The Great Ones – Super Bowl Commercials that Mattered
The Super Bowl is an advertisers dream. It is the only annual event that attracts a huge national audience that actually wants to watch advertisements. The commercials often blur the line between advertising and entertainment, and are the subject of news articles and have even spawned websites for advertising aficionados.
Looking back over the years, here are the top five Super Bowl ads of all time, based on a secret formula locked away deep in the techie vaults.
5. Coca-Cola – Mean Joe Green(1979)
This one definitely qualifies as an oldie but a goodie. At the time it aired in 1979, I was about the age of the kid that shared his Coke with Mean Joe, so I thought it was really awesome. This commercial achieved such a level of penetration into the national consciousness that it spawned many parodies over the years, including an excellent Simpson’s homage in a 2010 Coke ad.
4. Budweiser Light (1982)
Budweiser Light is the most popular beer on the planet, and it launched with a memorable Super bowl ad in 1982. This commercial may not be the most original, but it does have two winning attributes: A Clydesdale horse running around in slo-mo, and a catchy tune.
3. Volkswagen – Darth Vader
(2011) Oh, man, I think I have something in my eye. Sniff. Too bad the kid grows up and tries to take over the universe.
2. Pets.com (2000)
This one makes the list not because of its originality or success, but because it represents the peak of the dot com bubble of the 1990s. Companies that no one had ever heard of suddenly were advertising during the Super bowl. This was a time when it seemed any company could essentially print money as long at their name ended with .com. It seemed too good to be true, and it was.
1. Apple – 1984 (1984)
The 1984 ad for Macintosh has long been seen as the greatest Super bowl ad of all time, and rightly so. I still remember seeing it during halftime, and being left speechless. Well, almost speechless; everyone was asking, “What the heck is Macintosh?” It was stylish, memorable, and had such a revolutionary tone that it was natural to assume the Macintosh, whatever it was, would be revolutionary as well. Look. Just look.