Most years, my husband and I have invited all our friends over for a Super Bowl party — or what’s really an excuse to eat a bunch of junk food and hang out together. This year our plans for a big party fizzled, though, and instead we had just one family over.

And it was delightful.

We had plenty of time to visit and really enjoy each other’s company; no shouting over the TV or other conversations to simply ask, “How are you?” was required. Our kids played so well together, and – most importantly – we all agreed that the most important part of the evening was watching the commercials.

Overall, I didn’t find the commercials to be that impressive, but I enjoyed several of them. My favorites in the moment were the T-Mobile texting commercials. I laughed out loud every single time one aired. And my husband and the husband of the couple who came over were – there’s no better way to put it – delighted by the NFL 100 commercial. I’m not saying they giggled as they shouted out the name of every single old football player they recognized. But pretty much.

I’m happy to say I wasn’t offended or highly annoyed by any ad this year (minus a repeated, though thankfully brief, spot for a local news story about something to do with sex – I know it had to do with sex because it featured a naked couple in bed, THANK YOU VERY MUCH NEWS STATION). Dare we hope that we’re past the days of GoDaddy and its kind selling with sex during the big game?

I doubt it, but it was nice to have a break this year.

Now, I will say I noticed a whole lot of commercials “starring” celebrities or giving them cameos — and they were almost all terrible. I get it. They need a paycheck. Cool, cool, cool. But that does not mean I wasn’t giving some major side-eye to Steve Carell, Adam Scott, Sarah Jessica Parker, Harrison Ford, and Charlie Sheen. (I’m kidding. Charlie Sheen, this is the least questionable thing I’ve seen you do in many years. Carry on.)

But, back to the good ones!

I’m going to break these up into some categories, because other than my top two or three favorites, it would be hard to pick a top 5 or 10. So instead I’m going to give you 17 noteworthy commercials from this year’s Superbowl. Enjoy! (And don’t forget to comment and tell us YOUR favorites!)

The Ones That Made Me Laugh Out Loud

T-Mobile really won the night for me, at least when it comes to humor. These commercials showed the company GETS IT and cracked me up with the texting struggles we can all relate to.

The Ones That Made Me Cry

All right, all right. I know it doesn’t take much to make me cry. But these spots were honestly touching. Verizon featured a coach meeting the first responders who saved his life. I immediately imagined how overwhelmed I would be to see the nurse and doctor who saved my life again – and, yes, I immediately cried. Microsoft promoted its adaptive controller by showing several special needs kids playing video games. It was meant to be a tearjerker, and I know that, and it worked.

The Ones with a Message

Last year’s Superbowl ads were heavy with the messages. And while I liked what they had to say, it was a bit of a relief to watch a lighter batch of commercials this year. Of course, that also might have made the few commercials with messages stand out more. I don’t know. I just know that I liked what these spots said.

I don’t use Bumble, but I did like the Serena commercial. Same for Toyota and Toni Harris. The Washington Post reminded us of the importance of journalism, and I agree wholeheartedly. And even if the Budweiser Clysedales are a given – and a given tug on the heartstrings for one reason or another, I didn’t mind this announcement that they’re brewing beer with wind energy.

The Ones That Made Me Want to Go to the Movies

I was already excited for Captain Marvel and the next Avengers movie. Now I’m even more so.

The Ones I Just Really Liked

Hyundai’s elevator commercial with Jason Bateman was clever. And I like Jason Bateman (though not his haircut in this ad, but I’ll let it pass). The Mercedes-Benz ad, “Say the Word,” made me chuckle – and wish for that guy’s superpowers, if not his fancy car. As a stickler for spelling, punctuation, and even pronunciation, I did enjoy the Bubly commercial with Michael Buble. As I mentioned, my husband loved the NFL 100 commercial. And in the category of “Most Relatable for Parents” is Pampers and its Stinky Booty Song commercial with John Legend, Adam Levine, and Chrissy Teigen. Because who among us parents hasn’t made up a ridiculous song for their baby?!

Which commercials did you like best (or least?!)?

What should you watch next?


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