For some people, this Sunday's Super Bowl 50 will be the most exciting day of the year because it's the culmination of a five-month-long season of competition, rivalries, sweet victories, and bitter defeats, in which the title of Best Football Team will be finally decided… at least until this time next year, when the Vince Lombardi Trophy will go to someone else. For other people, this Sunday's Super Bowl 50 will be the most exciting day of the year because of Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Coldplay, Bruno Mars… and the commercials. Ah, yes. That all-American tradition of Super Bowl commercials is back, that one time of year that people actually get excited to watch 30-second advertisements.
That's because all the PR firms put out their best efforts when they know people are actually watching. Last year, an average of 114.4 million people tuned into Super Bowl XLIX — the largest audience for a single broadcast in television history. So no wonder companies are willing to shell out $4.5 million for half a minute of airtime. This advertising feeding frenzy has led to some truly memorable commercials over the years, from Apple's landmark "1984" ad to an adorable Darth Vader.
Will any of 2016's new TV spots end up in the Hall of Fame of commercials? Here are 13 commercials to keep your eye on during Super Bowl 50:
Is Audi's evocative use of David Bowie's "Starman" a loving homage to a fallen icon? Or is it too soon to use Bowie's memory to sell a car? You decide.
2. Avocados From Mexico
What do Rubik's Cubes, the infamous white-and-gold dress, and Scott Baio have in common? You'll have to watch this ad to find out. (Speaking of: Who knew that the world's weirdest fruit even needed advertising?)
3. Bud Light
Amy Schumer and Seth Rogen host the biggest party ever, which includes Paul Rudd, Independence Day quotes, and lots and lots of beer. Sign me up!
Is there anyone in the world classier than Dame Helen Mirren? Probably not. Which is why Budweiser chose her to deliver an sobering message about drunk driving. (Pun intended.) (Even though drunk driving is not a laughing matter.) (Seriously, don't do it.)
5. Death Wish Coffee
Maybe it's because I'm never fully functional until I've had about my body weight equivalent in coffee, but the idea of my morning java having the strength of a dozen Viking warriors is pretty appealing.
Oh my god stop. They're wiener dogs dressed up like actual wieners. Both adorable AND punny. Already my personal favorite commercial.
How many Ryan Reynoldses does it take to film a Super Bowl commercial? A lot, apparently. Can you blame that poor girl for getting distracted? There were literally half a dozen Ryans in sweatpants playing tackle football! #thirsty
8. Hyundai (Again)
And now for something completely different. This time, Hyundai evokes one of the buzziest movies in cinemas right now. And this time, Leo's infamous bear brought company.
Liam Neeson's craggy face and gravelly voice instantly catches your attention. No, this isn't a preview for the next Taken sequel. (Or, as I like to call it, Taken 4 Granted.) Instead, we're about to embark on a Tron-like quest for the new LG TV. Prettyyy…
Gotta catch 'em all! If playing Pokémon actually involved life-sized flying dragons in a Super Bowl-esque stadium, I would totally break out my old Game Boy Advance.
11. Quicken Loans
Perhaps it's because I've recently seen The Big Short, but somehow the idea that a mortgage should be as easy to order from your phone as a pizza strikes me as slightly suspect.
I don't know that this ad did a really good job of making me actually want a Snickers, but the image of Willem Dafoe in a Marilyn Monroe dress is certainly one that won't be leaving my head for a looooong time.
And the award for best use of "Hotline Bling" since American Horror Story: Hotel goes to… Drake! And thanks to some helpful tips from eager phone company execs, the song might be getting even better this time around.
Even more companies will be unveiling their expensive advertisements for the first time during the Big Game. Who will emerge as the most memorable commercial of Super Bowl 50? Tune in this Sunday to find out!