Game Day

2017's Best Game Day Food Commercial Won’t Even Air on Sunday

February  3, 2017

There tends to be a lot of anticipation around each year's Super Bowl commercials. You read Playboy for the articles; I watch the game for the commercials.

This eagerness has really reached a precipice in the past few years. I mean, some companies, like Budweiser, have started to do a weird thing where they literally invite members of the press for exclusive media previews of commercials. (Food52 wasn't invited; still smarting over that one.)

So thick is this anticipation that a few brands have released their commercials early. A few of the food- and beverage-themed ones are below, along with an ad created for the game that won't actually be airing during the game. Take a look.


The commercial for Wendy's, making its first foray into Super Bowl advertising, features a dude who busts out a blowdryer to defrost some patties. Don’t really know what’s going on here.

Yellow Tail

Wow. I never want to hear the phrase, “Wanna pet my roo?” uttered by a man in my life.

King's Hawaiian

I like how the kids scream at the end.


I'm glad KFC has found its 800th Colonel Sanders, this time in the form of Billy Zane, forced to play a gold-dusted man.


Ah, the zeitgeist-responsive. Here's a handsomely-produced ad that reminds us that this beer’s maker, co-founder Adolphus Busch, was a German immigrant, too. Though this ad is totally anodyne, it’s attracted its fair share of backlash for having some vague suggestion of a political undertone. The horror.

Buffalo Wild Wings

Starring hunk-o-rama Brett Favre as a computer-controlled marionette? This can stay. I'm a fan.

Avocados from Mexico

I was really feeling this one until the clunky introduction of the product in question!

Fiji Water

I admire this one's simplicity and sincerity.


This was exhausting. I'm so tired.


I can’t say I feel terribly inspired to throw paint on canvas after watching this.


This is unimpeachably sweet. Love the critter at the end!


Here she is. The troublemaker, right here. Here's the best Superbowl ad of 2017, and it won't be even airing at the Superbowl.

Shop the Story

You heard me. A few weeks ago, Heinz rolled out a petition, a marketing ploy camouflaged as social change, pledging to make the Monday after Super Bowl Sunday an official holiday. It would be called "Smunday."


Um, guys? Smunday? Smunday? Give me a break. My eyes almost rolled out of my head when I heard about this holiday proposal, because I am a joyless person who takes everything too seriously. This country needs a new hobby, I told myself.

Once I lightened up, though, I let this commercial wash over me. And I love every part of it—especially the ketchup-dressed man drawling his lines aloud soporifically. It's more funny, fun, and self-aware than any Super Bowl commercial I've ever seen, and certainly more endearing than the Smunday campaign had me believe.

Turns out that Heinz has decided to forgo airing this commercial this Super Bowl, even though they recorded it, and instead give its employees Monday off. A Smunday of their own. Isn't that nice?

What Super Bowl commercial, food or otherwise, are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments.

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Mayukh Sen is a James Beard Award-winning food and culture writer in New York. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Bon Appetit, and elsewhere. He won a 2018 James Beard Award in Journalism for his profile of Princess Pamela published on Food52.


Gustavo W. February 5, 2017
I love the kangaroo one lol. But still it is pretty weird that commercials are so important during Super Bowl, when that's the part people usually skip otherwise
susan G. February 5, 2017
Funny how 'politics' rears it's subtle head. Thanks, Bud. I might have to watch the, uh, commercials tonight.
miznic February 5, 2017
..commercials? Game?... oh, sorry, I came for the food... haha
Whiteantlers February 3, 2017
The Skittles commercial is the best of the bunch. The unaired one? Well, the fact that it won't be aired says a lot. Smunday? Ummm-really?

I never watch television and have never seen a Superbowl, so even though most of these spots were not terribly interesting, it was a lot of fun to see what "normal" people watch.