Super Bowl 2024, the Puppy Bowl, and Nickelodeon’s slime-filled broadcast came and went as Taylor Swift watched Travis Kelce and the Kansas City Chiefs eke out a win against the San Francisco 49ers. And while all that happened, the biggest collection of commercials anyone ever wants to watch played out once more.
Some of the biggest commercials were movie trailers. The first Deadpool & Wolverine trailer gave the briefest glimpse of Hugh Jackman, finally wearing the yellow and black suit that made Wolverine famous. We also saw the first trailers for the film version of Wicked and one for a Twister sequel called Twisters.
Commercials were light on tech this year — we saw a little AI, a little cybersecurity, and no national crypto ads. Apple Music sponsored the Usher halftime show, and an ad for the service featured Tim Cook sending Ludacris possibly grumpy text messages. The Vision Pro didn’t make an appearance, though. I’m conflicted about Patrick Stewart singing along to Creed’s “Higher,” but Paramount Plus’ Super Bowl commercial is probably a net good.
Feb 17The latest Shot on iPhone video goes behind the scenes of Usher’s halftime show.
I think my favorite part is the revelation that they used leaf blowers to make that red sheet fly behind Alicia Keys (well, during rehearsals, at least).
Feb 13Super Bowl was “most-watched telecast in history.”
With 123.4M average viewers across Univision, Paramount Plus, Nickelodeon, and CBS (where 120M watched), Super Bowl LVIII was the most watched television broadcast in history, according to CBS Sports.
However, the Apollo moon landing drew an estimated 125M to 150M US viewers at a time when the population was slightly more than 200M people, according to the FT, and the 2022 FIFA World Cup final drew about?1.5?billion?viewers globally.
A crane shot slowly sweeps down toward a massive, billowing rose-red cape attached to someone playing an equally red grand piano. As the camera closes in on the figure, you realize it’s Alicia Keys, playing the descending triplets that begin “If I Ain’t Got You,” one of her earliest and biggest hits. Her voice, as smooth as ever, eases in with a shortened version of the hums that begin the original recording, then she starts belting out the chorus lyrics... and her voice cracks immediately.Read Article >
That’s how Keys’ surprising (and brief) cameo during Usher’s Super Bowl 2024 performance kicked off if you were watching live. But those who didn’t watch wouldn’t know it now without reading social posts about it or news stories like this AV Club one, because there’s no evidence of it in the official video posted by the NFL after the fact.
- Larry David thinks his FTX Super Bowl ad in 2022 was a prettyyyy, prettyyy big mistake.
That was the vibe when the Curb Your Enthusiasm star called himself “an idiot” during an interview with The Associated Press recently. He was part of the glut of FTX Super Bowl 2022 ads angled on FOMO the same year FTX collapsed, and we know how that story went.
- Sir Anthony Hopkins gets back into his most famous role.
Does Hopkins’ portrayal of the guy in the mascot costume for the Wrexham Association Football Club exist in the same world as Silence of the Lambs?
This Super Bowl commercial doesn’t say he’s not playing Hannibal Lecter playing Wrex the Dragon. I’m calling this canon.
- Forever a sucker for cowboy robots.
Y’all don’t know this about me, but I had designs of making a cowboy robot comic book in the early 2000s, when becoming a Real Comic Book Artist was my primary goal in life.
I never published one, but this Super Bowl commercial from cybersecurity company CrowdStrike, like Cowboys & Aliens before it, was made for exactly me.
- The new Twisters trailer is a storm chaser’s dream.
Warner Bros. first Twister movie was very much a public service announcement about how dangerous running towards tornadoes can be. But that message seems to have been lost on everyone in the first trailer for director Lee Isaac Chung’s upcoming sequel Twisters due out July 19th.
It’s going to take something special to get people as hyped for Marvel’s movies as they used to be, and the first trailer for Deadpool & Wolverine — the studio’s first R-rated cape flick — makes it seem like it has just the thing.Read Article >
In the new trailer, it’s unclear how much time has passed for Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) and his partner Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) since the end of Deadpool? 2, or even if they’re exactly the same versions of those characters who appeared in that film. But when armored troops from Loki’s Time Variance Authority show up looking for Deadpool, he isn’t exactly surprised to see them or to be whisked away through a portal.
- Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes gets a new trailer.
The latest trailer for Wes Ball’s take on the Apes story aired during the Super Bowl, giving a closer look than the first trailer did at the society that has sprung up generations after the chimp from the first movie, Caesar, ended his reign.
- “The future is in good hands.”
Jon Hamm narrates this Super Bowl trailer for Despicable Me 4 that shows the great, erm, promise of AI-generated imagery.
Naturally, AI image creation has improved, and pictures with glaring errors like those here are somewhat fewer and farther between, but yeah, this is probably what Minion-prompted AI art would look like.
- Now I am become death, destroreo of worlds.
Oreo’s Super Bowl ad imagines a timeline where history pivots on the twist of its cream sandwich cookies, which carries with it dark implications, if you draw certain conclusions from the inclusion of the (likely mythical) Trojan horse that led to the burning of the city of Troy.
- Doritos made the best action sequence I’ve seen in months.
There’s a ton of action crammed into this one-minute Super Bowl spot, including a fight scene, car chase, and even zip-lining with a kids’ scooter as two grandmothers chase after a bag of spicy snacks.
And apart from a couple of goofy shots, it’s more believable and fun than most recent Marvel films.
- Tim Cook, Usher superfan?
The fact that Apple’s CEO didn’t answer Luda’s call with “Good morning!” seems like a missed opportunity in this Apple Music commercial ahead of the 2024 Super Bowl, but nobody asked me.
- Squarespace gets a Martin Scorsese film under its belt.
How will we notice aliens hovering overhead when we’re all too busy scrolling? They’ll make a Squarespace website, obviously.
- Google showcases AI accessibility in a new ad.
The AI-powered Guided Frame feature that debuted on the Pixel 7 describes what’s in the selfie camera’s frame. In this Google commercial (audio descriptions version here) for Super Bowl 2024, director Adam Morse, who is blind, attempts to show how a person with low vision might experience it.
- “We throw the child.”
When I was still watching reruns of Star Trek: The Next Generation twice a week on UPN in high school and listening to Creed’s Human Clay album on repeat (to my shame), I never saw those two things colliding.
But here we are, and as conflicted as I feel about this Paramount Plus Super Bowl ad’s mash-up, I’m calling it a net good.
- Is this a day in the life of Christopher Walken?
BMW’s i5 electric sedan Super Bowl commercial makes good use of Walken, who forever seems like a good sport.
It’s hard to know how close this ad is to showing what it’s like moving through the world while being Walken, but the constant barrage of impressions from random people feels right.
Feb 7Microsoft brings AI to the Super Bowl.
Microsoft’s Super Bowl ad focuses on the idea of using AI to be creative. It walks a fine line between empowering people to create images they’d previously need to be skilled in and concerns over AI replacing jobs — particularly in the creative industry. Microsoft is using this minute-long commercial to highlight the company’s new Copilot mobile apps for iOS and Android. But it’s all part of a broader AI effort at Microsoft that you can read about here.