Our Very Unofficial Ranking of All the Super Bowl Food Ads

updated Apr 30, 2019
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
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(Image credit: LunaseeStudio)

No one cares about corn syrup in Bud Light, and everyone cares about the Backstreet Boys. That’s the general consensus from watching all of the food-related commercials that aired yesterday during the Super Bowl. A major misunderstanding that companies have — stemming, perhaps, from articles like this about the ads — is that people can actually hear what’s going on and follow complicated story lines in these commercials. They are wrong.

When you’ve been drinking beer all day and are chatting about the game and/or the Puppy Bowl while the commercials air, not every ad is going to land. So we decided to give the companies something of a report card. This is, in our opinion, how good — and bad — the ads were, ranked from worst to best.

Bud Light

Plenty of people probably care about corn syrup in their beer, but chances are that none of those people drink Bud Light. Even fewer understand why this was presented to us Game of Thrones-style.


I … what? It’s an ad about making an ad that’s really a musical? It’s an ad about a candy company trying to be so meta that it’s too meta for a person who is just trying to watch a football game and drink a few cold ones without hurting their head and can’t even be bothered to try to understand what is happening.

Stella Artois

Clearly Stella has a specific audience in mind, and that audience is people who consumed a lot of media in the year 1998. While The Dude and Carrie are still very much part of pop culture, it does seem a little dated to use them changing their iconic drinks as an ad premise. The actors look much older than when they played those characters, so it’s not surprising that somewhere in two decades, they might change their drink.

Burger King

Everyone loves Andy Warhol, but almost no one likes when beloved celebrities make appearances from beyond the grave to hawk fast food.


The smart speaker being sad that it can’t make Pringles flavor stacks is sort of a hokey premise, but the ad is inoffensive and plays a catchy tune (Funkytown), and the actor’s delivery of the key line asking her to play it is done perfectly enough to keep it out of the bottom.

Avocados from Mexico

I can’t believe an ad with dogs would ever end up this low, but frankly, while the singing dogs version was cute, and the reverse dog show premise was worth a giggle, you had to really be paying attention to get it and the first watch was just confusing. And it wasn’t quite funny enough to overcome that. Big props to the guacamole-on-the-cone moment, though.

Michelob Ultra

The idea of an ASMR ad, designed to calm our football fiending with soothing sounds, is a great one. Props to Michelob for tuning into a popular YouTube genre and successfully translating that into an ad, though. Maybe it would have landed better with a more exciting game?


Major points here for action scenes, especially the nut-mobile jumping to the strains of Ave Maria, as well as Charlie Sheen’s one-liner, but this is one of those where you had to pay attention — both for Sheen’s blink-and-you-miss-it appearance, and to understand what was happening.


This is one of those where the premise was somewhat difficult to understand. Backstreet Boys singing, the tagline “The Original, Now It’s Hot,” that all scans … but what does Chance the Rapper have to do with it? Who cares, Backstreet’s back, alright!


Even as someone who answers the question, “Is Pepsi okay?” with “No thanks, I’ll stick with water,” there’s no denying that Lil Jon’s “okay” is priceless.


Pepsi’s answer to the LaCroix craze went short and sweet, and it worked. The 30-second spot showing the confusion between Michael Bublé and the Bubly water is funny, fast, and, while it doesn’t tell us anything about the drink, makes us smile and remember the name. Mission accomplished, I’d say.


Coke has long known that tugging on our heartstrings is the path to selling soda, and this beautifully animated, somewhat minimalist ad about celebrating everyone’s differences nails it.

Bon & Viv Spiked Seltzer

I’ll admit — this is one I’d stopped paying attention to when it aired, as the beginning is sort of boring and it’s hard to see where it was going, but rewatching for the ranking, I have to say it’s funny. I laughed out loud. Worth a click!

M&M’s Chocolate Bar

Star power, a good premise, a surprise you don’t need to be riveted to the screen to understand, and a memorable way to introduce a new product: Christina Applegate’s turn as a frustrated mom of fighting kids who she threatens to “break apart” and “eat alive,” that turn out to be the new M&M’s chocolate bar.


Like the Bud Light, we’re dubious how many people consider it a priority that their beer is brewed with wind power. However, dogs and Bob Dylan songs are universally beloved — especially when promoting a good move by the company.