Minneapolis, Minnesota - The Super Bowl is American football's equivalent of the Rugby World Cup. It's the national championship game of the National Football League, played in a different city on the first Sunday of February each year and watched live by a television audience of more than 100 million people.
Since this is an American sport, the game is structured around the broadcaster's commercial breaks, which feature some of the mosrt spectacular (and expensive) advertisements ever made. After all, what better excuse for making an ambitious TV commerial than a guaranteed audience of 100 million Americans?
Car companies in particular are renowned for over-the-top Super Bowl commercials, often featuring movie stars and celebrities, and almost always with a sting in the tail. Here are our six favourite car commercials from the 52nd annual Super Bowl broadcast - and one over-ambitious failure:
DODGE: GAME DAY
This commercial for Dodge performance cars plays on the (not altogether incorrect) perception that the Super Bowl game brings the entire United States to a standstill for a couple of hours. It's what you do with those hours that counts, it says.
TOYOTA: GOOD ODDS
The number one feel-good commercial of the 2018 Super Bowl is the story of Canadian Paralympic skier Lauren Woolstencroft's journey from infant to gold medalist. Overlaid over the visuals are the odds against a little girl born with no feet or left hand ever winning an Olympic gold medal - and if your throat doesn't close up when they hit "1 in 1", you ain't human.
RAM TRUCKS: VIKINGS
This tongue-in-cheek mini-story plays on the fact that the 2018 Super Bowl was played at the US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota, home of the Minnesota Vikings football team, between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots. Brilliant as the execution is, we feel it would have been better if the sound track had been closer to the original Queen recording of "We Will Rock You".
LEXUS: BLACK PANTHER
A cleverly edited movie tie-in with the upcoming Marvel action movie, notable mostly for its superb photography.
KIA STINGER: FEEL SOMETHING AGAIN
This fantasy scenario features Steven Tyler of Aerosmith (a well-known petrolhead in his own right) driving the new Kia Stinger performance sedan backwards around a deserted oval track fast enough to reverse time. The concept is way out there, the execution superb. The other driver, by the way, is former double Formula One world champion Emerson Fittipaldi, now 71, who hasn't aged well.
A better executed movie tie-in featuring Jeff Goldblum as Dr Ian Malcolm, a Jeep Wrangler and a pissed-off Tyrannosaurus Rex; keep watching for the sting in the tail. This commercial was widely lauded on social media as the best of the day.
A SPECTACULAR BACKFIRE - RAM TRUCKS: BUILT TO SERVE
Even top ad ad agencies get it wrong sometimes. Despite its superlative execution, there was strong negative reaction on social media to this commercial using the soundtrack of Martin Luther King's "Drum Major Instinct" sermon to highlight the hard-working capabilities of the Ram 1500 truck, especially as later in the same sermon he preached against spending money on fancy cars!
BONUS TRACK - JEEP WRANGLER: ANTI-MANIFESTO
This 30 second quickie, aired in the fourth quarter of the game, gets top marks for something very rarely seen in American advertising - understatement.