2023 Super Bowl car ads: Touchdowns, field goals, and fumbles


The 2023 Super Bowl had a little bit of everything: incredible plays, controversial calls, and an outcome that wasn’t decided until the final seconds. As for the annual “game within the game”—the highly anticipated and ultra-expensive commercials—we felt a little short-changed when it came to the automotive-related ads. Or we were feeling that way until Stellantis saved the day with its Ram masterpiece.

To our disappointment, some heavyweights sat out this year and watched from the sideline like the rest of us. We get it. In these uncertain economic times it’s tough to justify paying $7 million for a 30-second spot—there are stockholders to answer to and all that. So, since we can’t tell manufacturers how to spend their money, we’ll just say this: We missed you, Ford, Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, and Nissan.

More importantly, we needed you guys on the field, especially after you helped raise the advertising bar with some extremely effective commercials in 2020, ’21, and ’22. With that said, it’s hard to imagine anyone beating Ram this year, so maybe the rest of y’all did the right thing.

Congrats to the Kansas City Chiefs, who defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 38–35, and to those 30- and 60-second spots that entertained us.


RAM: “Premature Electrification”

Hands-down the best automotive Super Bowl commercial of 2023, Stellantis scores a touchdown (and a two-point conversion) for its absolutely hilarious spoof on ads for men’s performance-enhancing drugs. Narrated by comedian Jason Jones, the commercial debuts the production version of the Ram 1500 REV electric pickup on the same day that Stellantis begins accepting online orders for the truck

With Jones leading the discussion, we hear from couples who bought early EVs and realized too late that the cars just don’t have the juice to consistently get the job done, a malady called “Premature Electrification.” While RAM’s new electric pickup won’t be available until sometime in 2024, the promise from Stellantis is that a solution is on the way, and it’s definitely worth waiting for. There’s even a drug-like disclaimer at the bottom of the screen: “Ask a professional if Ram 1500 REV is right for you. Reserve today at RamREV.com.”

We could say so much more, but words cannot compare to watching it for yourself. Do it. Now.

GM & Netflix: “Why not an EV?”

Will Ferrell does it again. Two years after he nailed his “No Way, Norway” rant on behalf of General Motors’ electric vehicles, he’s back alongside a selection of Netflix stars to promote—you guessed it—GM EVs. What does one have to do with the other? We’ll let Ferrell explain.

“General Motors is going electric,” he says in the 60-second commercial, as Army of the Dead zombies swarm his GM Sierra EV Denali. “And Netflix is joining in by including more EVs in their movies and shows. It’s the least they can do. So if you’re going to get swarmed by an army of the dead, why not get swarmed in an EV?

“Ow! I said no biting!”

We later see Ferrell (in a fleet of GM EVs, some of which aren’t available yet) in Squid Game, Bridgerton, Queer Eye, and posing as Dustin Henderson in Stranger Things. The commercial ends with Ferrell, now a zombie, sharing a ride with the monster who bit him in the first scene.

“Oh, Gordon, you kill me. You literally did kill me.”

This one killed us too. In a good way.

Jeep: “Electric Boogie”

Not quite as good as Ram’s gem, but this fun EV commercial from Jeep secures Stellantis’ position as Super Bowl LVII car-commercial champion. Focusing on Jeep’s Wrangler 4xe and Grand Cherokee 4xe plug-in hybrid electric SUVs, the commercial blends the future of automobiles with great retro music. The remix of Marcia Griffiths’ 1983 hit “Electric Boogie,” which includes reggae artist Shaggy, is so good that even the wildest of jungle beasts can’t help but dance along. Naturally, Jeep is hoping you dance all the way into the showroom.

Sam Adams: “Your Cousin’s Brighter Boston”

Before you say it, we know this isn’t a car commercial. But we’re so desperate for something good that we’re making an exception, especially since we saw some cars in it. Better still, it reminds us of Hyundai’s hilarious “Smaht Pahk” from 2020, which plays big on the wicked awesome stereotypes of Bostonians’ accents and not-always-friendly personalities.

If you’re from Boston, and you hate this, our apologies. Maybe you’d rather hug a New Yorker? Regardless, we laughed at this alternate reality of a “Brighter Boston.” It’s so well done, in fact, that we even remember the product that was advertised. Let’s all raise a glass to Sam Adams.


Kia: “Binky Dad”

Kia is pretty proud of its 14th Super Bowl commercial, explaining in a pregame press release that “the new 2023 Kia Telluride’s rugged and refined personality is on full display in this action-packed tale of everyday heroism.” Hmmm. The commercial is cute, yes. And mildly entertaining. But while we can all relate to the poor dad who “forgot the binky” and went to great lengths to go back and get it, is that effort heroic? Maybe to his wife and baby daughter. 

Regardless, the unexpected ending saves this one, even if it doesn’t exactly drive home the tagline: “Kia Telluride X-Pro. More ruggedly capable.”

If you disagree and you’re looking for more, we’re told that three alternate endings are available exclusively on TikTok. Considering Kia is paying $233,333.33 per second for the TV version, we’re guessing we’ve already seen the best one.

Universal: Fast X trailer

There’s a small part of us that wonders how this saga is still cruising—didn’t we go to space last time around? Nevertheless, Fast X popped into the Super Bowl ad mayhem with all the hallmarks of the franchise: cars, action, explosions, and Dom Toretto’s favorite: family.

The recipe is familiar at this point, but it’s familiar in the way that an old, well-worn sweatshirt is—a little corny, but welcome nonetheless. The usual cast of wild cars is on full display, from svelte Alfa Romeos and McLarens to Dom’s inimitable Dodge Charger and more. (If we were betting people, we’d have money down on an appearance of Dodge’s all-electric Daytona SRT Concept, made public in August of ’22.)

While the YouTube trailer was just 60 seconds long, there’s a full trailer out for the new Fast X movie as well, which you can view hereFast X hits theaters May 19.

Uber One: “Diddy makes a hit song”

Again, this isn’t exactly an automotive commercial, but it slips in on a technicality since an Uber driver requires a motor vehicle. In this one, Sean “Diddy” Combs is asked to make a hit song—a song, not a jingle, since “Diddy don’t do jingles”—on behalf of Uber One, a membership program for Uber and Uber Eats. 

He auditions potential collaborators like Montell Jordan, Kelis, Donna Lewis, and the Norwegian comedy duo Ylvis, who sing Uber-focused versions of their own hit songs before Diddy settles on Haddaway’s “What Is Love” version. “Uber One. Uber One saves me, saves me … way more.” 

In the end, Uber marketing execs don’t look exactly thrilled with the finished product, but one of Combs’ sidekicks makes it clear that “Diddy is excited.” We’re not sure who wins on this one, but the ad is amusing enough and effective enough to earn a field goal, if only because we can’t get that dang jingle—we mean hit song—out of our head.

WeatherTech: “We All Win

Here’s one thing we can always count on this time of year: WeatherTech’s high-quality automotive products and get-’er-done crew will roll out a Super Bowl commercial, and the spot will almost always be patriotic. Don’t ever tell America that it can’t. WeatherTech proves that it can. Again. That’s gotta be good enough for a field goal.


Paramount: Transformers: Rise of the Beasts

Shown moments before kickoff, the Transformers trailer got off on the right foot by showing us a sweet early-generation Porsche 911 … and things went down from there. The seventh installment of the action series is scheduled to hit theaters on June 9 with a new breed of Transformer—the Maximal—as the earthly battle continues between Autobots and Decepticons. But we had to find that out on our own. As for the commercial, we didn’t see anything to get excited about after our first glimpse of the 911.

Everyone else: Missed Opportunity

When we first heard the news that the Super Bowl was going to be light on automotive commercials, we were bummed out, of course. Now we’re wondering if those who skipped it are feeling a little remorseful. When you add it all up, the entire night was about as good as it gets for a sporting event that rarely lives up to the hype: great game, entertaining halftime (you go, Rhianna), and strong ads overall.

While we still have the microphone, Bradley Cooper and his mom trying to sell T-Mobile and Ben Affleck working the Dunkin’ Donuts drive-thru were the cherries on the Sunday. (Yes, we meant to spell it that way.)

Think we nailed it? Think we blew it? Since opinions are like belly buttons, you must have one. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. (And if you disagree, please keep it civil, folks.)

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    Yeah, the Ram ad had me laughing all the way through it. It was the clear winner. The rest, meh…though the alternative-reality Boston was amusing, and the Jeep ad was kinda cute.

    VERY inappropriate AD about TESLA. By Dawn Project.
    Theyn have NO idea about the technology or where it satnd as far as % of before full production.
    DAWN just trying to advertize ITSELF.
    FOX and NFL should be reprimanded for such a un-technology, “truth in showing” AD.
    Lots of BABIES being killed by HUMAN DRIVERS, dont mention that !!!!!!!

    Dawn project is founded by Dan O’Dowd, an industry expert in software development. He even used to supply software to Tesla, so I think Dawn project is well aware of the technology.

    Premature Electrification was clever, and engaging. It also has a double meaning for those who still can think outside the box we are being fed. The future is NOT electric. Electric is a band-aide, a premature solution that will result in more of a carbon foot print, increased costs for electricity for everyone and will not address the real problem. The real problem, l think the other ads address them, if you look beyond the ads.

    I was in advertising for over 40 years. What most advertisers fail to remember – when it comes time to create a Super Bowl commercial – a whole lot of the viewers are at SUPER BOWL PARTIES – which are quite LOUD. If advertisers rely on the audio portion of their commercial – many of the viewers never hear it! If you don’t visually grab their attention, get your message across, and your branding – you’ve failed to get the attention of a lot of the audience, and you’re wasting your advertising $$’s! Based on that criteria – most Super Bowl commercials failed! Among these automotive ones, I agree the RAM one was the best – maybe the only one that worked.

    The only one that actually might compel someone to spend money or go out of their way to buy a product was the WeatherTech ad. The others were all attempts at entertainment with varying degrees of success, but not likely to change anyone’s purchasing decisions.

    First off if you are reading this you have more than one car, it is an actual Hagerty rule. I personally have three, one for getting to and from work most days, one for vacation and Home Depot runs, and a toy, that does not even count the wife’s car. I see no reason why my commuter econo box should not be electric. I see no reason to drive a 15 MPG truck every day if I only need to go to work and home in reasonable comfort. I spend enough on gas for commuting, I don’t need to spend more to impress anyone especially people that would judge me for driving an EV, grow up.

    Tell you the truth we really liked the Dunkin commercial, short funny and off to the game. Also like the one about the Dog growing up with the girl, real tear jerker.

    I thought the Jeep EV ads were about the dumbest ever… or maybe I’m judging the product itself?? Yeah, let’s take a vehicle into the middle of nowhere over very battery-draining terrain to end up at a place that has no hope of having a magical charging station located there. And even if a charging station did exist, there’s only a 77% chance per JD Power it would work (factual stat). Electric cars have their place but Moab & the like ain’t it nor would I want the infrastructure required to support it to ruin the landscape.

    got to agree – the dumbest commercial of the bunch. Off terrain EV? You’d need a battery pack trailer to just get somewhere. Never mind getting back. Magical charging station on cliff face?!? yeah right!!! I’ll keep my ICE thank you

    I think that driving your EV Jeep up a mountain trail, or through deep sand might reduce the range. And then you are tenth in line when you reach the fantasy mountain top charging station. Hope you have a Jerry-can full of electricity to get you home. But in reality like most other Jeeps, the E-Jeep will never leave paved roads.
    Note : The Jerry-can emergency battery pack was my idea, you heard it here first folks. … Gary

    Absolutely none of my car friends have any interest in sports- especially the Stupor Bowl. For true car guys, I believe this is extremely common… And I’ll bet you’ll get comments agreeing with me. Commercials? Who pays attention to commercials.

    I am a hard-core car (and many other forms of transportation) enthusiast, and have been for over 50 years, before I even drove. I also watch the Superbowl, and the occasional college and NFL football game in the regular season. While I tend to agree that most hard-core car folks are not hard-core sports folks, it is somewhat common to be a fanatic on one, and have a casual interest in the other. My dad, for example, was a hard-core sports nut (watching AND playing), yet he kept up to date on the car industry, and always drove an interesting (read: not boring) car. And, a friend of mine is huge sports fan, yet is also a Corvair fan.

    And yes, I love to watch the commercials, too.

    With all due respect, I think perhaps your generalization may not be as generally applicable as you think. Many folks have more than one interest – in some cases, quite a few.

    It’s funny but all I noticed was Porsche! From Air Jordan to Transformers Porsche was prominently featured. Maybe I’m partial but evs and KI backwards Ns don’t inspire me.

    The girl and her dog growing up together was truly heart warming. The Dunkin ad was pretty funny. I am a fan of Weather Tech (Go USA made!). The Jeep ad was silly and I agree with Robert W: my wife and I both said the same thing during the ad: there are no magical charging stations in the desert! Will Ferrell is funny but shilling for GM and their intentions of going all electric turned me off. If there ever was a Zombie apocalypse Will, there would be no power stations left operating to charge your car.

    If there’s ever a zombie apocalypse have fun finding gas after the first week. But my solar panels and wall battery will keep my lights on and car rolling for years.

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