks and Recreation” homage.
Aliens come to earth and can’t get our attention until they figure out how to get on the internet. It is handsomely directed by Martin Scorsese (working with the “Barbie” cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto), though it’s not at all clear what’s being advertised.
A chocolate ball bops around the world to the tune of Perry Como’s “Round and Round.” Shiny, bouncy candy.
A man with low vision records his life in sharp photographs using a new feature of the Google Pixel. Touching story with a predictable but effective big finish.
A pair of lifelike babies play pickleball with a pair of obnoxious adults in need of schooling. One of the few ads whose humor has anything resembling a bite.
Vince Vaughn explains that Tom Brady, and only Tom Brady, is not allowed to use the sports betting service because he’s already won too much. Vaughn-to-Brady is a winning combination.
The Perfectly Fine
These get an A for effort and a B- for execution.
A Cardi B number combined with a sketch-comedy bit about men using Duck Plump lip gloss to plump something other than their lips. A little ragged but Cardi B is never not funny.
America realizes it needs to give France a gift in return for the Statue of Liberty, uses Etsy to send a giant cheese board. Sounds cute, and it is.
Dad of the year uses his Kia EV9 to light a pop-up ice rink so a young figure skater can perform for her ailing grandfather. (Or at least that’s what it looks like.) High-horsepower tear-jerker.
The Coors Light train roars across the country to salvage an awkward big-game party. Forward momentum and an amusing five-second L.L. Cool J cameo.
The American dream as lived by an immigrant named the Beetle, from 1949 to the present, set to “I Am … I Said.” Herbie goes to Ellis Island.
A pair of abuelas named Dina and Mita go into avenger mode when a young guy grabs the last bag of Dinamita chips. Comic action with a brief appearance by Jenna Ortega.
Everyday people contemplate the differences that the Copilot A.I. assistant could make in their lives. Evocative and (intentionally?) a little eerie.
STōK Cold Brew
Anthony Hopkins lampoons his own gravitas to sell cold brew coffee as well as promote the Wrexham soccer club. Sir Anthony is in good form but his 2016 spot for TurboTax was funnier.
Inoffensive but Forgettable
They tried. Nobody got hurt.
Zach Braff and Donald Faison of “Scrubs” join Jason Momoa for a “Flashdance”-inspired musical ode to cutting the cord. Lively, but is this something anyone still needs to be told?
A farm grows human couch potatoes who are irrigated with constant streams of their favorite programming. This elaborately staged comic-dystopian scenario is awfully close for comfort.
Randall Park pretends to be John Krasinski in a promo, inspired by a similar gag in “The Office,” for Krasinski’s imaginary-friend film “IF.” Park spars amusingly with Ryan Reynolds but yes, every movie trailer really is too long.
Candies joyfully dance before being popped into the mouth of the influencer Addison Rae. Nothing much to it, but watching a big gummy pirouette to “Flashdance … What a Feeling” — the second “Flashdance”-themed spot on this list — is just a little bit mesmerizing.
The Clydesdales come out of retirement to pull a wagon of beer through the snow. Artful nostalgia, though who thought “The Weight” was an appropriate anthem for beer delivery?
Young female athletes take pratfalls across a variety of sports in what turns out to be a public service announcement for body positivity. Engaging but not quite coherent.
Had some talent involved but the result sailed wide right.
Tina Fey’s former castmates from “30 Rock” play variations of her to demonstrate that you can be anyone you want on vacation. Funny people trapped in a moldy premise.
As the movie hero Agent State Farm, Arnold Schwarzenegger sends up his film persona and his actual accent. Schwarzenegger is charming but the joke runs thin faaaast.
The rapper Ice Spice, hanging out at the club with PepsiCo.’s Starry, is ambushed by her ex, a generic lemon-lime soda. It’s a blandly cute scenario with a twist of horror.
The fictitious outing of Michael Cera as the mastermind behind the similarly spelled cosmetics line continues in a sendup of dreamy, narcissistic designer-brand commercials. Could have used an exfoliator.
Lionel Messi kicks a soccer ball around a beach while waiting for his beer; Jason Sudeikis and Dan Marino are among the onlookers. Stylish shrug.
Ken Jeong is unfrozen into a present day full of miracles: fanny packs, drone delivery, Popeyes’ new chicken wings. Studiously neutral about the current state of the world.
Chris Pratt puts on a walrus mustache and goes viral as the Pringles guy. Cute but does not answer the question, “Chris Pratt?”
Kate McKinnon and a monosyllabic cat make mayonnaise fly off the shelves in a high-concept spot that has something to do with food waste. Would have been better, and $7 million cheaper, at 30 seconds.
Various celebrities forget things because of the brain space required to remember everything Uber Eats delivers; for example, Jennifer Aniston forgets David Schwimmer. Maybe they could have ordered a less labored premise?
The Flagrant Missteps
Famous people and millions of dollars that together can’t quite amount to mediocrity.
Another mock movie trailer, this one with Dan Marino, Terrell Owens and Bruce Smith receiving rings for having come close to winning the Super Bowl. Being as confusing as a blockbuster film isn’t the selling point they think it is.
Part “Westworld,” part “Star Wars”: a cybersecurity tech in a digital Old West town fights off alien invaders with her tablet. Least exciting showdown ever.
A magic bottle grants wishes, including palling around with Peyton Manning and Post Malone. From a beer with reduced calories, a world of diminished expectations.
Rick Hoffman and Gina Torres of “Suits” and Judy Sheindlin of “Judge Judy” in a courtroom scenario that parodies both shows. Objection: relevance.
The comedian Rob Riggle jogs in Miller Lite body paint for the brand’s “Running of the Beers” campaign. Doesn’t really go anywhere.
Being in the presence of a Kawasaki Ridge makes both people and animals grow mullets. Boring in the front, boring in the back.
Mr. T chastises Tony Romo, who will call the big game for CBS on Sunday night, for pointing out that there is no “t” in Skechers. Pity is called for.
A living room focus group reacts zanily to news about a new peanut butter candy. Hackneyed high jinks (which is probably the point, but still).
The Worst of the Bunch
It takes real effort to be this bad.
Flipping a coin is replaced by twisting an Oreo, in momentous decisions from the Trojan War to the creation of “The Kardashians.” Crème de la creaky.
Actors, athletes, animated figures, reality stars and the band Creed gather on a snowy mountain to do something that involves Patrick Stewart mildly embarrassing himself. Makes no good argument for the necessity of second-tier streaming services.
Fifteen seconds of slightly surreal, “artificial” sports action followed by 15 seconds of “real,” BodyArmor-approved sports action. I’ll have the artificial, please.
Toyota Tacomas tool around the desert while people in the passenger seat make bug eyes and hold the grab handle for dear life. Unlikely to grab you.
The comedian Eric André, ill on a plane, is tended to by an ice cream cone named Dr. Umstick. Apparently there wasn’t a writer on board.