One of the best parts of any Super Bowl is the commercial break, and one of the best things about Super Bowl commercials is the staggering amount of thought, creativity and well – money – that goes into each advertisement. When a 30-second spot costs $5 million a pop, we naturally expect the brightest minds in the industry to come together, work feverishly and deliver the best possible outcome to our screen.
The use of celebrities in Super Bowl commercials is an old and respected tradition. Sometimes it works brilliantly, as in this banned Soda Stream ad with Scarlett Johansson, Terry Tate’s Reebok commercial or the NFL legends’ Wix 2015 Super Bowl commercial:
Other times, it falls flat, as with Charles Barkley’s Taco Bell commercial:
…or the infamously awkward Farrah Fawcett/Joe Namath commercial for Noxzema.
Brands will be using celebrities as long as celebrities can be bought and brought, and that’s why we’re here to help.
Here are 5 celebrities we’d love to see star in Super Bowl 2016 commercials:
#1: Kobe Bryant for Shock Top Beer
Belgian-style wheat ale Shock Top will make its debut in Super Bowl 50, sharing three minutes of air time with two other Anheuser-Busch brands – Budweiser and Bud Light. Details are scarce, but according to Just Drinks, AB InBev has promised some “ground-breaking creative.” And what can be more ground-breaking than using a top athlete on the verge of retirement to promote something as un-athletic as alcohol?
This is Kobe Bryant’s last year in the NBA. Already considered one of the best players in the history of the game, Bryant will be retiring his gold and purple uniform after 16 seasons and five championships. And this year, it’s all about him: the Lakers are unarguably bad, but arenas all over the country are filled with Kobe fans eager to witness their star’s last game in their city. Since he’s retiring, one big Super Bowl splash seems like the right way to go. We can already see Kobe relaxing on some tropical island, popping open a Shock Top, while his beloved Lakers play (without him!) on a large screen TV in the background.
And besides, Kobe can act. He’s starred in a ton of commercials over the years and some of them are actually good. Like this Sprite commercial, where Kobe gets back at all the haters:
And this one, also for Sprite, where a young Kobe partners with a young Tim Duncan and the coolest rapper artist of her time, Missy Elliot:
#2: Left Shark for Mountain Dew
Forget Tom Brady (or Flat Brady, as we call him around here), the real MVP of Super Bowl XLIX was Left Shark – a dancer clad in a shark costume standing to Kate Perry’s right at the halftime show. The big guy seemed half-terrified, half-ecstatic during the performance, which made for a hilarious combination. His dancing, which often deviated from the choreography, brought on a flurry of excellent memes and a bizarre attempt by Perry herself to have “Left Shark” trademarked as her own design with the US Trademark office. Since that didn’t work, we’d be happy to see Left Shark star in any Super Bowl commercial really, as long as the creative demands that he vigorously shake his tail.
Here’s Left Shark shining on the biggest stage:
A Mountain Dew Super Bowl commercial may be a great fit for Left Shark. The soft drink brand is coming back to the Big Game this year and after their great Kickstart 90-second ad aired during the pregame show of Super Bowl XLIX, we can imagine Left Shark starring in something pretty similar.
Imagine Left Shark taking a sip of Mountain Dew and then transforming into a crazy dancer:
#3: The Cast of Friends for WeatherTech
WeatherTech will be airing its third consecutive Super Bowl ad this February and if history teaches us anything, it’ll probably go for the same made-in-America theme that the company hatched in its Super Bowl 2014 debut:
It’s pretty hard to make automotive floor mats sexy, we know that. WeatherTech’s 2015 Super Bowl ad hit the 28th spot on USA Today’s Ad Meter, which is OK, but they dropped to the embarrassing 49th spot (out of 61) in 2015. So maybe this year, they might think of pairing with another big American brand to boost those likability ratings.
We’re thinking big here, admittedly, but since the cast of Friends will not be reuniting this year, why not bring the six most beloved characters in American sitcom history to sell some car mats? Imagine all six sitting in a big American car, Joey eating the “greatest sandwich in the world”, while the other five try to make him give them a bite. Mayhem ensues, the car gets messy and WeatherTech’s mats come to the rescue. Well, the creative could be better, we admit that, but any ad with Friends is sure to make a buzz.
#4: Steve Harvey for Honda
Honda is making a bit of a comeback in Super Bowl 50, after letting Super Bowl XLIX slide by without an ad. The 60-second Honda 2016 Super Bowl commercial will promote the 2017 Honda Ridgeline truck.
Honda’s last Super Bowl ad, Hugfest, was different, original and just downright awesome. It featured Bruce Willis speaking to the camera about car safety for a whole minute while hugging the hilarious Fred Armisen:
Since Honda’s proved it can do funny, why not shake things up one more time and cast the number 1 candidate for the screw-up of the year – Miss Universe’s host Steve Harvey? The guy is a good actor, too, and any brand that casts him will get brownie points for guts and out-of-the- box thinking. Just hope he doesn’t say Kia by mistake!
#5: Sylvester Stallone for TurboTax
TurboTax will air a 30-spot ad in Super Bowl 50 – its third consecutive Super Bowl commercial. TurboTax did a pretty good job in Super Bowl 2014 with its Sean commercial and returned a year later with the Boston Tea Party ad, which ranked only 35th in USA Today’s Ad Meter. It was funny, but a bit too long for everyone’s taste.
This year, TurboTax has already rolled out some teasers as part of a broad campaign leading up to the Super Bowl called It doesn’t take a genius to do your taxes. The teasers are splendid and have some great names in it. Not A-listers, mind you, but they work nonetheless:
Like this one, starring S. James Gate:
Or this one, with theoretical physicist Michio Kaku:
And finally this one, the funniest of the lot, featuring Nobel Prize-winning astrophysicist Dr. George Smoot:
Who will they bring for Super Bowl 50?
That’s the $5 million dollar question and we’re here to make a suggestion. One of the funniest actors around, who’s still relevant (He’s got an Oscar nomination this year, whad’ya know) and with a face that screams “If I can do my own taxes, so can you!” His name, folks, is Sylvester Stallone.
And here’s a very, very funny commercial the man did for the for Warburtons bakery. It’s a bakery in England. And you’d never have known that if it wasn’t for Sylvester Stallone:
And look how funny he can be without ever opening his mouth:
So give us some big names, give us some goofy beauty pageant hosts, give us Friends! And The Super Bowl will once again prove it can be the best show in town, regardless of who plays the game.
Want to know who’s advertising so far and what they have in store? Check out all the Super Bowl 2016 advertisers!