The food & beverage industry has a long history of contributing some of the funniest and most memorable commercials run during the annual Super Bowl. No. 1 on most lists of all-time great Super Bowl ads is Coca-Cola's groundbreaking 1980 ad with Mean Joe Green sharing a Coke with a nine-year-old boy (plus Green's Pittsburgh Steelers – MY Steelers – won that game!). No. 3 on most lists is Pepsi's 1992 ad, in which two young boys just can’t take their eyes off the redesigned Pepsi can … or is it supermodel Cindy Crawford? Pepsi also scores with the Coca-Cola delivery guy caught buying a Pepsi. And there have been a host of heart-tugging Budweiser Clydesdale commercials.
Here are my top nine that should air during this Sunday's game, based on the previews I've seen the week before the game. Click on the link to see the commercial now and you can go to the refrigerator Sunday for another beer knowing you haven't missed anything.
Willem Dafoe as Marilyn Monroe: Snickers
That headline alone ought to elicit a chuckle. In the latest installment of Snickers' hilarious "You’re Not You When You’re Hungry” campaign, Marilyn Monroe just doesn't look or feel right before the filming of that subway-breeze-up-the-skirt scene from “The Seven Year Itch.” She's cranky because she's hungry. Only after a Snickers bar does she cease to look like Willem Dafoe … who definitely does NOT have the legs for this stunt.
Amy Schumer and Seth Rogen for Bud Light
Amy Schumer is probably the hottest (I'm not sure there's a pun there) comedian currently, and Seth Rogen remains a highly regarded comic. Put them together with beer in their hands (which sounds like a dangerous combination) and they launch the Bud Light Party … presumably a political one but you get the double-entendre. There's another double-entendre involving the word caucus. And Paul Rudd does a cameo.
Kraft Heinz's wiener dogs
I don't recall ever seeing a Heinz Super Bowl commercial … maybe that one with Carly Simon's "Anticipation" made it back in 1979. Despite the austerity at the newly merged company, the Heinz half has produced an equally cute and funny stampede of wiener dogs, with buns strapped on their little bodies, who can't live without Heinz's condiments – including Heinz's recently introduced yellow mustard. I've seen 30- and 60-second versions, and I hope they use the longer one because it's worth the extra half minute to see the stampede. Here's the long one:
A Doritos trio
PepsiCo's Doritos brand offers three spots, presumably all will be seen during the game. In the first, dogs, not normally allowed in a store, devise a way to get in to buy chips. In the second, a soon-to-be dad eats Doritos during his wife's ultrasound, but the fetus can't resist them either. The last involves a bad speed-dating experience, but Doris Roberts ("Everybody Loves Raymond") wins because she has the bag of Doritos. All three are at:
Skittles and Steven Tyler
This 30-second spot features Steven Tyler of Aerosmith being presented with a portrait of him made of Mars' Skittles candies. This is the first television commercial in the brand’s long-running “Taste the Rainbow” campaign to feature a real-life celebrity, and it was inspired by a trend of Skittles fans making things out of Skittles (pictures, recipes, stop-motion films, etc.). Spolier alert: The portrait disintegrates when it hits that high note in Aerosmith's "Dream On." This is only the second time Skittles has advertised in the Super Bowl. The brand made its debut last year and the ad helped make Skittles the top-selling non-chocolate confections brand in the U.S.
Helen Mirren for Budweiser … actually for responsible drinking
The polar opposite approach to Schumer and Rogen's, although still from Anheuser-Busch, involves Helen Mirren, "a notoriously frank and uncensored British lady" -- who remains a stunning beauty at 70 (remember the semi-nude scenes in Calendar Girls?), This one's actually a public service announcement against drunk driving, delivered while she enjoys a single Budweiser with her burger and fries. This one's not funny, although she delivers an amusing slew of insults as only a Brit can (kind of Monty Pythonesque).
One more Bud for you: A talking Clydesdale takes on microbrews
What would a Super Bowl be without a Budweiser Clydesdale commercial? In this one, a talking horse coerces a shopper to buy Bud instead of some fancy microbrew.