How to Throw a Super Bowl Commercial Watching Party

About 10 million of the people who watch the Super Bowl are tuning in just for the commercials and even many of those who watch the game skimp on bathroom breaks so that they don't miss the ads![1] If you and people you know find yourselves glued to the tube during commercials, why not make an event of it?


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    Send invitations however you’d like. And, since this is an ode to the ads, remind your football-loving friends that the commercials come first and the game a distant second (unless of course you are a die-hard fan of one of the teams playing). If it’s a small party with close friends, a simple phone call will do. For larger parties, or if you really want to set the commercial-watching mood, consider filming your own faux-commercial/invitation (don’t worry about high-quality production techniques, the low-brow effect adds to the charm). Then upload it to YouTube or another online video sharing service, and send a link of the video to your friends via an e-mail invitation. Set an RSVP date that allows you enough time to prepare for food, drink and other requirements.
    • If you have friends whose favorite football team is actually playing the Super Bowl, give them plenty of warning that this is a commercial-watching party. If their team starts winning the game, they’ll be in good spirits, but if their team starts losing, you might have a mood dampener on your hands. In other words, invite these types of people only at your own risk.
  2. Image titled Throw a Super Bowl Commercial Watching Party Step 2
    Decorate your place. Instead of footballs and team colors, consider displaying the logos of this year’s Super Bowl advertisers.
  3. Image titled Throw a Super Bowl Commercial Watching Party Step 3
    Provide food. With all those commercials for snack foods, soda and beer, your guests are bound to get hungry. Have fun with the menu, and consider stocking the snack table with products that have bought airtime in recent Super Bowls. Don’t forget to stock plenty of alcoholic drink options, as these are generally advertised during the Big Game.
  4. Image titled Throw a Super Bowl Commercial Watching Party Step 4
    Need a cake? Of course you do. Since most sheet cakes are conveniently shaped like a TV, consider having your local cake decorator create an ode to the ads with a semi-high definition rendering of a TV displaying your favorite Super Bowl commercial (with or without the cool photo-converted-into-icing technique).
  5. Image titled Throw a Super Bowl Commercial Watching Party Step 5
    During the game, gather your guests and play a variety of commercial-related games.
    • Ad Checklist - See the video below.
    • Ad Trivia - Do an Internet search for "super bowl commercials trivia" and quiz your guests!
    • Ad Bingo - Make a list of 25-30 things you're likely to see in a Super Bowl commercial. Print several copies of a blank Super Bowl ad bingo card (PDF) and fill them in randomly with items from your list. To save time, you can visit this website which will automatically generate bingo cards that you can print.

      Example Super Bowl Advertisement Bingo Game Card


  • If you want to cut food and drink costs, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask your guests to bring their own beer. You can also ask them to bring a covered dish and/or snack to share with the masses. To avoid ending up with 14 bowls of spinach dip, consider making a list of food and drink needs and allowing guests to pick and choose what they’d like to bring.
  • Consider getting TiVo or some other type of DVR. The ability to pause and rewind the commercials is priceless, especially when people who are ignoring the game will have to scramble to get back into the room for sudden commercial breaks. (HINT: The great thing about TiVo and most other DVRs is you don’t need to subscribe to the monthly service to be able to pause and rewind live TV.)
  • Don’t forget to clean up the place a little bit beforehand. That includes clearing off as many horizontal surfaces as possible (like coffee tables and end tables). With lots of people in your house, each with a drink and a plateful of snacks, space to put things can fill up pretty quickly.
  • Be aware that this works best with an American broadcast of the game because Canadian corporations simsub or simulcast their own advertising content during commercial breaks. Many of the best Super Bowl commercials are not aired during the game in Canada.


  • If you’re serving alcohol, or if your friends are bringing their own, make sure there are enough designated drivers on hand to get your guests home safely. As host, it is your responsibility to make sure your guests don’t drink and drive. That may mean offering yourself as a driver or the guest bedroom for potential overnight stays.
  • Spills and runaway meatballs will happen. Be prepared by keeping some cleaning supplies on hand.

Things You'll Need

  • TV
  • Seating for everyone
  • Food and drinks
  • Plates, cups and utensils
  • Emergency clean-up gear
  • Games
  • Commercial voting ballots
  • Computer with internet access (optional)
  • A nearby bathroom so if necessary, no one will miss anything.

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