There's a lot on the line this Sunday when the Patriots clash with the Falcons in Houston. Most important? Who will take home the win for best Super Bowl commercial.
The Super Bowl is appointment viewing each year for football fans, pitting the final two teams standing against each other to determine that season's NFL champion. But for non-football fans, the Super Bowl is also a must-watch experience, if for nothing else than the ads throughout the game.
How do you know that everyone will be watching? Just look at what advertisers are willing to pay to get their 30-second spot in front of a Super Bowl audience: Buying a 30-second spot will cost over $5 million on average, according to Variety.
While some advertisers wait to make their big reveal during the game and others come up with a unique plan on how to make every penny spent count (more on that in a minute), others make their ads available to watch before kickoff. Below is more on what you can expect to see on Super Bowl Sunday, as well as the best and worst Super Bowl commercials of all-time.
Commercials for Super Bowl LI
This isn't the actual Snickers ad, but there's a very good reason for that: the company will be shooting their commercial, which features "Star Wars" star Adam Driver, live. Here's their teaser for the spot:
Advertising Age reports that it's the first time a commercial will be shown live during the Super Bowl since 1981, when Schiltz ran a live taste test during Super Bowl XV.
Intel also managed a little bit of luck, as they debuted their commercial well before Brady and his team earned their spot in the big game.
Buffalo Wild Wings
B-Dubs is teaming up with Packers great Brett Favre on a series of spots leading up to their commercial during Super Bowl LI. Here's the first:
You can follow the man himself on Twitter to keep up with the campaign.
The website builder/domain hosting company follows John Malkovich's quest to sign up for a URL:
Squarespace's Super Bowl spots have previously featured Jeff Bridges, Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele.
The car manufacturer is going with a dance-themed ad to promote the 2018 LC 500 performance coupe. Here's an extended version of the spot:
If the performer looks familiar, it's because Lil' Buck is also in the Apple AirPods commercial that debuted this January.
The candy company may wind up with the biggest buzz of all Super Bowl commercials by the time the game is over. Here's a look:
It's already appeared on YouTube's list of trending videos and had amassed more than 500,000 by Wednesday afternoon after going live the previous day.
After years of being known for their risque ads, the Internet service provider has gone lighter in recent years. They appear to be continuing in that vein with this year's spot. Here are several teasers for their Super Bowl ad:
The actual Super Bowl ad will turn "The Internet" into a person. Don't anticipate a famous celebrity playing the role, per Advertising Age.
The tax preparation company dropped their first teaser during Sunday's AFC Championship Game, featuring none other than Humpty Dumpty:
Two additional teasers are scheduled leading up to the company's 45-second Super Bowl spot, per Advertising Age.
The website builder's ad answers a very important question: What happens when Wonder Woman meets The Transporter?
The ad above debuted on YouTube Live and Facebook Live amassed more than 2 million views on YouTube in the eight days since its release.
The auto company will be advertising its 2017 Kia Niro during the game, but they dropped a 15-second teaser this week:
Melissa McCarthy, star of the long-running CBS sitcom "Mike & Molly," features in the spot.
The official cleaner of Super Bowl LI, Mr. Clean released their official Super Bowl commercial on YouTube:
It's Procter & Gamble's first Super Bowl ad ever for the iconic character, USA Today reports.
Avocados from Mexico
The avocado awareness organization features Jon Lovitz in their hypnotic teaser for this year's offering:
The organization earned plenty of buzz for its first Super Bowl ad in 2015 featuring the "First Draft Ever."
The car company debuted a 1-minute version of their Coen Brothers-directed Super Bowl ad on YouTube on Friday:
Peter Fonda stars in the ad for the Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster.
Hey look, it's Cam Newton playing Pee Wee football!
Miranda Kerr also shows up to coach the NFL star in the spot for the auto company.
The pistachio company will run two 15-second ads during the Super Bowl, including a new spot called "Treadmill":
The ad will run during the first quarter, per Advertising Age.
The fast-food restaurant drew attention recently for roasting critics on social media, and the spat that started it all gets a callback for their Super Bowl spot:
Lesson: Be sure you know your facts before you engage in Twitter trollery.
The video game company is debuting its first ever Super Bowl commercial to promote their new gaming system:
Longtime fans of the company should love all the details crammed into the spot.
Going morbid hasn't worked out well for companies (which we'll get into in our Worst Ad Ever section), but that didn't stop Sprint from scheduling this spot for the Super Bowl:
The cell carrier plans to release an alternate version after the game, per Advertising Age.
Rather than promote a specific vehicle, the auto company will try and intrigue with its vision of the future:
In related news, Ford announced its "FordHub NYC" experience.
PepsiCo's new bottled water breaks out the star power for "Inspiration Drops":
Two-time Oscar winner Robert Stromberg directs the spot with music from John Legend.
This will be the first-even Super Bowl ad for the Hawaiian food company:
Look for it in the fourth quarter.
The auto maker jumps into the political fray with their spot about equal pay:
"Daughter" is slated to air during the third quarter.
The Wonderful Company is reportedly using an existing ad for the water brand's first-ever Super Bowl spot:
It'll be the second spot of the day for the company, known for its pistachios.
In the commercial sure to stir up the most debate at your Super Bowl party, the beer giant is tapping into the recent immigration debate with "Born the Hard Way":
Filmed in New Orleans, the spot is sure to spur a visceral reaction for many.
The odor-buster attempts to capture the thing everyone at your Super Bowl party is thinking with "Halftime Bathroom Break":
Turning away from the TV at halftime, of course, means missing a chance to see Lady Gaga's performance.
One Colonel Sanders isn't enough for the fast-food company in this Super Bowl spot:
That's Rob Riggle, who has previously starred in KFC's ads, and Billy Zane.
The cell company calls upon Rob Gronkowski, Terrell Owens and a bespectacled Justin Bieber for this year's Super Bowl spot:
Send T-Mobile your touchdown dances and they could be retweeted by Bieber himself, which is something.
Tiffany & Co.
The jewelry company is tapping Super Bowl LI halftime performer Lady Gaga for their spot. Here's a preview:
You can read more about Gaga's plans for halftime here.
The league garnered a lot of buzz for last year's "The Super Bowl Babies Choir" spot, and they're going back to the well with "Super Bowl Baby Legends":
The ad will run just before the start of the second half.
Miss Spuds MacKenzie? Then you're in luck, as the beer giant is going back to the well with "Ghost Spuds":
The ad had more than 1.4 million views in its first two days on YouTube.
This beer company has a new spokesman who they're calling "Busch Guy":
Note the new can for the spot as well.
Tide has released several teasers for their Super Bowl commercial featuring Rob Gronkowski and "Transparent" actor Jeffrey Tambor.
Gronk is proving to be a popular pitch man for Super Bowl Sunday.
Do you have any embarrassing high school photos tucked away?
So do celebrities!
The detergent maker will help Bill Nye the Science Guy clean up in their Super Bowl spot. Here's the teaser:
That's "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit" and "Blue Bloods" star Peter Hermann in the teaser.
The low-cal brand of beer stays true to their market with "Our Bar":
The cast of "Cheers," this ain't.
The beverage company has released a teaser for its Super Bowl Spot starring Justin Timberlake:
Bai offers what they call "antioxidant infusion drinks."
Arnold Schwarzenegger is back to pitch the mobile game at the Super Bowl:
If you're taking odds on which commercial President Donald Trump will tweet about during the game, this is as good a bet as any.
The tire company is jumping into the Super Bowl mix for the first time this year with "I Need You":
The ad is a departure from Michelin's previous marketing strategy, as Michelin Man appears in a real-world scenario rather than his typical animated world.
The Australian winery is breaking all kinds of ground with the first Super Bowl wine ad in a long time:
Unable to purchase a nationwide spot due to Anheuser-Busch InBev's exclusive rights agreement, Yellow Tail has gobbled up local spots to the point where the ad will reach 85 percent of Super Bowl viewers, per I4U.
Evony: The King's Return
It's hard to believe the ad below is for a mobile game and not some summer blockbuster:
Aaron Eckhart plays George Washington, Jeffrey Dean Morgan is King Arthur and Fan Bingbing features as Empress Wu Zetian.
The construction supply company has been part of some controversy after Fox rejected their initial ad, which concluded with a Latin American mother and daughter confronting a border wall. Here's Part I, titled "The Journey Begins":
Keep an eye out for their reworked commercial during the game, and head online at halftime to check out their original planned ad.
Top five Super Bowl ads ever
5. Volkswagen (2011)
Of all the more recent ad spots, this one sticks out:
Can you get any more adorable than a mini-Darth Vader trying to use The Force?
4. Budweiser (1989)
The first Bud Bowl was held during Super Bowl XXIII:
The spot would have seven sequels throughout the '90s in arguably the most memorable long-running ad campaign in Super Bowl history.
3. Apple (1984)
While not as sports-centric as most of the top ads on this list, there's no denying the debut of the Apple Macintosh its spot:
The Super Bowl spot was the only time Apple ran this ad, which is arguably among the top commercials of all time.
2. McDonald's (1993)
The fast-food company landed a pair of iconic NBA stars to battle over their burgers and fries:
I'd watch these two go at it in a head-to-head shooting contest today. Get on it, McDonald's.
1. Coca-Cola (1980)
Could it be anything else?
Often imitated but never duplicated, Mean Joe Greene's Coke commercial launched 37 years of must-see Super Bowl commercial viewing.
Worst Super Bowl ad ever
Fortune.com has a great list of terrible Super Bowl ads worth checking out. While many didn't work due to insensitive takes on race, death and other topics and deserve consideration, one was proud to declare itself the worst commercial ever. Despite having no reason to offend, Lifeminders.com is just that:
Unsurprisingly, the website didn't stick around for the long haul.