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Watch 2019’s Best Super Bowl Commercials

Super Bowl commercials played it safe this year: light on the political commentary, heavy on the celebrity spokespeople. There weren’t even that many puppies and babies, replaced by ‘90s nostalgia, from Stella Artois’s callbacks to “The Big Lebowski” and “Sex and the City,” Doritos’ Backstreet Boys remix.

The ads that stood out this year excelled in the basics: clever wordplay, good comedic timing, tugging at heartstrings without being schmaltzy and unexpected twists.

Here are some of the best ads of this year:

HBO/Bud Light. “Game of Thrones”

Just when we thought we’d seen enough of the beer company’s “Dilly Dilly” commercials, which are set among knights in medieval Europe, we hear familiar and dramatic violins approach. Wait … is that the “Game of Thrones” theme?

Hyundai. “The elevator”

Jason Bateman’s Hyundai ad focused on an elevator with unpleasantness on every floor.

Amazon. “Not everything makes the cut”

Amazon’s ad showed Harrison Ford, Forest Whitaker and other celebrities testing out rejected Amazon products that feature its Alexa digital assistant, such as a talking electric toothbrush and a dog collar that responds to dogs, not humans.

Serena Williams at Bumble commercial

Women-centric ads were also big. After Hulu’s Handmaid’s Tale spot, Serena Williams appeared as spokeswoman for Bumble, which bills itself as a feminist dating app where women make the first move.

Microsoft. “We all win”

A Microsoft ad showed some disabled childs talking excitedly about the fun they have using Microsoft’s adaptive Xbox controller designed for players with mobility limitations.

Google. “100 billion words”

Google’s pair of ads focused on its good deeds. One focused on its ability to help veterans search for jobs. Another emphasized the human side of its translation service.

Pepsi. “More than OK”

Pepsi may sponsor the Super Bowl, but Coca-Cola runs Atlanta. So, in enemy territory, Pepsi brought out the big guns: Steve Carell, Lil Jon and Cardi B