NEW YORK — The Super Bowl isn’t just played on the field. Just as intense is a battle off the field to win viewers’ attentions.
Advertisers are paying $5 million for just 30 seconds to reach the more than 110 million people in the U.S. expected to tune in. Which ads will be the most talked about? Which ads will be the most remembered years from now, long after the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots square off?
Here are 10 Super Bowl ads to watch during Sunday’s broadcast on Fox.
84 Lumber, “The Journey Begins “
First-time Super Bowl advertiser 84 Lumber seems to wade into political territory with a 90-second spot that shows a Mexican woman and her daughter traveling across Mexico on foot. The daughter collects pieces of fabric along the way. The ad appears in the first half — without the conclusion. The ending will be shown online at halftime at http://journey84.com .
Bud Light, “Ghost Spuds “
Bud Light is bringing back its iconic 1980s mascot, Spuds Mackenzie, sort of. The dog appears as an unsettling T-shirted ghost. The dog eggs on a Bud Light drinker to go out and join his friends rather than sit at home alone. It’s the 30th anniversary of the bull terrier’s first appearance in a Bud Light ad. The 90-second ad is running during the fourth quarter.
Budweiser, “Born the Hard Way “
Anheuser-Busch’s cinematic 60-second spot chronicles co-founder Adolphus Busch’s journey from Germany to St. Louis in 1857. He jumps off a burning steamboat and catches a glimpse of Budweiser’s iconic Clydesdales mascots before meeting fellow immigrant Eberhard Anheuser.
The second-quarter ad became topical since it was released online Tuesday, just days after President Donald Trump signed an executive order to temporarily ban refugees and nearly all citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries. Anheuser-Busch, which started working on the ad in May, says the ad isn’t making a political statement.
Honda, “Yearbooks “
To promote Honda’s CR-V vehicle, a 60-second second-quarter ad features high-school yearbook photos for nine celebrities — Amy Adams, Steve Carell, Viola Davis, Missy Elliott, Tina Fey, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Jimmy Kimmel, Stan Lee and Robert Redford. The photos come to life and encourage people to follow their dreams, a nod to Honda’s 15-year slogan “The Power of Dreams.”
The photos are actual yearbook photos, but the yearbook page surrounding them were created by the agency RPA, Honda says. Some lines were ad-libbed during filming rather than scripted. For example, Carell came up with the name “Darryl” next to him.
Hyundai, “Operation Better”
Hyundai enlisted director Peter Berg (“Deepwater Horizon”) to shoot and edit a 90-second ad during the game itself. It will air directly after the game. Teasers hint of footage from both at the Super Bowl and elsewhere.
Mercedes-Benz, “Easy Driver “
It’s been a long time since 1969’s “Easy Rider” brought the counterculture to the big screen.
To target baby boomers, Mercedes-Benz enlisted the Coen brothers to direct an update to the tune of Steppenwolf’s “Born to be Wild.” Bikers at a bar are furious that their bikes have been blocked by a car — until they realize it’s Peter Fonda driving a Mercedes-Benz AMG Roadster. The 30-second ad is scheduled for the fourth quarter.
Kia, “Hero’s Journey “
Melissa McCarthy humorously takes on political causes like saving whales, ice caps and trees, each time to disastrous effect. Kia’s 60-second third-quarter ad promotes the fuel efficiency of its 2017 Niro car.
Mr. Clean, “Cleaner of Your Dreams “
P&G takes an unusual approach to promoting the kitchen cleaner, as the animated character Mr. Clean, introduced in 1958, gets some sex appeal. In the 30-second third-quarter ad, a woman in her kitchen gets distracted watching an animated Mr. Clean in tight white pants dance around her kitchen as he cleans.
Snicker’s live ad
Mars’ Snickers brand is attempting a 30-second live ad during the first break in the third quarter. The ad features Adam Driver and a wild-west theme. Leading to the game, Snickers has a live stream at snickerslive.com with views and other content from the ad’s set.
Snickers says it’s doing plenty of rehearsals and turning to multiple satellite feeds to make sure the ad goes off without a hitch.
Squarespace, “Calling John Malkovich “
Squarespace’s 30-second ad slated for the first half shows a prickly John Malkovich calling the owner of JohnMalkovich.com to yell at him because he wants the domain.