Ted Lasso’s Hannah Waddingham Is Hilariously Evil In Her Debut Super Bowl Ad
Lesson learned: Never bet against Rakuten.
The stakes of a regular poker game are already high, but for Ted Lasso’s Hannah Waddingham (who portrays Rebecca Welton on the show), playing poker in Rakuten’s — and her own — debut Super Bowl commercial gives a new definition to “high stakes.” You might know her best as the No. 1 fan of Ted Lasso’s shortbread biscuits, but Rakuten’s Super Bowl 2022 commercial with Hannah Waddingham shows her villainous side — and TBH, the “evil” side of the actor is so, so good. Here’s what you can expect to see when Rakuten’s first Super Bowl spot airs Sunday, Feb. 13.
Waddingham’s Super Bowl commercial, which was released Feb. 7, is set in a dark poker hall that eagle-eyed viewers will recognize as the Hatfield House in London. Despite the U.K. setting, Waddingham’s Rakuten alter ego isn’t a carbon copy of the football club owner, though they do both command a room and rock some seriously good outfits. In the spot, Waddingham is dressed in a stunning black evening gown with matching gloves, and sports some serious bling on her neck, wrist, and fingers.
Her best accessory is her sidekick — a hairless cat who is also wearing an impressive diamond-crusted collar. In the commercial, Waddingham tells her opponent, “It’s time to finish this,” and that’s where things start to take a turn.
Waddingham bets a pair of gold heels, and her opponent meets her bet without hesitation. Then, Waddingham insists they “raise the stakes” and her henchman pulls out a robot vacuum. Unfazed, her poker counterpart places her matching vacuum on the table, and Waddingham begins to panic. Next up is a 4K Smart TV, and not only does her challenger match her bet, but she decides to raise the stakes one last time with the extra $278 cash back she got from Rakuten after buying the heels, vacuum, and TV.
In a fury, Waddingham walks out the room and forfeits the game, but not before she calls out to her henchman to “get the cat.”
If there’s a lesson to be learned here, it’s never bet against Rakuten. In case you didn’t know, Rakuten is a browser extension that offers cash back and rewards on all your online purchases, including clothes, groceries, travel, beauty, and more.
Fans first got a glimpse of the spot on Jan. 27, when a 15-second teaser was posted on the official Rakuten YouTube account and on Waddingham’s IG. It showed Waddingham practicing her best evil villain laugh into two different mirrors — but turns out it still wasn’t enough to best Rakuten.
Though Waddingham technically left the poker game as the loser, she’s definitely a winner for making her Super Bowl debut with her first-ever game day ad. Make sure to catch the commercial (and get your Ted Lasso fix) during the 2022 Super Bowl on Sunday, Feb. 13.