UPDATED: Even before the kickoff of Super Bowl XLIX, advertisers already started revealing their commercials for Game Day, in whole or as teasers. We've gathered the most notable examples of Big Game advertising here. Click through our gallery of commercials; you can advance by hitting the NEXT button in the upper right.
Then, come back after the game to join in our poll at the end of this gallery, to vote for which you think scores as this year's best (and worst) Super Bowl commercials.
And here they are ....
Toyota Camry: "How Great I Am"
The words are Muhammad Ali's. The action is from Amy Purdy, who lost both legs below the knee to bacterial meningitis when she was 19. Since then, she's snowboarded to a bronze medal at the Paralympics, was a contestant on "Dancing with the Stars," and authored a memoir. She also cofounded Adaptive Action Sports. Now watch her do her thing, exceptionally -- then go buy a Camry. [Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi LA]
Toyota: "My Bold Dad"
The only criticism of this elegantly written ad is its title: Told from the POV of a father who explains the importance of being a father, setting examples, making choices -- to get hurt rather than hurt -- and being there when needed, such as when you bring your now-grownup girl to the airport to fly far away from home. So how about "Being a Bold Dad"? Kleenex all around. [Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi LA]
Lexus NX: "Make Some Noise"
Stunning photography, editing and sound make for a snazzy, percussive spot that sells not goofy jokes or B-list celebrities, but a car. Directed by Dave Meyers, who was behind music videos by such artists as Katy Perry and Rhianna. [Agency: Walton Isaacson (making their Super Bowl debut)]
Mercedes Benz: "Fable"
The 2016 Mercedes-AMG GT S, the automaker's all-new high performance sports car, is spotlighted in this take-off of Aesop's Fable, about a race between a swift hare and a very slow but wise tortoise, with a Mercedes interceding. It was directed by Robert Stromberg, a three-time Oscar-winner for visual effects ("Master and Commander: The Fare Side of the World," "Avatar" and "Alice in Wonderland"). [Agency: Merkley & Partners]
BMW i3 Electric Car: "Newfangled Idea"
Twenty-one years ago, "Today" hosts Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric were kind of clueless about this newfangled thing called the Internet (and that weird "@" thing in an address). Today, puttering around in BMW's new electric car, the i3, they gamely remind us that - as when the horseless carriage replaced horses - new ideas sometimes take time to take hold. Points for being good sports in front of 112 million viewers. [Agency: KBS+ (Kirshenbaum, Bond, Senecal + Partners)]
Jeep Renegade: "Beautiful Land"
Sure, we've seen commercials featuring beautiful vistas while a singer croons "This Land Is Your Land" before (cough North Face Super Bowl 2014 cough). But then we're introduced to scenes far from America's purple mountains majesty, and this Jeep commercial takes on a slightly less sentimental air than feared.
Kia Sorento SUV: "The Perfect Getaway"
Pierce Brosnan's agent describes the new action-adventure role for the former James Bond. Well, not quite. The fun ad has its cake and eats it, too, satirizing the bluster that is the mark of many a Super Bowl commercial. Directed with a wink by Matthijs Van Heijningen, with composer David Winer humorously channeling Hans Zimmer. [Agency: David & Goliath]
Nissan: "With Dad"
An ode to fatherhood, in this case to fathers who are away from home way too often. Set to Harry Chapin's "Cat's in the Cradle," the well-edited commercial shows a race car driver whose career takes him to far-flung race tracks, with his son only able to experience him through his exploits on TV.
Fortunately, the commercial's makers are aware of the irony of Chapin's song (which ends on the depressing realization that an absent father's son has grown up to be as distant and lost with his own boy as his own father had been with him) and so they end it early enough for the father to bond with his teenager, as they ride off in a Nissan. Is rewriting a classic song permissible?
The first Dodge car was introduced 100 years ago. And as this ad attests, you can learn a lot from those who have been on this Earth for a century -- valuable life lessons, such as "Live for now" and "Don't bitch," and "Put your pedal to the metal." That they do, and more power to 'em.
Anheuser-Busch is the exclusive Super Bowl beer advertiser, and will air seven commercials for its Budweiser and Bud Light brands.
Bud Light: "Coin"
Continuing last year's campaign theme #UpForWhatever, a bar customer is offered a chance to play a giant-sized Pac Man game, with himself as Pac Man. [Agency: Energy BBDO]
Budweiser: "Lost Dog"
A sequel to last year's Super Bowl ad, "Puppy Love." This time the little dog faces many more perils before his friends, the Budweiser Clydesdales, make their presence known. This year's campaign (as part of a Super Bowl ticket giveaway) also asks viewers to help find the lost pup, by following @Budweiser on Twitter and using the hashtag #BestBuds. [Agency: Anomaly]
Budweiser: "Brewed the Hard Way"
They don't make beer to be "fussed over" by those who prefer to "dissect" the intangible flavors of ... the very product they make? Uhm, okay. At least the music (by Squeak E. Clean Productions) is more forthright.
Unilever/Dove Men+Care: "Real Strength" (Extended Version)
What makes men strong? A soft touch, as evident in this emotional commercial about the special role that dads play. Sorry, I've got something in my eye ... [Agency: Marketing Arm/Omnicom Group]
Carl's Jr.: "The All Natural Burger" (Extended Cut)
Model Charlotte McKinney shows off her assets while biting down into an all-natural, steroid- and hormone-free Carl's Jr. burger, in this goofy, racy ad that could have been directed by Austin Powers or Benny Hill.
Alas, the commercial will just air in the West, since Carl's Jr. franchises only exist in 12 states west of the Mississippi. But for oglers, YouTube ignores such geographic distinctions. [Agency: 72andSunny]
Pizza Hut: "Crust Flavor Challenge"
Former Jets coach Rex Ryan, now heading to Buffalo, stopped along the way to film this pre-game Super Bowl ad for Pizza Hut. Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo is along, too -- bait for Monday morning quarterbacks judging red flags.
Rapper Snoop Dogg and comedian Gilbert Gottfried pitch a new app, Hangry, from Eat24, the food delivery and takeout app for desktops and mobiles. Hangry forgoes those bothersome menus and food choices by providing randomized food suggestions to help those with desperate hunger order food online ("like a food truck in your pants").
McDonald's: "Pay With Lovin'"
Agency: Leo Burnett
The fast-food giant is back with an ad about a new form of pavement, randomly asked of McDonald's customers between February 2-14.
Avocados From Mexico: "First Draft Ever" (Extended Cut)
Jerry Rice and Doug Flutie offer analysis for the First Draft Ever, in which national icons are doled out, for better or for worse. [Agency: GSD&M]
Snickers: "The Brady Bunch"
Oh, Marcia, Marcia, Marcia... The candy bar brings us a "very special" episode of "The Brady Bunch," starring Danny Trejo ("Machete"), which for some reason isn't in the series' syndication package. Another special cameo appearance reminds us that pop culture parodies will never go out of style from Super Bowl advertising, even if the "Brady Bunch" link (Marcia being hit in the nose with a football just days before a Big Date) is a bit of a stretch. [Agency: BBDO NY]
Skittles: "Settle It"
The candy, an official NFL sponsor, is airing their very first Super Bowl commercial.
Why do all the townspeople have INCREDIBLY well-developed right arms? Because there are only so many Skittles to go around. [Agency: DDB Chicago]
In its ninth year, the chip's popular "Crash the Super Bowl" contest received more than 4,900 submissions, that were winnowed down to 10 contestant commercials posted online (at Doritos.com). Online voting was held through January 28 to decide which will make it to air on Game Day.
In case online voters needed help deciding, Doritos' creepy-sounding Face-O-Rater could analyze their facial expressions while they watch to determine their favorites. Does Edward Snowden know about this?
The two winners were:
When Pigs Fly
Coca-Cola: "Make It Happy"
Touting the hashtag #MakeItHappy, Coke's ad will serve, the company promises, as "a call to action to promote positivity both online and in the real world." In other words, making the Internet -- known for online venom and cyberbullying -- a HAPPIER place. But can whatever is in Coke's secret formula, when poured into the Internet tubes, REALLY stop trolls? Coca-Cola is also partnering with DoSomething.org, an organization dedicated to promoting social change. [Agency: Wieden + Kennedy]
Newcastle Brown Ale: "#BandOfBrands - 37 Brands, One Big Game"
"Band of Brands" is Newcastle's sort of crowd-funded Super Bowl ad from a consortium of brands perhaps too twee to afford a single Super Bowl ad all by themselves, jamming 37 product pitches into sixty seconds of in-your-face advertising. The commercial follows last year's faux-Super Bowl ad (from the same agency) featuring Anna Kendrick, in which the actress mused on the kind of commercial we'd be watching if Newcastle could actually afford a Super Bowl ad.
Much funnier and more memorable was Newcastle's teaser ad (below) featuring the "permanently sarcastic" Aubrey Plaza (from "Parks and Recreation"). [Agency: Droga5]
Mountain Dew Kickstart: "It All Starts With a Kick/Come Alive" (Extended Version)
A swig can turn just about anyone (or any thing) into the craziest dancer, accompanied by "Out The Speakers (feat. Rich Kidz)" by A-Trak, Milo & Otis. Though it's airing in pre- and post-game slots, as one of the more lively Game Day ads we include it here. The extended ad also offers interactive entryways to extended video. (Be sure to click on the fish tank!)
Nationwide Insurance: "Invisible Mindy"
Actress Mindy Kaling believes she is invisible, because insurance firms can't see her well enough to know what kind of coverage she needs. But lo, someone CAN see her -- and it's Matt Damon! Well, If she's going to stalk celebrities, she really does need some kind of insurance. [Agency: Cheil Worldwide's McKinney]
American Family Insurance: "Dreams Made Real"
Jennifer Hudson sings the 1970 soul hit "O-o-h Child" in a 1940s-era diner, as customers realize their dreams thanks to the power of insurance and sound financial planning. So whose bright idea was it to tell Hudson to STOP SINGING with 20 seconds of air time still to fill? [Agency: BBDO]
Esurance: "Say My Name"
Bryan Cranston stars as a certain manufacturer of drugs -- sorry, "pharmaceuticals" -- who appears in the stead of a drug store pharmacist. It's sorta the same thing, isn't it? Well, if you'd trust just any character behind a drug counter, I have some insurance policies I'd like to sell you ... [Agency: Leo Burnett, Chicago]
Esurance: Sorta Your Mom
Another instance of not trusting just anyone who claims to have expertise, in this case someone capable of operating a motor vehicle. [Agency: Leo Burnett, Chicago]
Discover Card: "Surprise"
Enough with the screaming goats already. [Agency: The Martin Agency]
TurboTax: "Boston Tea Party"
According to the revisionist historians behind this commercial, being able to file income tax returns for nothing may have stopped the American Revolution in its tracks. But if it had, does that mean we'd still be spelling color with a u?
SquareSpace: "Om: DreamingWithJeff.com"
The Dude abides! The web company SquareSpace gives us a taste of actor-musician Jeff Bridges' new album, "Sleeping Tapes," at a dedicated site, dreamingwithjeff.com. The album -- available via stream and also to purchase, including in a signed boxed set or a limited edition golden vinyl pressing -- sounds like a distant cousin of Ken Nordine's "Word Jazz," offering intriguing sounds to lull you into a restful slumber (perfect for the fourth quarter!). The ad, though, tells us nothing about SquareSpace's ability to provide web services, unless having a super-cool Oscar-winning actor lull you to dreamy-dream land is in their portfolio. [Agency: Wieden & Kennedy]
The Web publisher accidentally (or is that "accidentally"?) published an article announcing their Super Bowl commercial, which assures us that, yes, the future belongs to us. Although the article was pulled offline, the ad remained on YouTube, so here it is.
Wix.com: "It's That Easy"
How hard can building a website be if former NFL players can do it (with a little help from wix.com)? The ad shows football greats Brett Favre, Terrell Owens, Emmitt Smith, Larry Allen and Franco Harris in their post-NFL careers. Their fake businesses (like Larry's All-Pro Tow and Franco's Immaculate Receptions) are also supported by fake websites, as well as fake Twitter and Facebook accounts. [Agency: Committee LA]
Game of War: "Who I Am"
The mobile video game app goes photo-realistic with the very photo-realistic Kate Upton.
The lingerie maker offers us the "Secret Angels": models Candice Swanepoel, Lily Aldridge, Karlie Kloss, Behati Prinsloo, Alessandra Ambrosio and Adriana Lima reminding football viewers that Valentine's Day -- a different kind of Game Day -- is fast approaching, and they're ready. [Agency: In-house]
Purina Friskies: "Dear Kitten" (Teaser)
This is part of a series of Purina commercials (that owe, in spirit, more than a little to the popular "Henri, Le Chat Noir" Youtube videos), in which a cat reveals his anthropological study of the customs that humans undergo when watching something called a Big Game. His thesis: Humans are weird. (But we already knew that.)
Sprint once called AT&T and Verizon a goat in a commercial. In the spirit of fairness, the telecom tries to set the record straight. [Sorry, but as with that TA you had for physics, a screaming goat gets you an automatic F.]
Carnival Cruise Lines: "Come Back to the Sea"
The cruise line's first Super Bowl ad, directed by Wally Pfister (best known as cinematographer for Christopher Nolan's "Inception" and the "Dark Knight" trilogy), mixes stunning imagery with audio of President John F. Kennedy:
"I really don't know why it is that all of us are so committed to the sea, except I think it's because in addition to the fact that the sea changes, and the light changes, and ships change, it's because we all came from the sea. And it is an interesting biological fact that all of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea -- whether it is to sail or to watch it -- we are going back from whence we came." [Agency: BBDO Atlanta]
Universal/Illumination: "Minions" (Teaser)
This spin-off from the "Despicable Me" movies is just one of this summer's movies being promoted at the Super Bowl. Also due for some Big Game love: "Terminator: Genisys" (see below), "Insurgent" (with Shailene Woodley going all "Matrix"-y on us), "Jurassic World," "Fast & Furious 7," and "Tomorrowland."
This minimalist ad on domestic violence and sexual assault says a lot.
Viewers are also directed to a website, nomore.org, and to numbers and web addresses for such organizations as the National Domestic Violence Hotline, loveisrespect.org, and RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network). [Agency: Grey New York]
Always: "Like a Girl"
The popular "Like a Girl" campaign, launched last summer, turns the presumed insult ("throw like a girl") into an expression connoting strength and endurance. A shortened version of the original June 2014 YouTube video aired during the game courtesy of Always (the first feminine care brand to advertise during the Super Bowl), and while not a new ad, it's definitely one worth watching. [Agency: Leo Burnett]
Nationwide: "Make Safe Happen"
The number one cause of childhood deaths, says Nationwide, is preventable accidents. In this commercial a young boy muses how he will never experience the joys of life because he died in an accident. Shots of overflowing bathtubs, fallen giant TV screens and loose detergent pods may get across the message that protective measures are worthwhile, but the Internet sure didn't take kindly to such a depressing message during the Big Game. Dead kids?
Tweeted Brian R. Smuggington: "Crushed and drowned children. Great idea for a #SuperBowl commercial, #makesafehappen"
Weather Tech: "America at Work"
The second Super Bowl ad from the "Made in America" maker of automotive accessories. If you didn't know your car's floor mats can be custom-made using lasers, you do now. [Agency: Pinnacle Advertising]
Weight Watchers: All You Can Eat
Rationalizations abound for consuming all the delicious foods you shouldn't eat in this jovial take on the perils of having insufficient self-control.
Yes, the world can seem like it's coming apart at the seams when your smartphone battery dies. Mophie, which makes phone cases that contain extra batteries, makes its introduction as a Super Bowl advertiser in a big way, with a pretty cool-looking God, too. Morgan Freeman would be impressed. [Agency: Deutsch LA]
T-Mobile: "Save the Data"
The self-obsessed Kim Kardashian West has a plea in this mock public service advertisement. No, it's not for shelter animals; rather, it's to protect cellphone data that would be lost if consumers don't take advantage of T-Mobile's Data Stash offer, so that all those precious megabytes can be used to follow the not-so-reclusive celeb. [Agency: Publicis, Seattle]
T-Mobile: "Data Vulture"
An alternate commercial for T-Mobile features not a Kardashian sucking data from your smartphone, but a vulture stealing all the data you have left over. A lot of slapstick and, yes, a talking bird, so even Rob Riggle can't save it.
With GoDaddy pulling its risible commercial featuring a cute puppy being sold off just days before the Big Game, it's with a wan tongue-in-cheek that their replacement ad extolls a virtuous business owner, toiling at the office, instead of being able to eat chips and watch all the "cute puppy" commercials with his Super Bowl party-attending friends. Much less offensive, for sure, and for a GoDaddy ad, that's saying something.
Microsoft: Braylon O'Neill
Part of a series of videos showing the empowerment of individuals through technology, this Microsoft ad showcases the inspiring six-year-old Braylon O'Neill, born missing the tibia and fibula bones in both legs, and now playing sports.
Microsoft: "Estella's Brilliant Bus"
Another inspirational ad from Microsoft about a mobile learning station being used to help young people in under-served communities gain access to technology.
Poll: Vote in our polls!
Vote in the poll below for the best Super Bowl ad -- then click to the next page to vote for the worst!
Super Bowl 2015: The Best Ads
Which was the best commercial to air during Super Bowl XLIX?
Poll: Vote in our polls!
GoDaddy would have won this category hands down had they not, at the last minute, pulled their commercial -- a parody of Budweiser's "Lost Dog." In their spot, a cute puppy becomes lost and surmounts incredible dangers to make his way home, where he is greeted with open arms -- and promptly sold. It's a puppy mill!
The Internet raged about inhumane breeding practices and the selling of animals to anonymous buyers after the ad was posted on YouTube last week, prompting the cancellation -- and opening up the field to these ignominious competitors, which suffered either from being offensive, wrong-headed, annoying, or just plain dull.