Nostalgia is always a favorite flavor for Super Bowl commercials. This year, there isn’t much subtlety about it.
In an ad for Bud Light Seltzer Hard Soda, the chef Guy Fieri plays the mayor of the Land of Loud Flavors, a fever dream place like a vaguely Ozian Las Vegas, whose citizens are all condemned to sport the spiky white-blond blowfish hairstyle he made famous more than a decade ago.
For General Motors, Mike Myers reprised his role as Dr. Evil from the 25-year-old “Austin Powers” film, except he was now Dr. EV-il and plugging the automaker’s electric vehicle plans. Verizon has brought back Jim Carrey as the Cable Guy from the 1996 movie. Chevrolet orchestrated a “Sopranos” reunion for its Silverado commercial, titled “The New Generation.”
In the first Super Bowl commercial from the potato chip company Lay’s in 17 years, titled “Golden Memories,” the comedians Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd revisit their past just before Rogen’s wedding … to a ghoul who had haunted his first house. Lindsay Lohan makes light of her struggles with addiction more than 15 years earlier in a commercial for Planet Fitness, surprising Dennis Rodman, Danny Trejo, William Shatner and the paparazzi with her exercise-induced glow.
After retiring in 2014, the E-Trade baby (voiced by the middle-aged comedian Pete Holmes) returned to save consumers who, god forbid, have been taking financial advice from memes.