Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018, was a night filled with things to celebrate. The commercials played during the Super Bowl were absolutely revolutionary in their approaches this year. Pop singer Justin Timberlake impressed the crowd with old and new hits, and the Eagles won the Super Bowl championship.
Firstly, Budweiser’s commercial was meaningful to those affected by Hurricane Maria. The advertisement opened with a dramatic song and was followed by Budweiser cans filled with water sent to assist Puerto Ricans in hurricane relief. This was not at all what one would anticipate from Budweiser, for in year’s past, the company had a far more lighthearted approach to their advertisements.
Toyota’s commercial also contained important sociological implications. The commercial involves Christian, Jewish, Buddhist and Muslim men riding together to a football game and sitting together. Though they contained fundamentally different ideas about the supernatural, the commercial showed that in the end we are all just people. There’s nothing that separates us from getting along and having fun. This was another unexpected advertisement.
Next, CBS played a teaser of the new Star Wars spinoff Solo: A Star Wars Story. This long awaited commercial came after troubling news regarding Disney’s development of the movie. The original directors for the film were fired after months of no filming. The new directors later scrapped most of the original filming.
However, the biggest surprise came from a new J. J. Abrams film called The Cloverfield Paradox, which was filmed in secret and revealed for the first time on Super Bowl Sunday. The film is set in the same universe as the first Cloverfield as well as the sequel 10 Cloverfield Lane. The Cloverfield Paradox was available for streaming exclusively on Netflix immediately following the game.
And now to the halftime show. Justin Timberlake’s show was plagued with controversy leading up to his performance. Janet Jackson, who performed at the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show with Timberlake, was not invited back this time around. In contrast, Timberlake has received hardly any fallout for the 2004 scandal and didn’t mention her during or after his show.
Timberlake’s performance began in a dugout below the stadium. The scene was dark with the exception of lasers darting about the room and Timberlake’s silhouette. As he began to move through the crowd in the dugout, he performed a great deal of his past and recent hits. The most important part of the show was the Prince tribute. About midway through the performance, Timberlake sang along to a recording of Prince’s “I Would Die 4 U.” There was plenty of backlash on Twitter from people who thought this tribute wasn’t fair to Prince, assuming that Prince would not appreciate the tribute. The show ended with Timberlake traveling through the crowd and taking a selfie with a little boy. His performance was incredibly impressive.
Finally, the icing on the cake was the Eagles beating the Patriots. Nick Foles contemplated retirement after being released by the Kansas City Chiefs last season. The Philadelphia Eagles had never won during the Super Bowl Era, but did have one NFL Championship. The record not only for total yardage in a postseason game was broken, but also the record for total yards in a NFL game ever played. The 52 year drought brought the city of Philadelphia its first taste of victory. What a night.