Even the Super Bowl LIII ads are disappointing



Andrew Marzullo

The Super Bowl is more than just a football game; it’s a cultural phenomenon that captures the attention of around 100 million Americans every year. Not only is it the biggest football game of the year, but it is also an entertainment extravaganza. Aside from the championship, there are two reasons to watch the game: the halftime show, which often features the biggest names in music, and the advertisements.

From “Mean” Joe Greene tossing a young fan his game-worn jersey in a classic 1979 Coca-Cola ad to the Budweiser Clydesdales’ annual appearances, Super Bowl commercials are often discussed and analyzed as much as the game itself. The commercials are held to a higher standard than typical advertising, and rightfully so. The average cost of a 30-second ad in Super Bowl LIII was $5.25 million, according to CNBC. Usually, with a price so high, many companies deliver a solid ad that produces a reaction in households and Super Bowl parties across the nation. 

The annual Budweiser Clydesdale commercial was underwhelming as well. It promoted the fact that Budweiser brews with wind power now, which is great for the environment, but it was nowhere near as memorable as most of the Clydesdale commercials in the past.

Bud Light, however, stole the show when it came to non-football commercials. Following two medieval “Dilly Dilly” themed ads that promoted the fact that Bud Light is brewed without corn syrup, another ad depicted a shocking turn of events, where the Mountain from HBO’s hit show Game of Thrones came on screen and killed the “Bud Knight,” in a subversion twist akin to Thrones’ own twists.

Microsoft ran a poignant ad about creating adaptive controllers to help children with disabilities play video games, which was one of the most powerful ads of the night. Marvel also ran two ads for its upcoming blockbusters, Avengers: Endgame and Captain Marvel. However, not many other commercials stood out from the pack, leaving many football fans and casual viewers of the game disappointed.

Super Bowl LIII will most likely not be remembered as much for its ads as it will be for being the lowest-scoring Super Bowl in history, which featured a dynasty winning its sixth title in 18 years against a team that many believed shouldn’t even be playing in the game.

It also featured a halftime show that teased fans with a SpongeBob Squarepants reference — a tribute to the show’s recently deceased creator, Stephen Hillenburg — that was cut short for Travis Scott to sing an unedited version of “Sicko Mode,” which caused the feed to cut out every time he swore.

When the halftime or game-time mess this year wasn’t on the screen, very few advertisements stood out. Ironically, the best advertisement of the game was for the NFL’s 100th season and featured references to classic football moments fans of the game would love, but casual viewers might not understand.

As it stands, with ratings for the game at a decade low, 2019 may have been the year to flop.