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Bud Light's 'Dilly Dilly' series, plus more Super Bowl 2018 ads

Bud Light's Super Bowl commercial featuring the

Bud Light's Super Bowl commercial featuring the "Bud Knight." Photo Credit: Bud Light via Wieden + Kennedy

Bud Light's "Dilly Dilly" ads, Peter Dinklage and Morgan Freeman's lip-sync battle using the voices of Uniondale's Busta Rhymes and Missy Elliott, respectively, plus more multimillion-dollar commercials released ahead of the big game on Sunday, Feb. 4, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

Coca-Cola highlights diversity

Super Bowl commercial fans and “Mad Men” fans share one improbable, common bond: Coke. One of the greatest series in TV history ended with a Coke and a smile, and virtually every Super Bowl since the Jets shocked the Colts have had one, too. Coke's Super Bowl ads are masterpieces of the advertising craft. As Don Draper learned so long ago (fictionally, of course), anyone can sell soda. What's so much harder to sell is optimism, populism and patriotism (but still sell a whole lot of soda in the process). Coke pre-released its Super Bowl LII ad Friday, adding another 'ism to this list: Multiculturalism. This minute-long execution -- titled "The Wonder of Us" -- begins, “There's a Coke for he and she and her and me and them. There's a different Coke for all of us.” And in 60 seconds, this one covers “all of us,” mostly young, and diverse. It's another upbeat populist winner. Don Draper would approve. (Video: Coca-Cola via YouTube)


Steven Tyler is ‘Fueled by Youth'

Kia has pre-released a Super Bowl LII ad, “Fueled by Youth,” starring Steven Tyler...and Steven Tyler. Let us explain: In this minute-long ad, Tyler steps from his trailer, then straps himself into a Kia Stinger, while (legendary race car driver) Emerson Fittipaldi casually waits. The expectation is that a race will ensue, but then Tyler goes into reverse and roars around the track – in reverse. When he emerges from the car, a younger Tyler (circa 1970s) steps out. Clever indeed, but who (exactly) is this actor playing Young Tyler who looks so much like a Young Tyler should look? Or, through the magic of technology, is that the real Young Tyler? (And why doesn't Kia add the cautionary note, “Don't try this at home?”) Another mark of memorable Super Bowl ads: Leave us with interesting questions. (Video: Kia via YouTube)


Amazon’s Alexa loses her voice

Memorable Super Bowl ads – or at least funny ones – often begin with an absurd (or at least funny) proposition, based on the simple question: What if? What if Betty White was tackled while eating a Snickers? What if chimpanzees ran an entire company (Career Builders)? What if there was something called a Puppymonkeybaby (and what if it crashed your Mountain Dew Kickstart party?) Super Bowl LII's most absurd propostion so far: What if Alexa lost her voice? Second question: What if Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos had something to say about that? (He does.) Released a couple of days ago, “Alexa Loses Her Voice” has had nearly 9 million views on YouTube which spells – you know – “hit.” A big one. As poor Alexa recuperates from – what? The virtual assistance flu? – Gordon Ramsay, Cardi B, Rebel Wilson, and Anthony Hopkins pitch in by offering their voices as backup. Cardi B for Alexa? How do you spell “inspired?” (Video: Amazon via YouTube)


Stephen King’s ‘Castle Rock’ comes to life on Hulu

Stephen King once again is an “it” author coming off an “it” year thanks to the  hit movie, “It.” So, what next, Mr. King? That would be “Castle Rock,” his collaboration with J.J. Abrams,  the ten-episode Hulu series  that's drawn from the King multiverse, and takes place in his famous town of Castle Rock. Hulu has enough confidence in the 2018 newcomer to put a Super Bowl LII ad behind it – an ad, pre-released Thursday. Recall that Hulu also used its 30 seconds in last year's game to promote “The Handmaid's Tale.” The cast here is impressive: André Holland, from “Moonlight,” Sissy Spacek and Bill Skarsgård (who was Pennywise in “It” and will reprise the role in the 2019 sequel.) Spacek, of course, kicked off the great run of King adaptations with “Carrie” back in 1976. (Video: Hulu via YouTube)


Bud Light's 'Dilly Dilly' ads, Chris Pratt sings about beer

Budweiser: What would a Super Bowl be without the commercials selling this? All manner of Buds, from light to regular, to Michelob to Shock Top to whatever other brand AB-InBev – the Belgium-based parent of Bud and world's biggest beer company – wants to sell end up on Super Bowl LII. Anheuser-Busch has had beer exclusivity on the game  since 1975. It's easily the Super Bowl's largest advertiser, far and away the biggest spender (nearly $300 million since 2008) and often most popular advertiser, too, thanks to puppies and horses. Budweiser, of course, is back, and Bud Light pre-released “The Bud Knight” Thursday – a comic and distant echo of “Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring.” But the more notable pre-release is Michelob Ultra’s “We Like Beer” (sung to Tom T. Hall's “I Like Beer”) and posted Wednesday. This one is packed with celebrities – U.S. Open golf champion Brooks Koepka, 11-time World Surf League champ Kelly Slater, 2017 New York City Marathon winner Shalane Flanagan – but the face everyone will recognize is Chris Pratt's. Whether you like Bud or beer or not, plenty of viewers like their commercials: Their ads have done well on USA Ad Meter for years. (Video: Bud Light, Michelob Ultra via YouTube)


Jack in the Box crashes Martha Stewart's show

Martha Stewart will appear in a Super Bowl LII commercial in a few days, but why wait a few days? Here's Stewart now. This minute-long execution (which will likely go in at :30) plays off the idea that Stewart wouldn't be caught dead in a Jack-in-the-Box. So Jack crashes her show. The plot: She makes a “beautiful” fried chicken sandwich. “You'd never find this at a fast-food restaurant,” she insists, which prompts an unannounced visit from Jack. It goes on from there – why spoil the punchline? – but here's what's so interesting about this commercial: Stewart is one of the few female celebrities to appear in a pre-released Super Bowl commercial so far. (Video: jackinthebox via YouTube)


Peyton Manning visits Universal Studios in Florida

What does a famous quarterback do upon retirement? He goes on a permanent vacation to Orlando, and – if he's getting paid – he goes to Universal Orlando Resort. That appears to be the conceit of this pre-released Super Bowl LII ad starring Peyton Manning, who says at the outset, “This is your moment! You are more than a team, you are family. Now get out there.” Cut to parents who run for the gates. The full-minute execution takes viewers on a tour of the park, with a particularly well-known and utterly clueless guide. Manning may be one of the most prolific NFL stars-turned-commercial-pitchmen in history. He's starred in ads for Nationwide (most recently, and they are ubiquitous), Papa John's (he's a franchisee), DirecTV, Buick Verano, Gatorade, NFL Sunday Ticket, and Otterbox, an electronics accessory company. What does a famous quarterback do even before retirement? You now have your answer. The pre-release ad is one minute long, while the in-game spot is 30 seconds. (Video: Universal Orlando Resort via YouTube)


Peter Dinklage and Morgan Freeman in a lip-sync battle

The teasing is over, and the ad is in: PepsiCo has pre-released one of the more intriguing commercials of Super Bowl LII, starring Peter Dinklage and Morgan Freeman, in a lip-sync battle using the voices of Uniondale’s Busta Rhymes and Missy Elliott, respectively. The logic here is other-worldly, but the entertainment value is high. This one's a winner. Quickly, the background: Earlier teases featured Dinklage, on behalf of Doritos, and Freeman, representing Mountain Dew, prepping for some sort of epic and ridiculous battle. The next tease let us know that this was to be a rap battle, while Rhymes and Elliott were offering pointers on style and approach.  This minute-long execution is then the battle, and the winner is inconclusive. Dinklage syncs Rhymes' “Look at Me Now,” while Freeman does Elliott's “Get Ur Freak On.” This is, needless to say, like you have never seen them before.  Meanwhile, the “Game of Thrones” references appear superficially obvious, with a touch of dragon here, and White Walker there: It's ice versus fire, or “A Song of Ice and Fire.” (Come on. You already knew that.) Does the “ice” (Mountain Dew Ice”) win this battle? Does the “fire” (Doritos Blaze)? Who knows. The point is, or the point that these PepsiCo brands would like to leave you with, is this: They do go well together.  (Video: Doritos via YouTube)


Skylar Grey and Budweiser team up for a good cause

A not particularly publicized fact is that Budweiser occasionally donates water to relief efforts. That fact, by the way, is about to be publicized, in Bud's commercial, “Stand By Me,” pre-leased Jan. 26, featuring an army of cans labeled "water" and then delivered to hurricane relief. Skylar Grey sings the classic Ben E. King song as accompaniment. Bud's Carterville, Georgia, plant halted production of Bud last August to can water, which was then delivered to Houston and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The Houston area had already experienced devastating floods from Hurricane Harvey, while Louisiana was bracing for Harvey, then downgraded to a tropical storm. Bud also donated to relieve the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, the areas devastated by the California wildfires and elsewhere. This one-minute ad demonstrates the production process, then closes with a tag that says water has been delivered to Texas, Florida, California and Puerto Rico. (Video: Budweiser via YouTube)


Avocados from Mexico and self-declared big-time actor Chris Elliott

Avocados from Mexico has been one of the more memorable Super Bowl advertisers in recent years, thanks to a surreally humorous campaign that enlists celebrities, sometimes, who sell dip but not avocados. Last year as an example: The Secret Society members who argued over whether Bigfoot existed, then declared that another secret is that avocados have “good fat,” then — zzzzinggg — a quick shot of celeb spokesman Jon Lovitz, with a hypnotic spiral whirling behind his head, demanding that they eat the guacamole. Which they do. Logic didn't matter here, but “retention” did — that magic word that determines whether an ad is remembered days, even months later. This one had “retention,” and now, Avocados from Mexico is priming us for another memorable 30 seconds, with Chris Elliott, a self-declared Big-time Hollywood Actor, who says in this tease that we little people “deserve better.” What do we deserve? Guacamole, naturally. The tease was released Wednesday. (Video: Avocados From Mexico via YouTube)


Make It Squarespace With Keanu Reeves

Keanu Reeves will star in Squarespace's Super Bowl ad but — in an unusual twist — he's the rare celebrity endorser who's actually used the product. The product in this case: Squarespace, the website builder, which has been in four straight Super Bowls, soon a fifth. Reeves — who will be Squarespace's celebrity endorser throughout a yearlong campaign — used Squarespace to build the website for his Arch Motorcycle company. Reeves builds high-end superbikes, with a lot of power under the hood, and a lot of cash required to buy it ($78,000 and up for the custom builds). Per Squarespace, he “takes an existential journey towards building his Arch Motorcycle website entirely on the Squarespace platform.” These teases show the superbike superstar at work; a full ad will appear during Super Bowl LII. (Video: Squarespace via YouTube)


LI’s Busta Rhymes, and Missy Elliott in Doritos Tongue Twisters

Busta Rhymes — Uniondale's Busta Rhymes, by the way — stars in this latest tease for the pending Doritos Blaze-Mountain Dew Ice Super Bowl ad faceoff. Missy Elliott is also starring in this tease. Some quick background: As part of some clever pregame commercial hype, PepsiCo has retained the services of Morgan Freeman (for Ice) and Peter Dinklage (Blaze), both of them prepping for a mock Super Bowl LII battle in support of their respective products. In this latest tease, combatants are coached in the art of — presumably — rapping by mastering a couple of famous alliterative tongue-twisters. Rhymes give Dinklage some thoughts, while Elliott offers her own insights. (Video: Doritos via YouTube)


Pringles' "Wow" ad, starring Bill Hader

“That's how we do it on the faaaarm.” “Cut!” And so begins one of the first prereleased ads of Super Bowl LII, this one starring Bill Hader, for Pringles. The ad — entitled “Wow” — was officially released Thursday morning. Here's the background: In an earlier tease, Hader was seen taping various voices on a movie set, with a crashed plane in the background. Yes, puzzling. Yes, utterly unrelated to the product in question. That's a stylistic idiosyncrasy of the average tease, by the way — Intrigue the viewer but don't necessarily give the viewer the punchline either. In the full ad, Hader walks away from the scene he was taping in the tease, and strolls over to the crafts services table, where a pair of stagehands are “stacking” Pringles. For the benefit of the few who may not know about Pringles, those are potato chips neatly stacked in a can. They now come in various flavors, therein the punchline. As the stagehands stack different flavors, which elicits a “wow,” Hader then chimes in with a wow, too, and soon enough, everyone is wowing. Wow. (Video: Pringles U.S. via YouTube)


Danny DeVito in M & M tease

Mmmmm, Super Bowl. Mmmm, Danny DeVito rolling around in a vat of melted chocolate. Maybe not mmmm. But sight unseen — and believe me, once this is seen, this cannot be unseen — the new M & M tease does instantly grab your attention. In the tease released Monday, DeVito is indeed afloat in a chocolate bath, and by way of explanation offered this statement: “When M & M’s approached me about starring in their Super Bowl commercial, I quickly jumped on the opportunity to partner with such an iconic brand. Plus, who can resist seeing me in a giant pool of chocolate?!” This tease plus a 30-second ad will air during Super Bowl LII. (Video: mmschocolate via YouTube)


Marvel and Lexus’ pre-release for Lexus LC 500 and 'Black Panther'

Car ads are common in any Super Bowl and movie teases are common, too. What's unusual is this — the yoking of both together, which is what Marvel and Lexus have done in this commercial, released Jan. 25 for the Lexus LC 500 and “Black Panther,” arriving Feb. 16. This spot is a miniature fusion of high concept and high performance: Chadwick Boseman's Panther does a double backflip onto the roof of a speeding Lexus, then hops off to leverage the car on two wheels. “This never gets old,” he deadpans. Nope. Naturally, there's more to this, notably an online graphic novel, “Black Panther: Soul of a Machine,” where readers can get both background story of this love affair, and a deeper sales pitch. By the way, the LC Inspiration Series production car, and limited edition, will have a starring role in the movie alongside a human all-star cast. (Video: LexusVehicles via YouTube)


Hyundai promises to ‘surprise millions’ of heroes

Hyundai will do some more “surprising” for Super Bowl LII, although this time, instead of just three, “millions” of surprises are promised. Quickly, some much-needed background: During the Falcons/Patriots game, Hyundai essentially Skyped meetings of three 4th Infantry service members stationed in Zagan, Poland — Sgt. Richard Morrill, Spc. Erik Guerrero and Cpl. Trista Strauch — with their families at the game. Footage of the Skype meetings was spliced into an ad that aired four hours later. The move was novel, and effective, so Hyundai plans a repeat. A recent 30-second tease scrolled this: “Last Super Bowl we surprised three heroes. This year we’ll surprise millions and you might be one of them.” Meaning? Hey, it’s a surprise. “Last year, we hit an emotional chord with audiences as we provided three heroes with an unforgettable experience and helped reunite them with their families,” said Hyundai Motor America chief marketing officer Dean Evans in a statement to Adweek. “For this year, we thought, let’s do something bigger and celebrate millions of heroes who have helped a very important cause.” (Video: Hyundai via YouTube)


Tiffany Haddish announces she's Groupon's spokeswoman

Groupon's back! I helpfully add the “!” because readers with long memories and short tempers will recall its infamous 2011 ad featuring Timothy Hutton lamenting the destruction of Tibetan culture, and that also celebrated the great deal he got on Tibetan food in Chicago, thanks to Groupon. The blowback and ridicule was so intense (it even made the late-night talk shows and national news programs) that Groupon decided that maybe it would be a good idea to sit out the next six Super Bowls. Now, the return: On Jan. 15, Groupon pre-released a tease announcing new spokeswoman Tiffany Haddish (no mention of Tibet). An ad will air during the fourth quarter. (Video: Groupon via YouTube)


Matt Damon, Stella Artois team up

Matt Damon, beer company Stella Artois and Water.org have joined together for this ad, entitled “Taps.” In the 30-second ad, Damon turns on a faucet, saying “it’s like magic, and yet millions of people in the developing world walk up to six hours each day for water.” He then holds up a glass with “Stella Artois” emblazoned on it: “If just 1 percent of you buy one of these, we can provide clean water to one person in the developing world for up to five years.” (Video: Stella Artois via YouTube)