Ready for this year’s Super Bowl commercials? Here are the ads filling game breaks on Sunday

Super Bowl Sunday is here — and, as always, there’s a vast roster of advertisers ready to vie for fans’ attention during game breaks.

Airing a Super Bowl commercial is no easy feat. On top of the reported $7 million price tag for a 30-second spot during the game, brands enlist the biggest actors, invest in dazzling special effects and try to put together an ad that more than 100 million expected viewers will like — or at least remember.

“It’s hard to get this attention — and there isn’t really one recipe,” said Linli Xu, an associate professor of marketing at the University of Minnesota. “It has to fit with (each) brand.”

That means advertisers get creative and tackle different approaches. Some familiar favorites, like Budweiser’s Clydesdales, tap into nostalgia year after year. Others attempt to make viewers laugh with light humor and endless celebrity cameos. And a few take more serious or emotive tones that pull on heartstrings.

Many advertisers have already released their spots ahead of Sunday’s San Francisco 49ers-Kansas City Chiefs face off, which airs on CBS and streams on Paramount+.

Some of these commercials include Christopher Walken dealing with people impersonating him all day for BMW, rapper Ice Spice sipping on Starry after a “breakup” with another lemon-lime soda and Kate McKinnon discovering her cat’s magic ability to say “may-ow” in an ad for Hellmann’s mayonaise.

There’s also a slew of mini TV show reunions in ads this year. Jennifer Aniston seemingly forgets she ever worked with her “Friends” co-star David Schwimmer in an ad for Uber Eats, for example. And in a commercial stuffed with celebrity cameos — including “Judge Judy” Judy Sheindlin — e.l.f. cosmetics reunites “Suits” stars Gina Torres, Rick Hoffman and Sarah Rafferty in a courtroom spoof. Patrick J. Adams and Gabriel Macht also appear together in one of T-Mobile’s star-filled spots.

And the nostalgia doesn’t stop with cast reunions.

“This Super Bowl is a blast from the past. The 1980’s are back. Retro is in,” said Kimberly Whitler, marketing professor at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, noting that both T-Mobile and Nerds feature the theme song from “Flashdance,” while the mullet is at the center of Kawasaki’s spot.

She added that “everything old is new again,” with successful Super Bowl ads or messages from the past making more returns this year. Beyond Budweiser’s dependable Cydesdales (and Labrador team up this year), she points to ETrade’s talking babies.

Of course, not all advertisers release their ads ahead of the game, so there will be surprises on Sunday. In a U.S. presidential election year, it’s possible we might see a candidate ad. And many wonder whether Taylor Swift will make a commercial appearance.

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