These days, the commercials that play during the Super Bowl are part of the rich tradition of the event. Of course, they’re there to sell products — but they’re also an entertaining component of the show in their own right.
We’ve already seen hype beginning to build around commercials set to air this Sunday — but this year’s crop will be hard pushed to be remembered as some of the all-time greats have. Here are some of the very best ads that have ever graced the Super Bowl.
5. Budweiser ‘Frogs’
Budweiser have been responsible for many classic commercials, but few are remembered quite as fondly as their run of swamp-set ads that began at Super Bowl XXIX. It’s simple but effective — and has been referenced endlessly in film and TV in the twenty years since it first aired.
4. Volkswagen ‘The Force’
This tale of a pint-sized Sith Lord trying out his powers was a huge crowd-pleaser when it first aired in 2011. We’ve seen Star Wars characters used in several different ad campaigns but rarely as effectively as in this case — the video went viral, and has amassed more than 60 million views on YouTube since it aired.
3. Budweiser ‘Puppy Love’
Budweiser are more serious than most brands about their Super Bowl commercials, and last year’s example was one of their best ever. The tale of a puppy making friends with a horse is one that just about anyone can enjoy, and a refreshing break from the high impact action of the game itself — a follow-up is planned for this year.
2. Disney World ‘What’s Next?’
The Super Bowl ads for Disney World have become a bona fide part of pop culture, and have since been expanded to cover a range of sporting events and other accomplishments. It all started in 1987 at Super Bowl XXI, when New York Giants QB Phil Simms uttered the words that would be heard plenty in the years to follow.
1. Apple ‘1984’
Perhaps the most famous advertisement of all time, this commercial announced the release of the first Macintosh computer with a well-realized interpretation of George Orwell’s 1984. Directed by Ridley Scott, the spot depicts the new computer breaking the drudgery of traditional technology — an ethos that’s still carried by the Apple brand to this day. Still as powerful today as it was in 1984, this ad had an enormous impact on advertising at the Super Bowl and beyond.
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