Matthew Broderick kicked off the annual Super-Bowl ad obsession early when he slipped back into his iconic character from Ferris Bueller's Day Off for a Honda commercial that paid homage to the 1986 comedy. But Honda isn't the only corporation getting a jump on Super Bowl buzz. Several companies (each of which shelled out a reported $3.5 million for 30-seconds of airtime on Sunday night) have already released their ads online, several days ahead of the big game. Here, a look at 5 that are generating the most talk:
1. "The Dog Strikes Back" — Volkswagen
Earlier this month, hearts melted when Volkswagen (responsible for last year's impossibly cute ad, "The Force") unveiled a game-day ad in which a chorus of mutts barked the Star Wars theme song, and now the automaker is previewing its second planned Super Bowl commercial: Yet another brilliant Star Wars-themed commercial. It not only features "an adorably chubby pooch," says Lanford Beard at Entertainment Weekly, "but also a final-act twist worthy of 'I am your father!'" Still, says Sean O'Connell at Cinema Blend, it's hard to top last year's "Mini Darth Vader" effort. Watch for yourself:
2. Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Leno — Acura
Matthew Broderick isn't the only celebrity peddler this year. Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Leno pop up in an Acura commercial, in which they compete to be the first in line to get the company's new Acura NSX. "In case you're keeping score," says Keith Shaw at IT World, "'90s Seinfeld nostalgia just topped '80s Ferris Bueller nostalgia in the Super Bowl ad preview sweepstakes." After all, any ad that makes Jay Leno come off as funny "has to be on the top of your list for genius." Hands down, says Hannah Elliott at Forbes, the ad is "the coolest one yet." Check it out:
3. David Beckham in his underwear — H&M
Soccer superstar David Beckham hocks a new H&M underwear line in a black-and-white ad that pans up and down the 36-year-old's impressively chiseled physique as he dons various models of boxers and briefs. A nearly naked Beckham? It's "everything we hoped for," says Ellie Krupnick at The Huffington Post. The ad is sure to appeal to the 58 percent of women who admit to watching the Super Bowl purely for the commercials, says Lauren Sher at ABC News. But will the "dudes and bros" watching on game day "be inspired to replenish their skivvies supply"? asks Beard. Here's the clip:
4. Will Arnett — Hulu Plus
Three years ago, Alec Baldwin filmed a memorable Super Bowl ad for Hulu in which he insinuated that everyone on TV was an alien. This year, it's Arrested Development's Will Arnett who's the extraterrestrial. The idea, according to Ad Age, is that the aliens/TV actors are "using TV to turn human brains into 'mushymush,'" with Hulu Plus as their secret weapon. (Hulu is also introducing a corresponding Twitter hashtag, #mushymush.) I'm only "mildly amused" by this near-complete rehash of Baldwin's 2009 ad, says Steve Hall at Ad Rants. See for yourself:
5. Vampires — Audi
The Twilight and True Blood-inspired vampire moment in pop culture isn't over yet… at least not if Audi has anything to do with it. In an ad for the new Audi S7 that celebrates the car's powerful LED headlights, a group of vampires partying in the woods at night are turned into dust when one late partygoer drives up to the outdoor gathering with his headlights on. Very clever, says Top Speed. It "could be this year's version of 'Little Darth Vader.'" But while these LED light are cool, says Jennifer Geiger at The Chicago Tribune, "we can think of more exciting things to promote about the car: Its 420-horsepower, twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 comes to mind." See for yourself:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The U.S. Marines are developing laser weapons. Here's why.
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- Why the Supreme Court is allowing Texas to hold an unconstitutional election
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How 1,000-year lifespans could remake the economy
- Gamergate has backfired spectacularly on its nincompoop perpetrators
- Ban PowerPoint!
- The stories behind 22 classic album covers
- Rise of the machines
Subscribe to the Week