Top 10 Super Bowl Ads of All Time
The Super Bowl is back—meaning it’s time to stock up on Buffalo Chicken dip, kick back in front of the TV and watch some of the best commercials you’ll see all year. Or, catch some football. Whether you’re a sports fanatic or not, the creative ads airing between tackles are always highly anticipated. As well they should be—advertisers shell out close to $3million for a 30-second spot.
While some ads miss the mark, many make such an impact that we still talk about them years later. We’ve compiled a list of our top Super Bowl ads ever for your very own trip down memory lane:
Apple — 1984
There’s been a lot of hype lately about the launch of newer Apple products like the iPad Mini—but the original Macintosh, too, had its own unveiling. The “1984” commercial gives a nod to Orwell’s novel of the same name, and indicates that the Macintosh will save society from Big Brother’s conformity. The ad is visually unique, striking, and has been named to the No. 1 spot on Best-of lists by TV Guide and Advertising Age.
Budweiser — Respect
After 9/11, Budweiser ran this commercial in the 2002 Super Bowl—and it was the only time the ad has ever aired. It’s a stark contrast to the beer company’s often funny ads, but this is why the commercial is especially memorable. Budweiser didn’t use this spot to sell their product. Instead, they used it to acknowledge the tragic event and pay their respects, as their famous Clydesdales lowered their heads and dropped to one knee before the New York City skyline.
Coca-Cola — Mean Joe Greene
Sorry, Ravens fans, but your team’s arch rival were a part of one of the most well-liked Super Bowl spots. In this ad, “Mean Joe” Greene limps off the field in a surly state, not to be bothered by anyone, especially not a little boy. But after drinking the offered bottle of Coke, Mean Joe tosses the kid his jersey and breaks into a huge smile—because as the commercial wants us to think, Coca-Cola can make anyone, even Mean Joe, happy.
Budweiser — Frogs
This is the first commercial I remember from watching Super Bowl. You know why? Because for months afterward, I still quoted “Bud. Weiiiis. Er.” any chance I got (along with every other corny person who thought it was funny to do so). The point is that this campaign stuck. It was catchy. And with a few frogs croaking in a swamp, Budweiser embedded their product into our minds—and appealed to consumers across generations.
Snickers — Game
Have you ever turned into a crabby version of yourself when you’re hungry? Snickers makes a play on this idea in their ad campaign that shows Betty White getting sacked on the football field. After eating a Snickers bar, the guy morphs back into his normal state. It’s impossible not to laugh (who doesn’t love Betty White?)—and, in this case, humor works, because USA Today’s Ad Meter showed the football sketch to be ranked No. 1 by consumers the day after the Super Bowl.
Google — Parisian Love
From looking for study abroad programs in Paris, to learning how to impress a French girl, to finding the location of churches for a wedding—Google’s ad tells us one life story, all through what’s typed in the company’s search bar. Google’s commercial doesn’t outright sell their product. It showcases how one of the company’s tools can be used to solve any major life questions imaginable.
Reebok — Terry Tate: Office Linebacker
Are you breaking office rules? Watch out, because you might get tackled by fictional linebacker Terry Tate. Reebok’s short series of commercials is one of the funniest and successful ad campaigns to have aired during the Super Bowl. Even though the commercials ran only once on television, just one month after the Super Bowl more than 7 million consumers had gone to the Reebok site to download the Web films. These ads are hilarious because, well, who hasn’t dealt with an irritating coworker before?
McDonalds — The Showdown
In one of the most epic games of H-O-R-S-E documented, nemeses Larry Bird and Michael Jordan duke it out—for a Big Mac. They start off with simple shots and the commercial ends with the players discussing their next ridiculous move of bouncing basketballs off billboards, over expressways and off of rooftops. The ad appeals to sports fans and fast-food junkies alike. But, it’s also impossible to not get a laugh out of Michael Jordan’s MCHammer-esque get-up.
Xerox — Monks
Think about how many copies of office documents you make on a weekly basis. Now, imagine how much time it’d take to write out each of those by hand. In this ad, Brother Dominic is instructed to produce 500 copies of an old manuscript. Instead of panicking, he goes through a hidden passage that brings him to a modern-day office where a Xerox machine can make the copies for him, at the rate of two pages for second. The head monk describes the quick job as “a miracle.” Aired back in 1977, the “Monks” commercial led the way for the humorous, tongue-in-cheek commercials of today. And, when a company name becomes a verb for the product it sells, they must be doing something right.
Pepsi — Apartment 10G
Some guys will do anything for a pretty girl—in Michael J. Fox’s case, that means climbing out the window, running down streets through the rain—all to get a Diet Pepsi for his new neighbor. Not to mention that the commercial is set to great 80s music. The commercial as a whole makes an appeal to a younger audience, and advertises Diet Pepsi as “The choice of the new generation.”