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Super Bowl 2018 Ads: The Best, Worst and WTF Commercials

Rating the most inspired (Alexa’s Cardi B-powered ad, the NFL’s ‘Dirty Dancing’ tribute) and insipid (Hyundai’s “hope detector”) spots from big game

From the inventive to the viral to the inane, the commercials that accompanied the Philadelphia Eagles’ historic win against the New England Patriots at Super Bowl 52 were as up and down as the game itself. With the eyes of the world watching, some brands rose to the occasion while others fumbled. Here’s our 2018 rundown of the best, worst and weirdest ads. 

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WTF: The Voice’s country fever dream

NBC’s delirious spot for their musical reality competition series featured this season’s coaches Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson Alicia Keys and Adam Levine poking fun at country music cliches. For a show aimed at finding the industry’s next great talent across all genres, the country theme felt oddly specific. Kudos to the show for not going stale – in their promos, at least – as it gears up for its 14th season. 

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Best: Pepsi’s sugary walk down memory lane

In another commercial that was about commercials, Pepsi recruited Jimmy Fallon to take viewers on a trip through cola history. Cue: vintage clips of Pepsi’s storied ad past, from Cindy Crawford’s iconic spot to Michael Jackson. Cheers to a perfect mix of fun and nostalgia. 

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Worst: Diet Coke’s weird ‘dance’

The challenge with delivering a simple, not-extravagant Super ad: it has to be clever and perfectly executed. Diet Coke’s pared-down spot, which featured Australian actress Hayley Magnus dancing, ad-libbing and goofing off in front of a giant yellow wall, fell flat. Paul Feig (the comedy director behind hits like Bridesmaids) was behind the camera – making it feel like an even bigger missed opportunity. 

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WTF: A voyage down under with Hemsworth and McBride

Starring Danny McBride and Chris Hemsworth, the minute-long spot looks like a fun reboot of Crocodile Dundee, but is instead an elaborate ad for Australian tourism. The fact that it is indeed a commercial is mentioned multiple times, making for yet another meta ad addition for 2018.

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Best: Nobody puts the NFL in a corner

Whether or not the league needed another promo opp on its biggest day of the year, marquee names Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr teamed up for a brilliant salute to Dirty Dancing. In a year full of negative headlines for the NFL, from the National Anthem controversy to CTE, they played it safe and fun with this adorable “Time of My Life” tribute. 

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