2023 Super Bowl: The best and worst commercials

Ben Affleck, Alicia Silverstone, Brian Cox, Serena Williams, John Travolta, Anna Faris and more celebrities star in the biggest commercials for Super Bowl LVII

2023 Super Bowl ads: Alicia Silverstone in a Rakuten commercial, and Brian Cox and Serena Williams for Michelob ULTRA (Rakuten Rewards & Michelob ULTRA)
2023 Super Bowl ads: Alicia Silverstone in a Rakuten commercial, and Brian Cox and Serena Williams for Michelob ULTRA (Rakuten Rewards & Michelob ULTRA)

It wouldn't be the Super Bowl without a bunch of fresh, funny and emotional ads, from some of the world's biggest brands, with even bigger stars.

In 2023, Super Bowl LVII is happening in Arizona between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles, but almost as big of a draw as the actual game are the commercials.

For us, Ben Affleck's Dunkin' ad, featuring Jennifer Lopez, is the most entertaining of the bunch this year.

These are some of the best and worst Super Bowl ads to watch this year:

GRADE A: Dunkin' - Drive-Thru

Say what you will about the Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez romance but they are a phenomenal pair in this ad, with Affleck working the drive-thru window at Dunkin' in Medford, Massachusetts.

He may have looked a little bored at the Grammys, but it seems like Affleck had a great time at Dunkin'.

GRADE A: Rakuten with Alicia Silverstone as Cher Horowitz from Clueless

Any place, any time, anywhere we love seeing Alicia Silverstone as Cher Horowitz. The Rakuten ad is giving us the yellow skirt suit, the gum pull and the always iconic "as if." Paired with Elisa Donovan as Amber, this is a top-tier nostalgic commercial.

GRADE A: e.l.f. Cosmetics - Eyes. lips. face. sticky.

Coming off of Jennifer Coolidge saying she always wanted to play a dolphin, her dream came true in this ad for e.l.f. cosmetics (including making a dolphin sound). Coolidge can do no wrong in our eyes.

GRADE A: Michelob ULTRA - ULTRA Club New Members Day

Caddyshack meets Succession star Brian Cox and Serena Williams? Yes please! It's new members day at the Bushwood Country Club, which means we get to see one of our favourite things, Cox getting frustrated and yelling at people. It's star-studded and really the epitome of what we want from a Super Bowl ad.

GRADE A: Google - Fixed on Pixel

We have a pretty clever commercial from Google this year with the "Fixed on Pixel" ad, centred around the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro’s photo editing tools Magic Eraser and Photo Unblur. It calls back to Amy Schumer photo-bombing strangers, featuring NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo and Doja Cat as well. Sometimes we just have to get rid of that unwanted guest in our photos.

GRADE A: Bell - The Rental

For some Canadian content, Bell has their own English TV ad for the Super Bowl, promoting its Bell Pure Fibre Internet. It may not have any big celebrities but it's actually a clever commercial, with a family freaking out that their rental has cable internet.

GRADE A: Squarespace - The Singularity

It's more Adam Driver than you've ever seen before, literally. The actor figures out that if Sparespace is a website that makes websites, then it can "create itself," leading to multiple clones of the Star Wars actor. Bonus points for this very funny "backstage" video the brand released with mock interviews with all the different Drivers.

GRADE A: Crown Royal - Thank You Canada

Canadians, we've made it. Grunge icon Dave Grohl is thanking us, on behalf of Crown Royal, for everything we created. Music legends like Rush and Celine Dion, comedy icons like Martin Short and Catherine O'Hara, the paint roller, batteries, whoopie cushions and the game of American football. We'll take the praise.

GRADE A: Workday - Rock Star

Making fun of the corporate worker, this Workday ad features Billy Idol, Joan Jett, Paul Stanley, Gary Clark Jr. and Ozzy Osbourne, who tell us what real rock stars look like. Ozzy as an office worker, who introduces himself as Oswald, is a highlight.

GRADE A: T-Mobile - The Re-Write

There's always something fantastically entertaining about a mother razing their child, but it's even better when it's Bradley Cooper's mom judging her son's acting ability.

GRADE A: Downey - Call Me Downy McBride

In order for this ad to really hit, you have to watch the Downy ad teasers that used Danny McBride's voice. Now that we've reached the time for the big game, we're finally pulling off the sweatshirt to reveal the Righteous Gemstones creator and star. It's that kind of stupid-clever that works for commercials. But McBride, we really need that next season of Righteous Gemstones ASAP.

GRADE A: Uber One - One Hit for Uber One

Diddy in a commercial where he's trying to develop one hit ad jingle? Hysterical! But the comedy doesn't stop there. We have Montell Jordan with "This is How We Do It," Kelis with "Milkshake," Donna Lewis with "I Love You Always Forever," Haddaway with "What is Love" and probably the funniest addition to the ad is Ylvis with "What Does the Fox Say."

GRADE B: Doritos - Jack's New Angle

Doritos loves a star-studded Super Bowl ad and this year is no different. Jack Harlow is looking for something new in his sound and lands of the triangle, taking the world by storm and quitting rap for the triangle (a questionable move for Missy Elliott). We love the commitment to the gag, with a big Elton John reveal at the end.

GRADE B: Hellmann's - Who's in the Fridge

OK Hellmann's, you've maybe redeemed yourself from last year, with Jon Hamm and Brie Larson joining Pete Davidson this time around. Bringing "Hamm" and "Brie" together in one sandwich (get it?) is one of those face-palm puns but we can't help but admit it's clever.

GRADE B: The Farmer's Dog - Forever

Not every ad has to be funny to work, some are just sweet, maybe even a little emotional. That's where this ad from The Farmer's Dog sits, tapping into how important that bond is with your pet.

GRADE B: Popcorners - Breaking into Something Good

What can we say, we love a Breaking Bad return and seeing Aaron Paul, Bryan Cranston and Raymond Cruz back in that desert, with that RV, oddly feels like a big nostalgic hug.

GRADE B: Bud Light - Easy to Enjoy

We can't deny that it's pretty cute Miles Teller and his wife Keliegh are starring in this Bud Light ad together. Having to wait an excruciatingly long time on hold with a customer service representative is painfully relatable. It may not be the most creative ad but sometimes keeping it simple is the best move.

GRADE C: Busch Beer - Shelter

Sarah McLachlan saves this ad, with "The Busch Guide" outlining the items needed to survive in the great outdoors. It pokes fun at McLachlan's song "In The Arms of an Angel" used in ASPCA ads. We just wish they did a bit more with the joke after the singer's lines in the commercial.

GRADE C: Planters - Jeff Ross Gets Ready to Roast Mr. Peanut

After that whole fiasco of Mr. Peanut dying in a 2020 ad, he's back to be roasted by The RoastMaster General Jeff Ross. The 30 second spot is OK. The teaser for the roast, which includes Natasha Leggero, Atsuko Okatsuka, Frank Castillo, Yamaneika Saunders, David Lucas and Sarah Tian, is funnier, but we still wanted to laugh a bit more with all these comics involved.

GRADE C: GM x Netflix - Why not an EV?

The correlation between a good Netflix show and an EV may be a bit weak, but Will Ferrell is a Super Bowl ad staple, and the reference to Squid Games, Stranger Things, Bridgerton and Love is Blind is fun.

GRADE C: Kia - Binky Dad

This ad for the Kia Telluride X-Pro SUV falls into the category of ads that are kind of foolish but oddly work in the realm of hilarity for Super Bowl commercials. A relatable issue for parents.

GRADE C: DoorDash - We Get Groceries

If you're Canadian, from Toronto in particular, our famed domestic chef Matty Matheson, who was also featured in the hit show The Bear, completely makes this ad. "You gotta smell the butt to see if it's ripe," Matheson says. The comedy's a little awkward but we have to be supportive of our local legend.

GRADE C: Sam Adams - Your Cousin’s Brighter Boston

We'll let Bostonians have the real final say on this ad but Sam Adams is bringing us to "a brighter Boston" with this commercial, riffing off of the stereotype that the wicked awesome people in the city tend to have a bit of a temper. A solid chuckle.

GRADE C: Pepsi - Great Acting or Great Taste?

It pains us to say this, but we really wanted these Pepsi commercials with Steve Martin and Ben Stiller to be funnier.

GRADE D: Budweiser - Six Degrees of Bud

This year's Budweiser commercial doesn't really seem like anything special, but when you realize Kevin Bacon is narrating this "six degrees of separation" inspired ad, it's a lot more clever.

GRADE D: M&M's - Ma&Ya's

The campaign for this ad may have started a bit too early, when M&M's posted on social media back in January that the company was changing its "spokescandies" to Maya Rudolph. Now that the Super Bowl ad is finally here, that gag seems a bit stale.

GRADE D: Experian - Happy Guy

This ad may be a hard spill to swallow for any Canadians paying Toronto rental prices, maybe a little too soon to talk about the joys of paying rent, but John Cena is a gem.

GRADE D: Booking.com - Somewhere, Anywhere

We have to start by saying we love the joyous and hysterical Melissa McCarthy, but this Booking.com ad with the Gilmore Girls and Bridesmaids star singing about booking her next vacation doesn't give us anything memorable. We just expected better, funnier material for McCarthy, and her husband Ben Falcone.

GRADE D: Paramont+ - Stallone Face

Apparently a bunch of stars are still stuck on Paramount's Mountain of Entertainment, but this time it's all about Sylvester Stallone. A callback to his 1993 film Cliffhanger, Stallone is trying to hang on to his own face (in rock form) as his daughters, Dora The Explorer, Captain Pike, Lieutenant Jim Dangle and more Paramount stars watch from below. This ad may be better than some parts of Tulsa King but maybe we're just ready to get off this mountain.

GRADE D: T-Mobile - New year. New neighbor.

Seeing John Travolta in a Super Bowl ad is almost expected at this point, and a Scrubs reunion with Zach Braff and Donald Faison will always warm our hearts, but maybe we can start to leave some of the Grease callbacks in the past.

GRADE F: Dexcom G7 - Feels Like Magic

Nick Jonas has been a diabetes advocate for years, which has included ads for glucose monitoring systems. Every year Jonas' ads stick to the straight-forward messaging but just once, we'd love to see something that's actually creative.

GRADE F: Avocados From Mexico - Make it Better

Anna Faris is a nude Eve in a stormy Garden of Eden as a squirrel says avocados from Mexico "make everything better," which leads to a version of New York City where everyone is nude and there are seemingly no problems. We love Faris but this falls in the category of ads that are just weird and not actually very funny.