It’s very considerate of the NFL to host a big game as a vehicle for America’s biggest companies to advertise their wares. Commercials are a big part of the whole Super Bowl experience, with companies spending an average of $7 million for a coveted 30-second spot in 2024. Compare that figure with $150,000 a minute in 1968, and you’ll see how ads have grown in importance.
Since commercials and the Super Bowl are now almost synonymous, it’s natural that each year, brands have to take things to the next level. Super Bowl LVIII will take place on Sunday, February 11, in Las Vegas, but brands are already teasing their promos ahead of time—with many adding in another layer of gimmicks that require viewers to get involved.
From free haircuts to massive prizes, this year promises to be wilder than ever before. Not only are you going to have to time your bathroom breaks accordingly, but you also have to do some prep work ahead of time. Get ready: Here’s a sampling of Super Bowl LVIII’s commercial tricks to come.
Free mullet haircuts from Great Clips and Kawasaki
The ’80s are making a comeback, with a little help from Kawasaki. On Tuesday, Great Clips announced its partnership with the company to give away 15,000 mullet haircuts in the days leading up to the big game. These new ‘dos would pay homage to the Kawasaki Super Bowl ad featuring two friends going off-roading in a Ridge and magically growing the “business in front, party in back” coiffure. While happily riding around, they also spread the haircut to those they encounter, such as a bald eagle, a bear, and even Stone Cold Steve Austin.
It may seem like 15,000 mullets is an excessive amount, but the promotion already reached its quota by Wednesday morning. Diehard fans are going to be a hit at Super Bowl parties, but let’s hope they don’t regret the decision the following Monday.
DoorDash “all the ads”
The popular delivery app DoorDash is best known for bringing your favorite meal to your home without you having to get out of your sweatpants. Their Super Bowl ad this year leans into the fact that the app can transport so much more. Ahead of football’s biggest day, the company announced a massive, unprecedented giveaway. They are gifting a lucky person one of everything featured in a Super Bowl commercial.
You have to watch the game to enter to “crack the code.” During DoorDash’s 30 seconds of fame, a code will be revealed that you will enter at DoorDash-All-The-Ads.com. Then you could be the lucky winner of a 2024 BMW All-Electric i5, a 30-pound bucket of mayonnaise, and so much more. Don’t forget to tip.
Verizon’s secret spot
Verizon is returning to Super Bowl commercials after taking 2023 off. Last year, they ran a spot right after the game, so technically they didn’t make the cut. Not much is known about this year’s commercial, which is both purposeful and intriguing.
On Tuesday, the communication technology company released a teaser about its ad, which featured Tony Hale squeezing lemons. (The BeyHive’s interest was piqued, because Beyoncé released an album called “Lemonade” in 2016.) Another teaser featured Colombian singer J Balvin. But the only official word from Verizon is to have your phones ready, so something is going to go down both on CBS and Univision’s broadcast. It’s going to require audience participation.
M&M’s loungewear for losers
Mars leaked its M&M’s commercial ahead of the big game, and it features the popular M&M candy characters creating a ring to console the “almost champions,” made of “sighs of those who almost won a Super Bowl.” It’s not fair that only winners get a prize. The ad features an all-star cast, which includes football stars Dan Marino, Terrell Owens, and Bruce Smith, and Hollywood’s Scarlett Johansson.
The comforting extends beyond the commercial. From now until the end of the game, you can enter to win a Champion two-piece fleece lounge set, complete with the M&M’s logo, by declaring your allegiance to a team. The only downside to this is that in order to be entered to win, your team has to lose. There’s a silver lining there somewhere.
United Airlines gets its Swiftie on
United is hoping to foster a sense of optimism. Their ad features Kyle Chandler, best known as Coach Taylor on the hit NBC show Friday Night Lights, urging football fans to book their flights for the next Super Bowl—even though we don’t know yet who will be playing. To United’s point, it wouldn’t be as big of a leap as it seems, given the airline has a no-change-fee policy that has been in place since the pandemic. (This commercial could be seen as a response to the Biden administration’s crackdown on airlines’ “junk fees.”)
Outside of politics, United is also showing its inner Swiftie. After all, everyone will be waiting to see if Taylor Swift makes it to support boyfriend Travis Kelce, who plays for the Kansas City Chiefs. To support this mystery, the airline has changed some of its flight numbers: Flight UA 1989 from Kansas City to Las Vegas is in honor of Tay’s fourth studio album.
Rob Gronkowski’s redemption kick with FanDuel
During his NFL career, Rob Gronkowski played tight end for the New England Patriots and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Kicking wasn’t his thing, which was apparent in a live commercial during last year’s Super Bowl: He teamed up with FanDuel, a legal sports book company, to try to get gamblers the chance to split a pool of $10 million in bonus bets, but failed.
This year, he has a chance to redeem himself. Before kickoff, he will attempt a 25-yard field goal live. Fans in states where it is legal to bet on sports can guess what the outcome will be, from now until 5:45 p.m. ET on Super Bowl Sunday. If you guess correctly, you will receive an equal portion of $10 million in bonus bets. Let’s hope his aim is true this time around.