The Biggest Names, the Biggest Games: Super Bowl Ads Featuring Your Favorite Celebrities

Super Bowl is a big event for everyone. The games are epic and the ads are memorable – so memorable that companies spend quite the pretty penny to create something they know viewers will remember. We’re talking upwards of five million dollars for just thirty seconds.
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Thanks to celebrity cameos, these ads have become even more famous. But how much did these ads really cost to make?

McDonald’s: “The Showdown” (1993)

Featuring: Michael Jordan and Larry Bird.

Game: Super Bowl XXVII.

Celebrity Paycheck: $40 million.

Total Price Tag: $45 million.

Jordan has been one of the biggest names in sports since he began balling out with the Bulls, but Larry Bird has always been nipping at his heels.

 

McDonald’s is like the Michael Jordan of fast food – the biggest name, bar none. These three names came together for a vibrant and vivid ad spot during Super Bowl XXVII, which has these two players trying to outdo each other in a friendly game of “horse.” The prize? A Big Mac and some of those tasty McDonald’s fries.

Stella Artois: “Change Up The Usual” (2019)

Featuring: Jeff Bridges and Sarah Jessica Parker.

Game: Super Bowl LI.

Celebrity Paycheck: $2 million.

Total Price Tag: $8 million.

Brewing companies always make sure to get in their time during the big game, and in 2019 Stella Artois did something unexpected. Not only did they bring in Sarah Jessica Parker, famous for her role in “Sex in the City”, but they also nabbed famous movie star Jeff Bridges, wearing his legendary outfit from “The Big Lebowski”.

 

Instead of ordering their usual drinks – a white Russian for Bridges and a something-or-other for Parker – the two decide on a Stella Artois. The ad shot stock prices through the roof.

Kia: “The Matrix” (2014)

Featuring: Laurence Fishburne.

Game: Super Bowl XLVIII.

Celebrity Paycheck: $4 million.

Total Price Tag: $8 million.

Appearing as the legendary Morpheus from “The Matrix” series of movies, Laurence Fishburne shows up in a Kia ad, promoting the K900. He serenades the car’s other occupants, and this unexpected performance became one of the most-watched super bowl ads ever – more than a hundred and twelve million people caught it.

 

Not including Fishburne’s salary, this simple ad cost more than four million dollars to film. It ended up being the second-most watched super bowl ad at the time.

Pepsi: “Apartment 10g” (1985)

Featuring: Michael J Fox.

Game: Super Bowl XXI.

Celebrity Paycheck: $1 million.

Total Price Tag: $3.6 million.

Coming in at number three on ESPN’s list of the best Super Bowl commercials of all time, the hilarious “Apartment 10g” ad features eighties star Michael J. Fox. A beautiful woman moves in across from Fox, who then asks him for a Diet Pepsi.

 

Pepsi has had plenty of ads, but this one got people laughing – one of the best ways to create a good memory. The advertisement was recreated in the finale to “Spin City”, and Fox reportedly donated the money he got from the ad to Parkinson’s disease research.

M&M: “Do You Wanna Eat Me?” (2019)

Featuring: Danny DeVito.

Game: Super Bowl LIII.

Celebrity Paycheck: $2.7 million.

Total Price Tag: $7.7 million.

Another way to spark memory creation is disgust, and that seems to be DeVito’s forte. Though a brilliant actor, he’s found his niche in gross displays such as this M&Ms ad, which has him dressing up as a human M&M.

 

The short spot exists somewhere between funny and creepy. Though the ad was certainly memorable, the game itself wasn’t, meaning a lot of people missed out on DeVito earning one of the weirdest paychecks in this veteran actor’s history.

Nike: “Hare Jordan” (1992)

Featuring: Michael Jordan.

Game: Super Bowl XXVI.

Celebrity Paycheck: $1 million.

Total Price Tag: $1 million.

MJ is back, and this time it’s in the ad that inspired an entire movie. Hare Jordan is a play on one of Nike’s most popular shoe styles, and the ad features the classic animated character Bugs Bunny and Jordan having some fun on the court.

 

The ad created a huge boost for the Air Jordan VII sneaker and was also somewhat of a turning point for animation. The ad would get a reprise in 2015 for another version of the Air Jordan.

Game of War: “Who I Am” (2015)

Featuring: Kate Upton.

Game: Super Bowl XLIX.

Celebrity Paycheck: $1 million.

Total Price Tag: $40 million.

Not many people expected a vapid phone game to feature celebrity supermodel Kate Upton in their Super Bowl ad, but the concept proved to be wildly successful (most of Game of War’s player base is male).

 

Mariah Carey took Upton’s place in the next year’s ad, and the series of ads have certainly helped this phone game make it to the big time – though we have to admit “Have Kate Upton look pretty” isn’t exactly the most complicated idea ever.

Chrysler: “Imported from Detroit” (2014)

Featuring: Eminem.

Game: Super Bowl XLVIII.

Celebrity Paycheck: $6 million.

Total Price Tag: $12.4 million.

The real Marshall Mathers stood up loud and proud for his hometown in this ad, which is one of the longest to ever air in Super Bowl history. Eminem tools around Detroit in a Chrysler 200 while a narrator discusses the city’s history.

 

Chrysler took a big risk with such an expensive ad – Eminem commanded more than five million dollars – but the ad struck it rich for the automobile company, and is credited with bringing them back into the mainstream fold.

Avocados from Mexico: “Top Dog” (2019)

Featuring: Kristin Chenoweth.

Game: Super Bowl LIII.

Celebrity Paycheck: $200,000.

Total Price Tag: $5 million.

Though not all that expensive to make, the ad featuring this tasty, healthy and popular fruit caught plenty of eyes and ears when Chenoweth apparently taught dogs to sing. The ad featured other celebrities who also love avocados.

 

While there are tens of thousands of avocado producers in Mexico, Avocados From Mexico is one of the biggest, which affords them a bigger advertising budget, and their ability to make this big Super Bowl ad likely helped them out even more.

Snickers: “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry” (2010)

Featuring: Betty White.

Game: Super Bowl XLIV.

Celebrity Paycheck: $1 million.

Total Price Tag: $5 million.

This ad campaign has now been running for almost twenty years, and it’s been hailed as one of the most successful, memorable, and funny ads from a Super Bowl ever.

 

It’s been credited with helping Betty White return to prominence after a while out of the spotlight, and continued airing for more than three months after the Super Bowl. It had more than four hundred million unpaid media views, and more than a decade later this ad campaign still continues, with plenty of funny twists and different celebrity appearances.

Diet Pepsi: “You Got the Right One, Baby” (1991)

Featuring: Ray Charles.

Game: Super Bowl XXV.

Celebrity Paycheck: $500,000.

Total Price Tag: $1.2 million.

Diet Pepsi has a long history of some incredible ads and their 1991 offering including famous blind singer-songwriter Ray Charles. It was Charles’s fiftieth anniversary in the music business, and the trio of spots in the campaign proved to be extremely popular. In fact, when they ended, Pepsi’s retail marks dropped by point two percent – noteworthy for such a large company.

 

Charles actually lip-synched the ad as opposed to performing it live – it was his voice, but they made it easier on themselves but dubbing him in later.

Chrysler: “It’s Halftime in America” (2012)

Featuring: Clint Eastwood.

Game: Super Bowl XLVI.

Celebrity Paycheck: $0 (donated).

Total Price Tag: $3.5 million.

The world’s greatest living actor Clint Eastwood not only appeared to pump up the flagging auto industry during the 2012 Super Bowl but donated everything he earned to charity.

 

The “Halftime in America” ad talked about the US auto industry after the 2008 economic crisis. Eastwood also touched on the plight of ordinary Americans in a grim tone, but the ad’s positive ending mentioned the rebuilding industry. The ad evoked Eastwood’s film “Gran Torino”, and ran a full two minutes, one of the longest of Super Bowl XLVI.

Bud Light: “Up for Whatever” (2014)

Featuring: Reggie Watts, Minka Kelly, Don Cheadle, and more.

Game: Super Bowl XLVIII.

Celebrity Paycheck: $2 million.

Total Price Tag: $12.1 million.

Anheuser-Busch’s “Up for Whatever” ad was one of the most discussed following Super Bowl XLVIII, but not for all the right reasons. The ad was only meant to teach about the joys of getting out of your comfort zone.

 

Featuring celebs who said “yes!” to everything and anything, it caused a social media uproar, with some people thinking it was playing with the idea of consent. Anheuser-Busch would go on to apologize for the ad, saying they had missed the mark.

Noxzema: “Cream Your Face” (1973)

Featuring: Joe Namath and Farrah Fawcett.

Game: Super Bowl VII.

Celebrity Paycheck: Twenty thousand dollars.

Total Price Tag: One hundred thousand dollars.

Featuring a star quarterback and a famous actress, the Noxzema ad was one of the first to get people to sit up and take notice during the Super Bowl. This super bowl was the first game to be exempted from the media blackout that had become part of the NFL.

 

Fawcett rubs shaving cream on Namath’s face alongside the slogan “Let Noxzema cream your face,” which we’re sure they’re still proud of. “Broadway Joe” Namath was apparently teased relentlessly for the ad.

Old Milwaukee beer (2012)

Featuring: Will Ferrell.

Game: Super Bowl XLVI.

Celebrity Paycheck: Not a single cent.

Total Price Tag: $3.5 million.

Will Ferrell wouldn’t accept a dime from Old Milwaukee, saying that he likes to star in fun, crazy ads as a hobby – his net worth is hundreds of millions, so it’s not like he’s strapped for cash.

 

True to Ferrell’s brand of weird and funny (that’s what people say, anyway), this ad has Ferrell shilling for one of his preferred drinks. “Deadspin” described the ads as being pretty small in scope, since a lot of locals markets run cheaper spots that smaller businesses can afford.

Heineken: “The Run” (2005)

Featuring: Brad Pitt.

Game: Super Bowl XXXIX.

Celebrity Paycheck: $4 million.

Total Price Tag: $12 million.

When regular everyman Brad Pitt heads to his fridge and finds it clear of beer, the ensuring beer run is one to remember. Directed by none other than Pitt’s “Fight Club” collaborator David Fincher, this ad has a unique visual style and memorable details.

 

While the ad only ran once, Pitt garnered a hefty paycheck, up to five million if the rumors are to be believed. And despite the single showing, it’s landed itself in the pantheon of legendary Super Bowl commercials.

Visa: “6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon” (2002)

Featuring: Kevin Bacon.

Game: Super Bowl XXXVI.

Celebrity Paycheck: $500,000.

Total Price Tag: $1.9 million.

Kevin Bacon has been in lots and lots of films, which gave rise to the game “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon,” in which you start with any actor or actress, and, via co-stars, tracks how long it takes to get to Bacon.

 

Visa turned this idea into a Super Bowl ad featuring the actor himself, who plays an obsessed fan of himself. Apparently Kevin Bacon is everywhere you want to be, which some people might not be too thrilled about.

Bud Light: “The Bud Light Party” (2016)

Featuring: Seth Rogan and Amy Schumer.

Game: Super Bowl LI.

Celebrity Paycheck: $4 million.

Total Price Tag: $5 million.

For this memorable Super Bowl ad, Bud Light grabbed two people that have been called funny in the past. Rogan and Schumer joined up to forward a “Bud Light Party,” but the ad worked about as well as you expect.

 

Bud Light made sure everybody knew that the two actors were paid the same, and it got them exactly nothing. In fact, sales tanked after the ad’s release, which shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who accidentally watched an Amy Schumer comedy special.

Pepsi: “Joy of Pepsi” (2002)

Featuring: Britney Spears.

Game: Super Bowl XXXVI.

Celebrity Paycheck: $1 million.

Total Price Tag: $5.7 million.

Britney was the It Girl of an entire decade, and she could hardly do anything without every tabloid source in the world breathlessly reporting on it. She banked a number of big ads, including for Pepsi, and the ad she did for Super Bowl XXXVI.

 

It’s a simple jingle with plenty of flashing lights and some good old fashioned pop dancing. Spears has even gone on record that this ad and the others she did with Pepsi are some of the work she’s most proud of.

Amazon: “Alexa Loses Her Voice” (2018)

Featuring: Anthony Hopkins, Cardi B, and Gordon

Ramsay. Game: Super Bowl LII.

Celebrity Paycheck: $2 million.

Total Price Tag: $25 million.

In a world where Amazon’s electronic assistant Alexa loses her voice, the company scrambled to replace her with famous chef Gordon Ramsay, famous actor Anthony Hopkins, and rapstress Cardi B.

 

The ad garnered acclaim from critics and audiences, was nominated for an Emmy, and won three “Clio” awards. The Clio’s are apparently about honoring innovation and creativity in advertising, which is why you’ve never heard of them.

Pepsi: “New Look” (1992)

Featuring: Cindy Crawford.

Game: Super Bowl XXVI.

Celebrity Paycheck: $500,000.

Total Price Tag: $5 million.

Pepsi has plenty of history with celebrities in their ads, but one, in particular, is sure to stick in your mind. When legendary Supermodel Cindy Crawford cracked open a can of Pepsi, it not only got tons of people to sit up and notice, but it debuted the can’s new style.

Getty Images Photo by Pepsi

Crawford became a household name thanks to this ad, though she was well on her way already. Crawford reprised the ad with her son, Presley, in 2018. She had a different outfit, but even without her white tank top, this model still sizzles.

Reebok: “Office Linebacker” (2003)

Featuring: Terry Tate.

Game: Super Bowl XXXVII.

Celebrity Paycheck: $1 million.

Total Price Tag: $4.2 million.

While Terry Tate wasn’t a real linebacker – he was played by actor Lester Speight – these ads are still some of the most memorable in Super Bowl history. Featuring Tate bringing football justice to office injustice, millions of people still watch these ads even now.

 

The ads were based on a 2000 short film by Peter Chiarella (who would go on to write “Crazy Rich Asians”), who also served as one of the executive producers for the ads. The first ad became an instant classic when it premiered during the big game in 2003.

Quicken Loans Rocket Mortgage: “Get Comfortable” (2020)

Featuring: Jason Momoa.

Game: Super Bowl LIV.

Celebrity Paycheck: Unknown.

Total Price Tag: Unknown.

Jason Momoa thrills with his intense looks, superman physique, and long locks, but he has some secrets, and we got to know them all thanks to this Rocket Mortgage ad, which had Momoa removing his muscular bodysuit, taking off his wig, and settling down for some music.

 

The ad’s teasers only had a brief shot of Momoa seeming to remove his shirt, which got plenty of people jazzed up to see the full ad, only for it to give us a one-eighty during the ad itself.

Jaguar: “British Villains’ Rendezvous” (2014)

Featuring: Sir Ben Kingsley, Tom Hiddleston, Mark Strong.

Game: Super Bowl XLVIII.

Celebrity Paycheck: Unknown.

Total Price Tag: Unknown.

It’s no secret posh Brits are seen as villainous, though nobody can really explain why. This ad for the British luxury car company Jaguar attempted to explain it, with the help of three famous British actors: Tom Hiddleston, Sir Ben Kingsley, and Mark Strong.

 

Featuring some stunning shots of classy cars, and a couple of cool characters in suits, this ad proved to be memorable for all the right reasons, with a good dash of humor and good brand awareness thrown in.

American Express: “Drag Racing Minibike” (1990)

Featuring: Paul Newman.

Game: Super Bowl XXIV.

Celebrity Paycheck: $500,000.

Total Price Tag: $1.9 million.

There’s nothing like an old guy on a tiny vehicle. This ad, featuring famous actor Paul Newman, is somehow about American Express, which is everywhere you want to be, including on a mini bike racing against an actual drag racer. The drag racer blows up…or…something. This allows Newman to reach the finish line first.

 

Newman is well-known for his car collection and racing fun, and this ad really does grab your attention. What does it have to do with American Express? Your guess is as good as ours.

T-Mobile: “Caveman and Pop Star” (2017)

Featuring: Justin Bieber and Rob Gronkowski.

Game: Super Bowl LI. Celebrity

Paycheck: $2.25 million.

Total Price Tag: $10 million.

Both celebrity members of this ad got paid big, but Bieber got the bigger paycheck – almost two million dollars bigger. For just a few seconds of dancing around on-screen, it’s still pretty good money, even for Gronk.

 

In this T-Mobile ad, Gronk dressed up as a caveman and partied with a bunch of other actors, which might explain why he didn’t get paid as much. It’s probably something he wouldn’t mind doing for free.

Acura: “Transactions” (2012)

Featuring: Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Leno.

Game: Super Bowl XLVI. Celebrity

Paycheck: Unknown.

Total Price Tag: Unknown.

Jerry Seinfeld wants that new Acura. He wants it so bad. He wants it bad enough to be the first one to ever own it, which means the person at the top of the list, a random guy, is going to get the Jerry Seinfeld treatment. Seinfeld offers a new boat, a look at an alien, the Soup Nazi, and much more, all to get that first Acura.

 

At the very end, Seinfeld finally gets the car, thanks to a private zipline network…at least, until Jay Leno swoops in with a jetpack-powered squirrel suit.

Toyota: “Joy Ride” (2014)

Featuring: Terry Crews and the Muppets.

Game: Super Bowl XLVIII.

Celebrity Paycheck: Unknown

Total Price Tag: Unknown.

Everyone’s favorite muscleman Terry Crews is a mild-mannered executive until he finds the Muppets broken down on the side of the road and gives them a lift. Thirty seconds later, Crews has torn off his shirt, partied at Carnivale, and done it all in the spacious and comfortable Toyota Highlander.

 

In the end, he explains what happened to his neighbor, Kermit, who shakes his head in confusion. This Super Bowl ad has one of the highest “likeability scores” of a celebrity ad ever, at a little over 750. We know that means nothing.

Snickers: “The Brady Bunch” (2015)

Featuring: Danny Trejo and Steve Buscemi.

Game: Super Bowl XLIX.

Celebrity Paycheck: Unknown.

Total Price Tag: Unknown.

In the same campaign as the Betty White ad, the Brady Bunch Snickers ad is well-liked and well-remembered. When Danny Trejo gets heated at the Brady Bunch mom and dad, he’s handed a Snickers, changing into Marsha.

 

Steve Buscemi acts as Jan Brady, who brings out the last laugh, and like the Betty White ad a few years previous, this is one of the most-liked Super Bowl ads we’ve seen in the last decade, thanks to some great performances and a unique idea.

Got Milk: “Morning Run” (2013)

Featuring: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

Game: Super Bowl XLVII.

Celebrity Paycheck: Unknown.

Total Price Tag: Unknown.

The Rock has his priorities in order. The Dairy industry has been putting out “Got Milk?” ads for a long time, and this one takes the cake. Instead of stopping bank robbers, saving a kitten in a tree, or battling an escaped lion, Dwayne is all about getting the good stuff for his girls. Of course, once he’s got his milk, he’s ready to go to work.

 

This is the perfect way to make an ad since the presentation was funny, and there’s no doubt The Rock chugs plenty of milk to fuel those pythons.

Kia: “Hero’s Journey” (2017)

Featuring: Melissa McCarthy.

Game: Super Bowl LI.

Celebrity Paycheck: Unknown.

Total Price Tag: Unknown.

Kia has a new eco-car, which means they have the chance to spend too much on Melissa McCarthy and make a Super Bowl ad. And while we get pretty close to seeing McCarthy bite it a number of times, we never actually see it, which loses the ad some points.

 

However, the ad moves through humorous scenes quickly and lets us know that, phew, driving like an eco-warrior is easy with the new Kia. Don’t worry everyone, the nightmare is over.

Radioshack: “Goodbye ’80s” (2014)

Featuring: Hulk Hogan, Dee Snider, ’80s characters.

Game: Super Bowl XLVIII.

Celebrity Paycheck: Unknown.

Total Price Tag: Unknown.

Featuring a cavalcade of eighties characters big and small – both physically and celebrity-wise – a Radioshack is cleaned out in record time before a new, shiny, and updated store is introduced. The ad was a big win for the floundering electronics store, which recent history had all but forgotten.

 

Nowadays it isn’t wild to see one of these classic electronics stores, though they haven’t exactly made it back to the big time. Still, the ad was fun, seeing all kinds of favorites appear for a supermarket spree.

Mercedes-Benz: “Soul” (2013)

Featuring: Willem Defoe, Kate Upton, and Usher.

Game: Super Bowl XLVII.

Celebrity Paycheck: Unknown.

Total Price Tag: Unknown.

A young man sees a banner for a new Mercedes, and immediately the devil – played by famous unnerving actor Willem Defoe – appears to make a deal.

 

The man takes his new car to the red carpet for an intimate photo with Kate Upton, goes dancing with Usher, finds himself on magazine covers, and has to run from adoring female fans…until it cuts back to the banner and the man sees the starting price of the car. He rejects the devil’s deal since that car is oh-so affordable.

Skechers: “Go Run Mr. Quiggly” (2012)

Featuring: Mark Cuban.

Game: Super Bowl XLVI.

Celebrity Paycheck: Unknown.

Total Price Tag: Unknown.

Mark Cuban does appear for a second in the end, but the main focus of this funny ad is Mr. Quiggly, the French Bulldog who tears up the track in his fancy Skechers, far outstripping the running dogs who are built for this sort of thing.

 

Just before crossing the finish line far ahead of the other dogs, Mr. Quiggly stops, spins, and moonwalks over the line, and then demands a new contract from Cuban. The ad was a hit, but Skechers would later ditch the dog for human faces.

Honda: “Matthew’s Day Off” (2012)

Featuring: Matthew Broderick.

Game: Super Bowl XLVI.

Celebrity Paycheck: Unknown.

Total Price Tag: Unknown.

If you’ve seen – or even heard of – “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, then this is an ad you’ll end up loving. Broderick, Bueller’s actor, takes his Honda out for a drive, having plenty of fun at the museum, park, and even a Chinese festival parade, all while avoiding his agent.

 

In the end, Alan Ruck, who played Cameron Frye, takes the Honda and speeds away, mirroring the famous ending to the famous eighties film this all based on.

Squarespace: “Who is JohnMalkovich.com?” (2017)

Featuring: John Malkovich.

Game: Super Bowl LI. Celebrity

Paycheck: Unknown.

Total Price Tag: Unknown.

Decorated thespian and actor John Malkovich is finally getting with it and creating his own website. But what’s this? JohnMalkovich.com has already been taken! A fisherman with the same name has snatched it up, and Malkovich spends the email sending a profanity-laced email.

 

The gist of the ad, is, of course, how easy it is to set up your own website with Squarespace, which Malkovich discovers to his dismay. The ad had a number of “sequels,” which showed the actor taking his next steps in an attempt to get his website.

Bud Light: “Shopping Spree” (1998)

Featuring: Sean Hayes.

Game: Super Bowl XXXII.

Celebrity Paycheck: Unknown.

Total Price Tag: Unknown.

Sean Hayes is well-known now thanks to his role as Jack on “Will & Grace”, which he is reprising in the show’s revival. However, when he shot this Bud Light ad he was unknown.

 

During the ad, he waits for his wife to finish shopping but is quickly brought into the fold of a small society of guys who have carved out a hidey-hole with drinks, snacks, and football. This ad helped Hayes catch the public’s eye, leading to his famous sitcom spot.

American Express: “Jerry and Superman” (1998)

Featuring: Jerry Seinfeld.

Game: Super Bowl XXXII.

Celebrity Paycheck: Unknown.

Total Price Tag: Unknown.

Jerry Seinfeld meets up with his hero Superman – voiced by Patrick Warburton – and it’s Seinfeld who ends up saving the day with the help of his American Express card.

 

The ad got a reprise years later in 2014, which had Seinfeld complaining to Jason Alexander as George Costanza, which had him complain about not being invited to a Super Bowl party, and also had him plug his new series “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee”.

Cheetos: “I Can’t Touch This” (2020)

Featuring: MC Hammer.

Game: Super Bowl LIV.

Celebrity Paycheck: Unknown.

Total Price Tag: Unknown.

MC Hammer, in his classic style, sits down at his piano with a retro bag of Cheetos. His dust-covered fingers give him a brainstorm when he realizes he can’t touch the piano.

 

The ad is quick and effective, and even gives us a shot of Hammer dancing his way into the frame, grabbing a bag of Cheetos, and dancing back out. Hammer has had financial issues in the past, so we’re sure he was happy with the paycheck, which is undisclosed at this time.

Doritos’s: “The Cool Ranch” (2020)

Featuring: Lil Nas X, Sam Elliott, Billy Ray Cyrus.

Game: Super Bowl LIV.

Celebrity Paycheck: Unknown.

Total Price Tag: Unknown.

This ad has so little to do with Doritos it’s almost silly. But you can’t deny how slick it looks when classic western actor and classic mustache-haver Sam Elliot and rapper Lil Nas X get into a dance battle for a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos.

 

Lil Nas wins the chips, and at the end country music star Cyrus shows up with his guitar, shaking his head at the proceedings. Doritos has a history of odd ads, and this one might be odd, but it also captured a wide swath of viewers.

Mountain Dew Zero Sugar: “As Good as the Original” (2020)

Featuring: Bryan Cranston, Tracee Ellis Ross.

Game: Super Bowl LIV.

Celebrity Paycheck: Unknown.

Total Price Tag: Unknown.

In a pastiche to the classic horror film “The Shining”, Bryan Cranston limps through a hotel tracking down Ross, spouting the benefits of the new Mountain Dew Zero Sugar. When he bursts through the bathroom door Ross is startled but accepts the new drink.

 

In the end, a wave of the soft drink comes cascading out of the elevator, and if you’ve seen the movie you know what these references. It’s a weird ad, but weird is sometimes good.

Squarespace: “Make it With Keanu Reeves” (2018)

Featuring: Keanu Reeves.

Game: Super Bowl XLIX.

Celebrity Paycheck: Unknown.

Total Price Tag: Unknown.

This ad features Keanu Reeves looking cool because he obviously does. John Wick had opened Reeves’s career back up after some time out of the spotlight, and he wants you to know how easy it is to make a website with Squarespace.

 

Anything you can imagine is within you, Reeves says as he surfs a motorcycle. He sings along with a Will Powers song about believing in yourself and then guns it down the road. Take us with you, Keanu.

Old Spice: “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” (2010)

Featuring: Isaiah Mustafa.

Game: Super Bowl XLIV.

Celebrity Paycheck: Unknown.

Total Price Tag: Unknown.

It isn’t usual for an ad to make someone famous, but this Old Spice ad shot Isaiah Mustafa to star-status thanks to clever writing, a unique directorial style – the ad is one long shot – and unexpected sights.

 

The campaign continued, adding in Terry Crews to bump up the muscle and energy, while Mustafa keeps things cool and smooth. He’s the man your man could smell like, and he’s on a horse.

Clash of Clans: Revenge’s “On My List” (2015)

Featuring: Liam Neeson.

Game: Super Bowl XLIX.

Celebrity Paycheck: Unknown.

Total Price Tag: Unknown.

When “Clash of Clans: Revenge” player (and famous actor) Liam Neeson gets punked in his favorite mobile game, he begins monologuing exactly how he will ruin the other player’s life, taking notes from his famous monologue from “Taken”.

 

He’s standing in the middle of a shop waiting for his coffee, and when the barista mispronounces his name, he gets a pretty hot stink-eye from Neeson as well. AngryNeeson52 then launches his counter-attack on his hapless gaming opponent.

Taco Bell: “Taco Bell Rocks” (2010)

Featuring: Charles Barkley.

Game: Super Bowl XLIV.

Celebrity Paycheck: Unknown.

Total Price Tag: Unknown.

Charles Barkley goes around composing a Dr. Seuss-style poem to his favorite Tex-Mex fast food, yet we never see him take a bite. The odd visuals include cheerleader angels, crooked basketball hoops, frenzied paparazzi, and Lamar Odom, who similarly never takes a bite.

 

Barkley was a great player and is an always-entertaining commentator, but this ad was a big miss for Barkley and the Bell, neither of which look back on the experience all that fondly. Taco Bell moved on quickly, but not before burning a big pile of cash to create this ad.