Super Bowl LI will be remember for an unbelievable catch, comeback and redemption story. But Super Bowls aren't just about football—commercials are an integral part of the viewing experience and, for non-football fans, they're the main attraction.
More than 100 million Americans tune in to watch the Super Bowl every year. The broadcast presents marketers with a golden opportunity to reach a huge amount of consumers, and that's why Fox was able to charge $5 million for a 30-second spot.
Full disclosure: the commercials this year were kind of a disappointment, though we hardly noticed because the game was so damn good. Nonetheless, here are our favorite commercials from last night's broadcast.
5. Audi: "Daughter"
The basic message behind this Audi commercial is simple, to the point, and undeniable: Women deserve to be paid equally for equal work. I'm impressed that Audi dedicated basically their entire (very expensive) commercial to promoting this message, and they deserve credit for doing so. (Though it's worth noting that some have accused Audi of failing to live up to its own words.) Plus, the S5 looks sick.
4. Avocados from Mexico: "#AvoSecrets"
I'm still not entirely sure what exactly Avocados from Mexico the company does, but they have one hell of a jingle and consistently put out solid commercials. In this spot, an illuminati-type group is worried that they can't be a secret society anymore because they can't keep secrets. People know about Area 51, Deflategate, Bigfoot and, worst of all, that avocados are good for you. The commercial is genuinely funny, and it even stoked some conspiracy theorists' belief that the ILLUMINATI IS REAL.
3. Honda: "Yearbooks"
Honda gets major points for creativity here. The Japanese carmaker's Super Bowl spot brings celebrities' yearbook pictures to life, and each picture-turned-person gives an inspirational message. Amy Adams, Robert Redford, Steve Carrell and Magic Johnson all make appearances, and while I'm not entirely sure a Honda CRV inspires me to "keep going," it was certainly an enjoyable advertisement.
2. NFL: "Super Bowl Babies"
In this impossibly cute ad, babies dress up as some of the NFL's most recognizable characters. First, there's baby Mike Ditka. He's followed by baby Michael Irvin, baby Joe Namath, baby Bill Belichick, baby Marshawn Lynch, baby Von Miller and, finally, baby Vince Lombardi. Who doesn't love cute children dressed up as grown-up tough guys?
1. Budweiser: "Born the Hard Way"
Budweiser is no stranger to Super Bowl advertising. Their spots, usually featuring Clydesdale horses and/or puppies, have become synonymous with Super Bowl Sunday. This year, Budweiser went a different direction and produced this absolute gem. The ad follows Adolphus Busch on his journey from Germany to America in the 1800s. In the ad, Busch is met with a harsh welcome from Americans, who scream "you're not wanted here!" and "go home!" Busch eventually settles in St. Louis, where he meets Eberhard Anheuser in a bar. The two would combine to form beer powerhouse Anheuser-Busch (now Anheuser-Busch InBev). The immigrant-centered ad sparked controversy: Some applauded Budweiser for highlighting Busch's courage, but #boycottbudweiser started trending on Twitter shortly after the ad aired.