In 1973, while Don Shula and his Miami Dolphins were putting the finishing touches on their perfect season by facing off against the Washington Redskins in the Super Bowl, Farrah Fawcett appeared in the first ever Super Bowl commercial.
The late actress captivated the nation with her encounter with quarterback Joe Namath in the Noxzema Cream advertisement. This officially began the Super Bowl commercial phenomenon. Today, the commercials attract sports fans and businessmen alike, as the breaks from the action have evolved into an experience sometimes even more entertaining than the game itself.
Now, having moved into a new decade, it is a fitting time to take a look back at the best Super Bowl commercials of all time. The millions of dollars thrown down for these spots were certainly worth the financial burden, as these 10 remain noteworthy years after their first appearances.
10. Budweiser: Rock Paper Scissor (2007)
Appearing on this list five different times, Budweiser has become a dominant force in the Super Bowl advertisements business, as year in and year out the beer company finds a new way to entertain its viewers. Simplicity is the key in this commercial, as a childish game of Rock Paper Scissor is transformed into a clever representation of sharing at its worst.
9. Mountain Dew: Bohemian Rhapsody (2000)
Freddie Mercury was turning over in his grave for sure with this ad from Mountain Dew as the soda company wove their “Do The Dew” campaign into a parody of Queen’s famous hit Bohemian Rhapsody. The commercial’s combination of snowboarders flying through the air and a hardcore mosh pit provide viewers with the perfect taste of the past and the present.
8. Budweiser: What’s up (2008)
This commercial was one of the best in recent memory as once again Budweiser took a simple greeting in “what’s up” and turned it into a ridiculous and completely over–the–top commercial. An accurate showcase of any conversation between two guys, the different forms and repetition of the greeting, make the ending with the pizza man at the door even funnier.
7. Bud Light: Bad Dog (2006)
This is one of the most outrageous commercials to ever enter living rooms. Bud Light shows dog tricks at their finest with the “Bad Dog” ad. Seeing the dog Fergus react to the words “Bud Light” is as funny as the clenching of the man’s crotch. It immediately makes you burst out into laughter leaving you with the thought, “Boy I am glad I’m not that guy.” This ad is truly hilarious and it was able to resonate with men so well because of the fact that they have all experienced similar pain.
6. Budweiser: Rocky Horse (2008)
This minute–long commercial from Budweiser is one of the most creative in the top 10 as the parody of “Rocky” works perfectly with the storyline and makes for a great scene. The commercial is able to work so well because of the fact that the exercises the horse performs emulate those used in the Rocky movies. With the smaller dog providing motivation, the horse is able to make his way onto the team and at the same time leave viewers entranced.
5. Apple (1984)
During this commercial, a jogger representing Apple throws a sledgehammer into a giant Big Brother image representing IBM. This commercial is one of the most memorable in the 37–year history of Super Bowl ads as it showed the world a sign of things to come with Apple’s domination of technology and it provided viewers with entertainment that they were certainly not getting from the match–up between the Los Angeles Raiders and Washington Redskins.
4. Pepsi: Cindy Crawford (1992)
The beautiful Cindy Crawford mesmerized viewers with this commercial as her devastatingly good looks and ability to drink a Pepsi in 10 seconds left men around the world going gaga for Crawford in 1992. In one of the most memorable soda commercials of all time, Crawford’s tank top and skin–tight Daisy Dukes provided exactly what Pepsi was going for with their fresh new look campaign.
3. Bud Light: Cedric the Entertainer Hot Date (2001)
The infamous Cedric the Entertainer made his way all the way up to number three on the list with his tantalizing dance moves and epic fail on his hot date. Looking to please his date with a bottle of cold Bud Light, Cedric retreats back to the fridge and begins dancing to set the mood for his lovely lady. The only problem is that the beer is in his hand and ends up exploding in the girl’s face. This commercial has it all as Cedric’s personality shines brighter than his chance for a second date.
2. Reebok: Terry Tate: Office Linebacker (2003)
The nation’s unemployment rate may be on the rise, but office linebacker Terry Tate certainly has a lot of work on his hands to restructure his corporate office. The aggression and physical beat–downs Tate lays on his fellow workers is priceless. There is nothing that compares to a 6–4, 250–lb linebacker running through your office as Terry Tate’s bone crunching hits put him at number two all time.
1. Coca Cola: Mean Joe Greene (1979)
After seeing this commercial remade this past year with Coke Zero and Troy Polomalu, I realized how much more I appreciate the original ad with Mean Joe Greene.
While the encounter between Greene and the boy with the Coke won’t cause you to fall out of your chair laughing, this commercial goes down as the most memorable ad in Super Bowl history for the sympathy it evokes. Seeing Mean Joe throw his jersey made grown men cry. The balance of Greene’s aggression and the boy’s innocence work perfectly in this commercial. This is the reason why it became such a major pop culture hit, and the finest Super Bowl Commercial of all time.