Here’s a closer look at the weirdest and/or worst commercials of the night, as the Kansas City Chiefs battled the San Francisco 49ers.
Audi’s commercial feels a bit like the result of someone pulling a bunch of names out of a hat. The premise: “Game of Thrones” star Maisie Williams hums the “Frozen” earworm “Let It Go” as she hops into her Audi. Frustrated by the loud traffic jam around her, she begins to belt out the song — along with all the random people she drives past. The resulting questions: Why is Williams the one singing this song, instead of, say, Idina Menzel? Why is she singing “Let It Go,” a song that came out in 2013, when “Frozen II” produced another earworm just a few months ago? And, most importantly, what is she even letting go of?
Celebrity cameos are generally a safe bet, but Chrissy Teigen and John Legend’s commercial for the luxury car brand Genesis reminded us of how uninventive the tactic can be. Although Teigen is quite clever on social media, the tired jokes she makes in the commercial land poorly. She insults a bunch of wealthy party attendees over their poor fashion choices and plastic surgery, telling them the era of “old luxury” is over. (What are old and “young luxury,” anyway?) She then flees in a getaway car that Legend only allows her to enter after she admits he was named People’s Sexiest Man Alive. The spot’s humor hinges entirely upon how invested you are in the couple’s relationship, and if you aren’t, well, tough luck.
America wasn’t sure it would get the chance to see the much-heralded funeral of Mr. Peanut. After a teaser commercial killed the character off in a fiery crash, the company decided to suspend its #RIPeanut social media campaign, because the conditions and setting of his death were somewhat similar to Kobe Bryant’s. Besides, a lot of people were happy to see him go. “Mr. Peanut is in Hell,” wrote podcaster Patrick Monahan on Twitter. “He spent decades as the smiling face of a company that sold the boiled and roasted corpses of his people as a snack.”
But in the first half of the game, beloved spokesmascots, including the Kool-Aid Man and Mr. Clean — you can see the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile parked in the distance — put the monocled legume to rest. As he’s eulogized, the Kool-Aid Man cries a single tear into the soil, and something miraculous happens: A plant sprouts a baby peanut, which emerges from the ground, squeals some porpoise noises, and then is revealed to be the reincarnated Mr. Peanut, who immediately asks for his monocle.
Mostly, we’re mad about Planters’ blatant, manipulative bait-and-switch, replacing their mascot with a younger, cuter version of the old one, who we didn’t even like that much to begin with. But we have several questions. Why did they waste our time killing the old peanut off? Why does the hashtag #BabyNut make us so deeply uncomfortable? What does it mean within the spokesmascot multiverse that a Kool-Aid tear can bring a peanut back from the dead? Is Mr. Peanut Jesus? Is everyone actually in hell?
It starts off okay. After a long day, actor Jason Momoa returns to his beautiful mansion to kick back and relax. He walks through the door. He takes off his shoes. “It’s where I can just kick back and be totally comfortable in my own skin,” he says, before he removes his muscular, tattooed arms, revealing noodle-thin arms underneath.
“Rocket Mortgage understands that home is where I can be myself,” he says, ripping the flesh from his torso, to reveal a skinny, concave chest. Finally, he takes off his mane of thick hair, exposing his male pattern baldness and a strip of toupee tape. It wasn’t just that Momoa was no longer muscular and hot — it was that the CGI was poorly executed — his arms didn’t seem to align with his shirt sleeves for a second. Many viewers found it deeply unsettling.
An all-star cast — and by all-star we mean medium-famous celebrities joined by YouTubers/TikTokers only preteens will recognize — come together to shill Sabra hummus on a Technicolor set. In the former group, there’s Teresa Giudice and Caroline Manzo of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey,” rapper T-Pain, professional wrestler Ric Flair and rapper Megan Thee Stallion. In the latter, there’s Tway Nguyen, Zachary King and Charli D’Amelio, among others. Yes, it’s the first time that drag queens — “RuPaul’s Drag Race” stars Miz Cracker and Kim Chi — appear in a Super Bowl commercial. But the premise is just a bunch of people dipping snacks into hummus, but calling it “mus,” which is something that absolutely no one does. Stop trying to make “mus” happen! It’s not going to happen!