The Worst of the Super Bowl LII Ads

Story posted February 5, 2018 in Arts & Entertainment by Arts Staff.

Each and every year, the Super Bowl is one of the most watched events on TV. With the game goes a host of brand new, very expensive advertisements from the nation’s largest company. As is the case with every year, a few companies trail all others on the grandest stage.


Dodge had all of the components to make a brilliant commercial. Yet, for some reason, they decided that instead of just using some sentimental background music to accompany the scenes, they would use a famous speech from the late Martin Luther King Jr. to promote their trucks. The idea Ram had was to use King’s speech, which urges acts of greatness and love, to promote their tagline “Built To Serve.” Although Ram defended their ad by explaining their intentions, many viewers felt that using King’s emotional speech to sell their products was disrespectful and distasteful. – Jenna Minnig


Hyundai’s “hope detector” commercial is an excellent example of an advertisement with good intentions that completely misses the mark. The concept itself of converting metal detectors into “hope detectors” is hokey and the usage of “real people, not actors” is getting tiresome at this point. Sure, the commercial’s message about proceeds going to pediatric cancer research with every purchased Hyundai vehicle may be pure, but the execution is just plain awful. Who in their right mind would be okay with TSA leading them off into a dark room with no explanation? Hyundai tried to be heartwarming on Super Bowl Sunday, but they just ended up looking silly. – DJ Bauer

Diet Coke

This commercial was not only an egregious waste of money for the Diet Coke franchise (estimated 5.5 million dollars for a 30 second add space), but it also proved to be an even larger waste of time for the projected 111.3 million viewers tuned into the Super Bowl. With the commercials bright, jubilant color pallet, it almost seemed as if David Harbour was going to make an appearance, instantly ending the torturing awkwardness this add contained. Instead, viewers had to vigorously endure 30 seconds of nonsense speech, while a “quirky” actress performed the most uncomfortable hip gyrations ever publicized on national television. It’s no wonder Diet Coke hasn’t advertised in the Super Bowl since 1997. They seemingly can’t identify what content will entice new consumers to their product. After this, let’s pray is that in 2039, Super Bowl viewers are either given a half-decent Diet Coke commercial or never shown one ever again. – JonMichael Pereira


While this commercial is much tamer than most of the others on this list, Pringles has created the least genuine advertisement of 2018. This Pringles ad misdirects its audience into believing it’s an amusing, natural comedy skit by employing the likes of Bill Hader to do the quickest laugh grab material: yelling. There’s no context to why the advertisement takes place on a movie set or why people are so interested in stacking Pringles flavors and there doesn’t have to be. It’s just entertainment in its simplest primitive form: loud, quick, obnoxious and “funny.” It’s upsetting after such a great year of Super Bowl ads that Pringles is seemingly stuck in 2016 with the likes of “puppymonkeybaby.” – JonMichael Pereira


Jenna Minnig is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email

DJ Bauer is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email

JonMichael Pereira is a freshman majoring in Telecommunications. To contact him, email

About the Contributors

Jenna Minnig's photo

Jenna Minnig

Freshman / Broadcast Journalism

Jenna Minnig is a contributor in the Arts Department for CommRadio. Within the department she writes and discusses in depth musical analyses of albums from the past and present. In addition to CommRadio, she is a member of SOMA (Students Organizing the Multiple Arts) and the Asylum music club. After graduation, Jenna hopes to work in the field of Broadcast Journalism and continue working in the entertainment industry. Follow her on Twitter (@jennaminnig) or email her at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

DJ Bauer's photo

DJ Bauer

Freshman / Broadcast Journalism

David “DJ” M. Bauer Jr. is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism at Penn State. He is a writer for CommRadio’s Sports and Arts departments. His writings include the Weekly NFL Game Picks series and reviews of classic albums. He also works as a producer and on-air personality for the PSNtv show Penn State Sports Night. If you’d like to contact him, email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

JonMichael Pereira's photo

JonMichael Pereira

Freshmen / Telecommunication

JonMichael is a writer and contributor for the Nittany Record Club, the first music analysis talk show at ComRadio. Before Penn State JonMichael was the director and head of production for his daily high school news show. He is always looking to forward his experience in the field of production, you can reach him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).