No longer must we resort to Monday-morning quarterbacking when it comes to critiquing the commercials that air during the Super Bowl.
We can kick off right now!
For better or worse, most advertisers who are shelling out millions of dollars for 30 or 60 seconds of air time to showcase their products during America's biggest TV event of the year now release their spots ahead of time online. But though the advertising game has changed (boy, would those Men be Mad), the excitement has remained the same.
Sure, we may see the ads a few days early now—but only on weeny computer/phone/iPad screens. So here are the 10 commercials we can't wait to see in 50-inch HD, with the surround-sound cranked up and wing sauce all over our hands:
10. Jeff Bridges Galore: For people who like cars, beer and the commercials that advertise them, Super Bowl Sunday is like Christmas! Hyundai, in particular, has added a massive amount of minutes to the car-porn segment of the broadcast in the form of five commercials—two 30-second pregame spots, one 60-second prekicker and two 30-second in-game spots. All are just lovely, but here's our fave, the 60-second one featuring the greatest group sing-along of the Rocky theme we've ever seen. And just when you think there might not be any Jeff Bridges...There's that voice, closing it out.
9. Audi the Vampire Killer: If you thought that by sitting through the entire Super Bowl you were going to have to go without a vampire fix for a few hours—you were wrong! Apparently, the LED headlights on Audi's A7 Sedan are so bright, you can massacre a whole party of bloodsuckers just by showing up.
8. Jay Leno One-Ups Jerry Seinfeld: You may be out of luck if you don't have a jet-pack flying-squirrel suit, but it sure is fun watching Jerry try everything in the Seinfeld star's handbook to get his friendly local Acura dealer to give him a brand-new NSX supercar, only to be bested in the end by Newman, er, Leno. The 60-second, third-quarter spot will be the Honda-owned luxury brand's first Super Bowl appearance.
7. Hulu's Devilish Development: Instead of Alec Baldwin doing his smug, Donaghy-esque best, Hulu has gone with Will Arnett's smug, Devin Banks-ish best ("Banks!") to mushy-mush our brains and seduce us into adopting Hulu as a way of life. Arnett spends this teaser getting into Evil Plot to Destroy the World headquarters in Huluwood, and we'll get to see what's really in store for us on game day. (Psst, it's Hulu Plus.)
6. The Map of David Beckham's World: We're sorry, what were we watching again? Oh, right, Super Bod, er, Bowl. David Beckham gives fans an up-close-and-personal tour of his body in his first-ever Super Bowl ad, a 30-second spot flaunting his eponymous new underwear collection for H&M. The British soccer star should be far less concerned about being misunderstood than he should be about becoming the target of 100 million people's obsession.
5. Kim Kardashian's Short-Haired Replacement: Sorry, Kim, but Mr. Quiggly has already stolen our hearts. Skechers has offered up this teaser, and we get to see the sneakers-wearing bulldog take on greyhound favorite Silver Prince on game day. (Honorable animal mentions go to the Coca Cola polar bears and penguins, the Huskies in the Suzuki Kizashi spot, the CareerBuilder.com chimps and Hyundai's cheetah.)
4. Pepsi's Endgame: Pepsi is playing it stylishly close to the vest, waiting to debut its two commercials, one of which stars Elton John and The X Factor winner Melanie Amaro, until during the Super Bowl. How novel—and appropriate, considering the 60-second ad's medieval vibe, in which John plays a king and Amaro is called upon to perform before the royal court of rock. Regis Philbin and Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles, meanwhile, star in Pepsi's other game day offering for the "official soft drink of the NFL," Pepsi MAX.
3. Beer Run: Speaking of official beverages, Anheuser-Busch—the Super Bowl's sole beer advertiser, as always—has six commercials in the pipeline: two 30-second spots for Bud Light Platinum airing in the first quarter, one 60-second and one 30-second for Bud Light, and two 60-second ads for Budweiser. And yes, one features the Clydesdales. A.B. is always assured of having at least a couple of the best Super Bowl ads, and we eagerly anticipate all of them.
2. Ferris Bueller Takes Off in a Honda: We were excited enough when Ferris Bueller's Day Off came out on Blu-ray, so why not get stoked to see Matthew Broderick trade the Ferrari in for a Honda CR-V and sample what life has to offer, all in the guise of his best-loved character (no offense, creepy teacher in Election). Honda went all in with its Ferris Bueller concept, too, offering up a 60-second joyride to air at the end of the third quarter. But you can watch the whole 2-minute, 25-second short right here!
1. The Empire Strikes Bark: Having scored with viewers big-time last year with its li'l Darth Vader commercial, Volkswagen is back with the next-cutest thing in this pre-Bowl teaser—a choir of dogs barking "The Imperial March" from Star Wars. Until an utterly un-fierce canine dressed up as an AT-AT shows up, anyway. Good grief, this one is cute, and there's more to come in honor of the new Beetle at the beginning of the third quarter. Go Fahrvergnügen!
But the fun doesn't stop there. John Stamos just isn't as sexy as Dannon Oikos Greek Yogurt; Apolo Ohno skates for Century 21 realty; the E-trade baby will charm some and creep out others; Danica Patrick will show off her physique for GoDaddy; Kia optimizes Adriana Lima, Mötley Crüe and Chuck Liddell (you're forgiven if you don't notice those last two); and Universal, Paramount, Walt Disney Co. and Relativity Media will trot out trailers.