The bright lights of the Super Bowl have produced some great games and performances. Likewise, the promise of a nationwide viewership has inspired the creation of many classic commercials that have lived long in the national audience’s collective memory. Among the many memorable commercials over the years, these are the pick of the bunch.[sc:”SuperBowl48″ ]
Here are our picks for the 10 Best Super Bowl commercials of all-time:
Pepsi, “It’s Beautiful” (1991)
With all due respect to Pepsi’s other star-driven Super Bowl commercials – Michael J. Fox and the Beyonce-Britney-Pink gladiator troika come to mind – but a Ferrari-driving, tank-top and Daisy Dukes wearing, Pepsi-guzzling Cindy Crawford has them beat. At least in one key demographic.
E*trade, Monkey (2000)
There’s nothing better in a commercial than some good, old fashioned simplicity and honesty. And it really doesn’t get simpler and more honest than dressing up a dancing monkey and admitting you basically threw away millions of dollars just to show it. Good job, E*Trade. The audience salutes you.
Budweiser, “WASSUUUP??!!” (2000)
How many Super Bowl commercials have 1). fully ingrained a word (WASSUUUUP??!) into the modern lexicon and 2). made such an impact in pop culture that it was spoofed in Scary Movie? Probably just this one. (WASUUUUUP?!?!)
Volkswagen, “The Force” (2011)
Even with Star Wars set to be shoved back down the movie-going public’s throats for the foreseeable future, we won’t grow tired watching the little Sith Lord realize his dream of world domination, one Volkswagen sedan at a time.
Reebok, “Terry Tate: Office Linebacker” (2003)
Reebok’s spell as the NFL’s official apparel maker may be over, but we will always have those wonderful Terry Tate commercials to remind us that there was once a time when that annoying swoosh didn’t dominate the gridiron – or the office.
monster.com, “When I grow up…” (1999)
It’s one thing for grown-ups to be sarcastically spewing the harsh realities of employment (“When I grow up, I wanna file. All day”), but it’s completely affecting when it comes from the supposedly innocent and idealistic minds of the youth. This is truly one of the greatest commercials.
Budweiser, Frogs (1995) & Clydesdales (1996)
Budweiser sure knows how to make simple animals into affecting marketing tools. Whether they’re three very monosyllabic frogs (above) or majestic horses who astonishingly, know how to play football, beer never felt more natural.
Apple, “1984” (1984)
There’s no empirical way of quantifying it, but Apple’s Super Bowl commercial “1984” probably played a part in the company’s rise toward becoming the biggest brand in the world 30 years later. Like buying stock in Apple at that time, the commercial likely provided a decent return on investment.
Coca-Cola, Mean Joe Green (1980)
If there were ever a clearer metaphor between the tacit relationship among sports, the audience and commercialism, we haven’t seen it. Still, it was a touching exchange between sportsman and fan, made possible by Coca-Cola.
McDonalds, “The Showdown” (1993)
So who won here: a) the NBA for having two of their biggest stars shown playing basketball before a Super Bowl audience, or b) the NFL for charging huge money to their competitor so their stars can shine during the Super Bowl? Let’s go with c) the audience, for witnessing such an awesome commercial. Or, you know, McDonald’s.
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