NFL Super Bowl commercials keep getting worse

The most recent batch not turning around the downward trend 



Burger King’s viral Whopper Whopper ad is a series of ads.

BRANDON WILLMAN, Multimedia editor

I only watch the Super Bowl for commercials. That is a very common phrase muttered in the buildup to the big game every year. Despite that, the commercials in the big game have seemingly been on a downward trend in quality while prices trend upward. 

The most recent batch of Super Bowl commercials was an overwhelming meh. The only two that I can even remember less than 48 hours after the game is the Tubi commercial that fooled millions into thinking the remote user was changing the channel and the NFL commercial “Run with it.” 


Other than that, all of the other commercials were severely lackluster and remain rather unmemorable, a problem that has been common over the past few years. 

Even in 2020, Acemetrix published an article titled “Why aren’t Super Bowl ads funny anymore?” It is a common trend that has not seen any improvement since this publication. 

When thinking of past Super Bowls, big plays in the games first come to mind, maybe then the halftime performances, but after that, early Old Spice, Nike, Pepsi and several other commercials come to mind as shaping the memory of the classic game. 

Parade and Men’s Health released lists of their best Super Bowl commercials of all time, ranking 50 and 35 respectively. The common theme of each was that there was not a single commercial to make the rankings that were released within the previous five years.

It may be true that older commercials hold nostalgia that helps with whether or not those commercials were actually better than the ones that currently running, but this does not seem to be the case. 

Apple’s 1984 commercial titled “1984” is one of the best commercials of all-time, full stop. Pepsi has made several commercials in the 90s and early 2000s that have aged extremely well, and in general, ads that came out over two decades ago are remembered more fondly than those of the past five years. 

It is also true that recent commercials have faced an uphill battle in their advertising. Paying for an ad in it itself costs $6–7 million for 30 seconds, according to WBNS.

With that price tag, as well as the cost of production, it is extremely important that the advertisement makes money and is filmed months in advance, so the ability to capitalize on any trends becomes far more risky and difficult.

Being unable to capture trends means the advertisement will need to create its own trend, something like the current Burger King campaign. 

The advertisements are also held to a higher standard than they once were. With how America has sensationalized the idea of a “Super Bowl ad” it has created far more artificial pressure for these advertisements to do better. 

But what can even be done to improve the Super Bowl ads? 

The answer is simple. The ads must be more creative. 

The most memorable ads of all-time feature creative themes and catchy music. They are not movie trailers, they are not formulaic and basic ads for a new car, they are all innovative and let the people behind the scenes spread their creative wings. 

Super Bowl LVII was another disappointing year for commercials, but there is always next year.