Being one of the most watched American television broadcasts, the Super Bowl not only triggers immense anticipation and excitement, it raises commercial airtime rates exponentially. Commercial giants spend more lavishly on their ads than at any other time during the year, bringing their A-game to the screen. The hype surrounding Super Bowl commercials has long been almost on par with that of the game itself.

So if you’re tired of discussing the result of this year’s big game, join us as we scan through Super Bowl commercial history, listing ten of the most famous commercials of them all.

Coca-Cola – Mean Joe Greene (1979)

Coca-Cola - Mean Joe Greene

This emotional Coca-Cola ad shows an exhausted “Mean Joe” Greene approached by a loving young fan who offers him his coke. Greene accepts the coke and hands the boy his shirt with a smile and a “Hey, kid! Catch!” A Coke Zero spoof of the classic ad starring the Pittsburgh Steelers safety, Troy Polamalu, was aired during the 2009 Super Bowl. [Watch]

Apple – 1984 (1984)

Apple - 1984

Directed by Ridley Scott and aired during the 3rd quarter of Super Bowl XVIII, this $1.5 million commercial announced the release of Apple’s Macintosh computer. The symbolic ad, inspired by the one described in George Orwell’s novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, is set in a future governed by an authoritarian order, opposed only by the coming of the Apple Macintosh. [Watch]

McDonald’s – The Showdown (1993)

McDonald's - The Showdown

McDonald’s “The Showdown” shows NBA players Michael Jordan and Larry Bird battling for a McDonald’s Big Mac meal in a game of H-O-R-S-E. [Watch]

Budweiser – Clydesdale Respect: 9/11 Tribute (2002)

Budweiser Clydesdales

In 2002, Budweiser set aside its usual witty ideas to pay a tribute to the 9/11 tragedy with a commercial showing the Budweiser Clydesdales kneeling in respect before the New York Skyline. [Watch]

Reebok – Terry Tate: Office Linebacker (2003)

Reebok - Terry Tate

This unusual yet entertaining Reebok commercial shows an office policed by a vicious linebacker named Terry Tate, who ruthlessly smites co-workers for even the tiniest of violations of office regulations. [Watch]

Budweiser – Whassup (2006)

Budweiser - Whassup

This is a perfect example, perhaps even the best, of the conventional Budweiser ad. The ad starts with two friends conversing over the phone while “sippin’ a bud” and “watchin’ the game”. The conversation turns into a crazy telephonic “whassup” frenzy, which gets funnier as they are joined by more friends. [Watch]

Old Spice – The Man Your Man Could Smell Like (2010)

Old Spice - Smell Like a Man, Man

An witty ad that quickly turned into a internet meme with countless spoofs on the web, this Old Spice ad earned Isiah Mustafa – better known as the “Old Spice Guy” – a lot of fame and Weiden + Kennedy – the ad agency responsible for the masterpiece – an Emmy. [Watch]

Doritos – Crash the Super Bowl Finalist: House Rules (2010)

Doritos - House Rules

Finalist of Doritos’ “Crash the Super Bowl” ad competition, “House Rules” by Joelle de Jesus is a short and funny commercial that shows a protective young boy slapping a house guest across the face, warning him to stay away from both his mother and his Doritos. [Watch]

Snickers – Betty White (2010)

Snickers - Betty White

Viewers will find themselves confused in the first few seconds of this smart and hilarious Snickers commercial that show 89-year-old actress/comedian Betty White being viciously tackled and dominated in a game of football. The ad explains itself as a Snickers bar comes into play. [Watch]

Volkswagon – The Force (2011)

Volkswagen - The Force

This adorable Volkswagon commercial is among the best the 2011 roster of Super Bowl commercials has to offer. “The Force” shows a juvenile Darth Vader trying in vain to use the power of the Force until he surprises himself by (apparently) succeeding with his father’s Volkswagon. [Watch]

Bonus: Google – Parisian Love (2010)

Google - Parisian Love

A must watch for all googlers, this smart and touching ad walks you through the life of a man via his search history.[Watch]

Author Sameed Khan

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9 Responses to 10 Most Popular Super Bowl Ads of All Time

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