The Best Super Bowl Commercials of All Time

Without a doubt, the Super Bowl is one of the biggest events of the year. But, if you ask around, you’ll probably find that the thing many folks are looking forward to doesn’t involve sports at all. Because the Super Bowl is the most-watched event in America, advertisers know they have to come up with some amazing commercials to get people talking, resulting in ads that stand out from the rest. There have been plenty of amazing Super Bowl commercials throughout the years, but these ones stand above the rest.

Apple, “1984”

Apple’s “1984” commercial isn’t just one of the best Super Bowl commercials. It’s one of the most iconic commercials, period. The advertisement, clearly inspired by the George Orwell book of the same name, features a bland, grey future of mindless drones huddled around a large television display, watching an address from a Big Brother figure. They’re interrupted by a runner, wearing bright red and white, who throws a hammer at the screen, destroying it. Directed by famous film director Ridley Scott, the ad has been so popular that it’s been endlessly parodied, even to this day.

Budweiser, “Frogs”

Viewers who saw the Budweiser “Frogs” commercial during Super Bowl XXIX must have been a little confused. The commercial starts with a close-up on a ribbiting frog, who’s then joined by another frog, and then another. Slowly, they start to piece together a single word: “Budweiser.” A simple concept, the commercial was a hit, becoming one of the most popular ads of all time. An interesting bit of trivia: the commercial was directed by Gore Verbinski, who would go on to direct the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films.

Reebok, “Terry Tate: Office Linebacker”

Everybody wishes their office had a Terry Tate. The 2003 Reebok commercial poked fun at petty office politics, following a workplace that hires fictional linebacker Terry Tate to enforce the rules. Small infractions, like failing to recycle a soda can in the breakroom, earn coworkers a visceral tackle from Tate, who then screams a lecture at the offender. Unfortunately for Reebok, the character may have been too popular, as polls indicated that most viewers didn’t even realize it was a Reebok ad.

Snickers, “Betty White”

The idea behind the 2010 Snickers ad campaign was fairly straightforward: simply, you’re not yourself when you’re hungry. The execution, though, is where this ad succeeded so greatly. A muddy pickup game of football is interrupted by “Mike,” played by famous Golden Girl (and octogenarian) Betty White, who’s ridiculed by his teammates for his poor performance. A quick bite into a Snickers bar turns him back into his regular, football-playing self. The ad gave Betty White a late-career resurgence in fame, and was responsible for the fan-led effort into getting her to host an episode of “Saturday Night Live” later that year.

Google, “Parisian Love”

By 2010, Google had long been the leading search engine provider, which meant that most people who saw this commercial were already quite familiar with how the service works. And that’s what made the simple advertisement so powerful. With no actors and no narration, it tells a story through the search terms entered into a Google search textbox: “study abroad paris france,” “impress a french girl,” “churches in paris,” and finally, “how to assemble a crib.” This television ad was Google’s first, and it was definitely the right way to start.

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