Super Bowl commercials
The Super Bowl has become the number one television event in America. And while there certainly are millions of football fans, there must be another reason why so many viewers tune in. For decades now, casual fans have also watched the Super Bowl to see the commercials. Take a look back at the top 10 Super Bowl commercials in history.
10. 1995: Budweiser
It is with mixed emotions that I include the Budweiser “Frogs” on this list. When this commercial debuted in 1995, I was right out of college teaching math to sophomores. And for the next four months, my students drove me crazy croaking “Bud,” “weis” and “er” in class. Still, this Super Bowl commercial is a classic and belongs in the top 10.
9. 2002: Budweiser
Just months after the terrorist attacks on 9/11, Budweiser did a tribute commercial to the heroes who lost their lives. The Clydesdales approach New York and once they reach the city, they stop. Then, with the Statue of Liberty in the background, they kneel and bow their heads. Rightfully so, this Super Bowl commercial has been named “Respect.”
8. 2001: Pepsi
Some may criticize my choice of this Super Bowl commercial. But in 2001, Britney Spears was at the height of her popularity and Pepsi was looking for a vibrant, young star to contrast their product with the traditional beverage choice Coca-Cola. The ad showcases her energy and dancing at a time when she was the biggest pop star in America.
7. 2010: E-Trade
The only things better than talking animals are talking babies. E-Trade has been doing commercials with talking babies for several years now. But their 2010 Super Bowl commercial was the best ever. Their male star is video conferencing with his girlfriend about investing. But when she accuses him of cheating on her, “that milk-aholic Lindsay” pops up in the foreground. For some reason, the E-Trade commercials always work.
6. 1977: Xerox
One of the earliest classic Super Bowl commercials, Xerox helped lay the foundation for later blockbuster ads. A monk is charged with copying manuscripts by hand. But he sneaks off to a secret office with a Xerox copier and gets the job done in no time. Needless to say, it looks like divine intervention.
5. 2010: Snickers
The reason why Britney Spears is no longer the hottest star on the planet is because Betty White now holds that title. Just kidding. But White’s star quality has definitely improved with age. My favorite part of this Super Bowl commercial is actually Abe Vigoda getting tackled. He was old in “Barney Miller” in the 1970s!
4. 1993: McDonald’s
On the heels of the Olympic “Dream Team,” McDonald’s capitalized on the growing mainstream popularity of basketball with its 1993 Super Bowl commercial. In the ad, Larry Bird and Michael Jordan play “HORSE” to see who gets a Big Mac. The shots keep getting crazier and crazier. But in my opinion, nothing is crazier than Jordan’s outfit!
3. 1995: Pepsi
If this list was based solely on my own feelings, this Super Bowl commercial would be #1. In this Pepsi commercial, a Coke driver and Pepsi driver each end up at the same diner. They strike up a conversation and decide to swap drinks. But when the Coke driver refuses to give back the Pepsi, he gets thrown through a window.
2. 1979: Coca-Cola
The top two Super Bowl commercials are actually two of the oldest ads. But they have clearly withstood the test of time. In this famous 1979 Super Bowl commercial, a kid gives “Mean” Joe Greene a bottle of Coke on his way to the locker room after a tough game. In return, Greene throws the kid his jersey. 30+ years later, this ad is still iconic.
1. 1984: Apple Macintosh
No Super Bowl commercial is more culturally significant that the 1984 Apple Macintosh ad. First, it showed Madison Avenue the importance of making a splash in the Super Bowl. Second, the commercial is credited with kick starting the technology revolution. And finally, this significance was reciprocated by turning the Super Bowl into the most important entertainment event in America. There is no question that this is the greatest Super Bowl commercial in history.
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