We are aware that the American football sport annual event known as the Super Bowl is considered a niche thing in Southeast Asia (except for expats). However, the event houses some of the most pop culture-savvy and most bizarre 30-second ads you’ll see.

True, there’s a grand finals sport probably worth watching here, and there’s usually a grand half-time show featuring a legacy band or pop artist. In truth, sports and non-sports fans watch the Super Bowl for the 50+ commercials that pop up and entertain. The fact that putting these up will cost you US$5.6 million speaks volumes as to how valuable an ad spot is here.

Enough preamble though. Here are the most noteworthy ads that made their Super Bowl 2020 debut involving video games, tech companies, and pop culture icons.

A bunch of famous people pop up in this Walmart ad

Bill from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Flash Gordon, the LEGO Movie peeps, and even Buzz Lightyear; Walmart sure can afford these cameos.

C’mon they even managed to get Marvin the Martian in it, and everyone knows how expensive he is.

What life was like before Amazon’s Alexa

Amazon created an ad that goes through different periods of time using people whose names are similar to Alexa to do requests. Ah, to be in a time without digital assistants.

Bryan Cranston parodies The Shining in this Mountain Dew 2020 ad

We knew the Breaking Bad actor is still the best in the business. We didn’t think he would go all-out and pretend to be Jack AND the creepy girls in this caffeinated drink shill.

Facebook Groups ad featuring Chris Rock & a rocket

We think this is supposed to be a dig at Elon Musk.

Arya Stark sings “Let It Go” in Audi ad

The cold never bothered her anyway. After all, she did kill The Night King.

A deeply personal and heart-warming ad from Google

Nothing snarky here. This is a genuinely touching ad that inspires and also reminds us that even when we grow old, we have new tech that lets us remember the good old days and loved ones we lost.

A deeply inspiring ad from Budweiser, of all companies

You know that current generation thing where people are shaming others for not being woke enough? This is the complete opposite of that.

Perhaps other nations can learn a thing or two in making subtle and patriotic ads & campaigns from a beer company, of all places.

Stranger Things’ Winona Ryder shills for Squarespace

Winona Ryder doing an ad about Winona in Minnesota. Cute.

Actual ads for shows like the Nazi-hunting thriller Hunters

To be honest, this does look interesting.

…and those Disney+ TV shows

Full story here. 

Bill Nye cameos in a soda water ad reminiscent of The Martian

Houston, we have a NASA mission story trope problem.

That time Planters killed off Mr. Peanut

Guess he’s getting a story arc. Basically, they’re taking a page from M&Ms.

Bud Light shows off the head of Post Malone, Inside Out style

We know it’s a Herman’s Head reference, but our younger readers can relate to Inside Out better.

Sam Elliot reduced to promoting Doritos’ Cool Ranch with some rapper

Did the world ask for Lil Nas X to do a dance-off with the legendary Sam Elliot in a Western showdown setting? We’re asking for a friend.

Rick & Morty Shilling For Pringles

We can’t end a pop culture collection bit without some mention of Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon’s most popular sci-fi show. This ad proves that being trapped in a Pringles cage would kinda suck. If you hated stacking flavours to make new ones, of course.

What were your favourite new ads from the Super Bowl 2020 during the past few days? Let us know which ones we missed.

 

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