Best Ads of Super Bowl LIII: Crushing Jeeps, Stampeding Rams and Flying Peanuts

The best (so far) of this year's Super Bowl

Planters pulled out all the stops on this one. [Photo: Planters]

What will be the greatest commercial from Super Bowl LIII?

It’s that time of year again, when companies shell out huge amounts of money to hopefully make an equally huge splash during the Super Bowl. As we gear up to watch the New England Patriots square off against the L.A. Rams, these are the nods to this year’s new cars and trucks automakers want you to see.

As always, the ads range from inspiring to silly to somewhat bizarre. Let us know which one is your favorite in the comments! We’ll post more updates to and during and after Super Bowl LIII as well. Stay tuned!

Audi: “Cashew” (e-tron GT)

Yeah, we didn’t get that title at first either. This is a bit of a weird one, and you’ll see why by the end. The commercial opens with a man standing in a wheat field as he approaches an unassuming farmhouse. He approaches and hugs an old man — presumably his dad — and is greeted with “welcome home.” Then he says, “Come on, I’ve got something for ya.” And it sort of goes off the rails from there.

The men enter an old barn and we see the covers pulled off the Audi E-Tron GT. “What are you waiting for?”, the older man asks. The younger guy is excited, presumably since Audi’s electric GT car is supposed to be fast and exciting, denoting the brand’s future.

Then, out of no where, the guy wretches in the driver’s seat. It’s from there he’s snapped back to reality, where he’s actually choking on a cashew and is saved by one of his co-workers giving him the Heimlich maneuver. At that point, he actually looks sad because he didn’t get to drive his e-tron GT. Audi’s tagline on the commercial? “It’s more thrilling than anything you can imagine (in this life or the next).” So…we guess the E-Tron GT is something to die for?

Hyundai: “The Elevator” (Palisade, Shopper Assurance)

Switching gears, this one’s your straight-up product plug. More to the point, Hyundai kicks things off with a couple getting into a hotel elevator. The doors open and there’s Jason Bateman of Arrested Development fame, ushering guests to what Hyundai calls “a building full of life’s best and worst experiences.”

When the couple tells him they’re going car shopping, he responds with, “Oh, you’re going down…way down.” Past the root canal floor, car shopping is normally a dour experience. Hyundai aims to change your mind on that with its Shopper Assurance app. “Hyundai?”, he says and suddenly cranks them back up to the “better” floors.

There you go. See? Hyundai makes car shopping easier. Simple. Although, we’re also not sure whether a vegan dinner party is a thing.

Jeep: “Crusher” Big Game Blitz (Gladiator)

This one hurts at first. It starts with a forklift loading a 1960s Jeep Gladiator into a Crusher. We’re all bracing for the worst at that point. Sure enough, down comes that 150 tons of crushing force as the Gladiator gets effectively obliterated.

But wait! That Gladiator still has some fight left in it. Suddenly, it starts fighting back as the crusher retreats to reveal the punched out body panels and lines of the all-new Jeep Gladiator. “Gladiator is back”, the ad ends.

The new Gladiator will go on sale in a few months, with a towing capacity of 7,650 pounds. Find out more over on

Kia: “What If?” Teaser (“Unfamous” people)

This is a teaser to the actual commercial, rather than the commercial itself. “Here’s to the great unknowns,” Kia pitches. What does that mean? Don’t worry, they elaborate on that. “Every year, millions of dollars are spent on celebrity endorsements in big game ads. This year, we’re doing something different.”

Instead of “handing checks to celebrities”, Kia will launch the Great Unknowns Scholarship to help disenfranchised young people get a foothold in higher education. The company will provide more information during the game on Sunday, February 3rd.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great cause. However, juxtapose this ad against Hyundai, Kia’s sister company, who did hand a check over to a celebrity to promote Shopper Assurance, and you’d be right to think that serious message is undercut a bit. Still, it represents a major departure for Kia, who has used celebrity endorsers like Stephen Tyler and Melissa McCarthy in the past.

And I won’t bring up the hamsters if you don’t.

Mercedes-Benz: “Say the Word” (A-Class and MBUX)

“Tear up ticket.” Mercedes kicks off their Super Bowl LIII commercial using a guy whose voice commands the very world around him. He goes around being a total bro, changing all the traffic lights to green (seriously, wouldn’t the world be a greater place if you could actually do that?). He also spots a Ford Fusion owner who’s getting a parking ticket. Way to pay it forward.

After finding a fluffy kitten, making it rain in the streets, bringing Ludacris on for a cameo and calling Lassie to save a fully-laden stuck elevator, it’s time to get behind the wheel of his 2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class.

The commercial isn’t so much about the car itself — that starts at $32,500, by the way — but more about MBUX. Mercedes is pushing its new infotainment system hard, building it into all its new models and showing off its voice commands. The Looney Tunes nod is a nice touch, too.

Planters: “Always There In Crunch Time” (Um…Peanuts)

I’ll level with you guys: This one’s my favorite. No serious tones, no weird life-or-death situations. Just Mr. Peanut driving the Nut Mobile like a badass, complete with the “NUTS4U” vanity plate.

Against the background of Mötley Crüe’s “Kickstart My Heart”, we see some cool jumps and even Charlie Sheen. “And people think I’m nuts,” he says. You got us there, Sheen.

Finally, Mr. Peanut arrives just in time to supplant those boring kale chips with some mixed nuts. Thankfully the guy on the couch watching the game didn’t have to eat those kale chips, since Mr. Peanut is “always there in crunch time.”

Ram: “Built To Go The Distance” (Ram Heavy Duty)

Imagine seeing a ram stampede on the 405. To market the new 2019 Ram Heavy Duty, the company pulled out all the stops animated an endless horde of bighorn sheep charging across the country. Their final destination? Atlanta, Georgia — host city of this year’s Super Bowl.

Just try not to noticed the dubbed engine note over the 3500’s Cummins diesel engine.

We’ve covered the Ram Heavy Duty extensively over on TFLtruck. The new Ram 2500 and 3500 trucks are set to go on sale by Q2 2019. The headline is the new high-output Cummins diesel engine with 1,000 lb-ft of torque. The 6.7-liter I-6 engine is the first to break that barrier, while GM and Ford will bring their responses to market later this year.

Toyota: “Toni” (RAV4 Hybrid)

Here comes Toyota, once again bringing us the uplifting story we need. “They said she was too small,” referring to aspiring NFL player Toni Harris. She’s an East L.A. College football player who aspires to be the first woman to make it to the NFL. She’s currently the first and only female player to be offered a full scholarship.

“People have made a lot of assumptions about Toni,” the ad goes on. She’s too weak, she’s too slow. She’ll never make it, right? Now a sophomore, Harris is a Detroit native who’s been playing football since she was 6 years old. Now, she’s looking to tackle those assumptions head-on.

Naturally, Toyota’s a car company, so it’s not just about Toni Harris. They also feature the 2019 RAV4 Hybrid, the latest version of Toyota’s best-selling crossover that will “shatter perceptions.” Ed Laukes, group vice president for marketing at Toyota Motor North America, says the following of Harris. “We’re excited to highlight Toni’s inspirational story during the Big Game and remind viewers that assumptions should always be challenged.”