American football’s biggest day is almost here — and by “football’s biggest day” we really mean marketing’s biggest day, as dozens of companies prepare to compete for eyeballs during the most-viewed TV event of the year.
Despite the Super Bowl’s slightly eroding audience, running a commercial during the broadcast remains one of the most important (and most expensive) traditions surrounding the big game.
That said, all the cool kids — that is, the brands that want to max out their advertising bucks — have gotten a head start by releasing their carefully crafted 2020 Super Bowl commercials online ahead of Sunday’s showdown between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs.
Here’s a sneak peek at some of the ads set to touch down during this weekend’s telecast. Football fanatics, look elsewhere.
In this time-hopping ad, Ellen DeGeneres and wife Portia de Rossi ponder what life was like before Alexa arrived to solve their problems.
Even when winter was coming, the cold never bothered Maisie Williams. Fresh off her triumphant final season, the “Game of Thrones” alum channels her inner Queen Elsa for this “Frozen"-inspired Audi spot.
Avocados from Mexico
Teen movie icon Molly Ringwald embodies Los Angeles influencer culture in this Avocados from Mexico commercial.
Post Malone meets “Inside Out” in these Bud Light ads that glimpse the inner workings of the “Sunflower” rapper’s mind.
Budweiser appeals to everyday working-class citizens in this inspirational montage, with a bonus cameo from the U.S. women’s soccer team.
Even MC Hammer suffers from cheesy fingers in Cheetos’ witty prequel to his classic “U Can’t Touch This.”
A poor soul is faced with his own dreaded password security questions in this too-relatable Dashlane spot.
These Discover commercials compile famous “Yes” and “No” moments from TV and movies, featuring scenes from “Friends,” “Mean Girls,” “Clueless” and more.
Rap cowboy Lil Nas X wrangles actor Sam Elliott for his latest “Old Town Road” remix in this pair of Doritos ads.
Chris Rock is ready for blast-off in this skyward spot for Facebook’s Group feature.
Genesis enlists the first couple of social media, Chrissy Teigen and John Legend, to lend their signature snark to this car commercial.
As usual, Google tugs at the heartstrings in this ad about an aging man fighting to remember his late wife.
Heinz managed to cram four different, simultaneous commercials into one screen for its futuristic 30-second spot.
Avengers, who? Captain America unites with an MLB star, Jack Ryan and a “Saturday Night Live” alum to showcase their best Boston accents in these Hyundai commercials.
Kia doubles down on the football theme in these ads featuring Raiders running back Josh Jacobs and his moving life story.
Rainn Wilson, a.k.a. Dwight Schrute, briefly gets the executive “Office” job of his dreams in this Little Caesar’s spot.
“Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon, pro wrestler-turned-actor John Cena, beach volleyball superstar Kerri Walsh Jennings and more live their best lives in these star-studded Michelob Ultra commercials.
This Microsoft ad spotlights 49ers offensive assistant coach Katie Sowers, who will make history Sunday as the first woman on a coaching staff at the Super Bowl.
All work and no play makes Bryan Cranston a dull boy in this Mountain Dew spoof of “The Shining” featuring the “Breaking Bad” alum and “black-ish” star Tracee Ellis Ross.
New York Life Insurance
This family-oriented New York Life Insurance spot doubles as a Greek language lesson.
Plenty of spacesuits are available for female astronauts Lilly Singh and Busy Philipps in this Olay commercial featuring “Hidden Figures” star Taraji P. Henson at mission control.
“Paint It, Black” by the Rolling Stones gets a funky makeover from H.E.R. and Missy Elliott in this bumpin’ Pepsi ad.
Planters achieved viral status on social media by killing off its nutty mascot in this shockingly dark spot, then suspended its online campaign after Kobe Bryant’s death. A Super Bowl ad will still happen.
Can you believe? “Queer Eye” groomer Jonathan Van Ness brings his signature extra energy to this Pop-Tarts commercial.
Porsche gets fast and furious in this ad’s high-speed car chase.
Rick and Morty go meta as they find themselves “trapped” in this trippy Pringles spot.
The key word is “wordplay” in this punny Reese’s Take 5 commercial.
A giant Snickers bar arrives to save the world from corrupt politicians and invasive surveillance practices in this weird, timely candy ad.
Scientists discover water on Mars in this SodaStream spot featuring a brief appearance by Bill Nye (the science guy).
“Stranger Things” star Winona Ryder is stranded in the snowbanks of Winona, Minn., in this frosty Squarespace commercial. Hey, at least it’s not the demogorgon-infested town of Hawkins, Ind.
TurboTax invites anyone and everyone to crunch their own numbers in this ad championing DIY tax prep.
Walmart brings whole communities together in this hopeful spot set to the tune of Elton John’s “Rocket Man.”
WeatherTech taps a super-cute golden retriever to sell this commercial for veterinary medicine.