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Some of the Best Super Bowl Ads Are Already Out

Non-alcoholic beer and a reunion of 'Breaking Bad' stars await.

The Super Bowl may be more than two weeks away but some brands are not wasting any time on rolling out what many fans look forward to even more than the game itself -- beer company Heineken  (HINKF) , Procter & Gamble's  (PG) - Get Free Report fabric softener Downy, and PepsiCo's  (PEP) - Get Free Report Frito-Lay are already getting started. 

Along with getting ahead of the crowd, there's quite a bit of financial motivation to drop one's ad early -- revenue generated from those ads is higher than what a company could get from regular marketing campaigns all year.

Here are some of the ads that already dropped. This round-up will get updated as more ads come out:

Heineken's Non-Alcoholic Beer

Over the last year, multiple beer companies have been pumping heavy ad money into promoting non-alcoholic beer during major sporting events -- after the government of Qatar turned and banned alcohol at World Cup events at the eleventh hour, Anheuser-Busch  (BUDFF) 's Bud Zero was the only beer sold at the stadiums.

Having launched its non-alcoholic beer in the U.S. in 2019, beer company Heineken released its new ad both for the Super Bowl and in sync with the release of the new "Ant-Man" movie -- actor Paul Rudd takes a non-alcoholic sip before going off to save the world.

That M&M Controversy, Explained

For much of 2022, iconic candy brand M&M's has been trolling far-right commentators who called it too "woke" after it tweaked the shoes and personalities (no more dramatic stilettos and "sexy" stance) of one the two female candy characters. 

The predictable outcry restarted when the Mars-owned brand added a Purple "spokescandy" in combat boots standing for "acceptance and inclusivity" and, last week, launched a limited edition candy package featuring Green, Brown, and Purple in an "all-female" candy lineup.

While the outcry was less pronounced than a year ago, something in the candy company's resolve changed and it walked back decisions that it "didn't think [...] would break the internet." M&M's decided to temporarily pause the "spokescandies" and, instead, release a Super Bowl ad featuring someone it hopes to unify America: comedian-actor Maya Rudolph. While the commercial will not drop until February 12, the move is already generating quite the stir online.

Downy Fabric Softener

Procter & Gamble was one of the earliest companies to get in on the Super Bowl hype -- a series of ads for the Downy fabric softener have been out since mid-December.

In it, a man disguising his face with a sweatshirt says that he'll be sniffing it for the next 12 weeks until the Super Bowl to test whether the fabric softener's claim of keeping clothes fresh for "up to 12 weeks" is really true. The real identity of the celebrity behind the sweatshirt will be revealed on the big day.

Ads released this early are definitely unusual but P&G North America Senior Brand Director for Fabric Enhancers Jenny Maxwell told Variety that the brand didn't want to have "just one moment in time."

"You have to drive engagement through the length of the entire [Super Bowl]," Maxwell said.

Several Ads From Frito-Lay

Perhaps in the hopes of influencing people's snack purchasing choices before the game, Frito-Lay dropped several early commercials promoting chips like Doritos and newer popped-corn chip product Popcorners.

A commercial for the latter has been received with particular excitement due to its nostalgic factor -- Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul of the hit AMC show "Breaking Bad" reunite in the New Mexico desert to say that these corn chips are "what's up."