15 Best Super Bowl Commercials (Ever)

Published 8 months ago by

super bowl 2014 15 Best Super Bowl Commercials (Ever)

It’s not just football fans who will be tuning into Super Bowl XLVIII this Sunday, as the parade of high-priced commercial spots has become just as much of an attraction as the game itself. The structure, attitude and tone of the “Super Bowl spot” has changed dramatically over the years, but one fact remains: the perfect spot is nearly impossible to achieve.

The rise of Internet connectivity and social media marketing has changed the game, with many of the most anticipated Super Bowl commercials for this year already available to view online. That being said, nothing can compare to a well-written, well-executed ad aired out to millions of consumers simultaneously.

With that in mind, we decided it was worth it to take a look back at the best Super Bowl spots we’ve seen to date. Obviously, some of our entries are no-brainers that have earned a place in history already, but whether these ads managed to say something important or simply resonate with their target audiences like no other, we think they’re just as enjoyable, memorable, and influential to this day.

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Volkswagen – “The Force”

The German car manufacturer has distinguished itself in recent years as one of the hands-down best commercial makers around. Never going for the cheap laugh, Volkswagen spots are almost always witty, well-made, and downright unforgettable. While the small boy starring in the company’s “The Force” commercial may be among the most recent on our list, it’s not going anywhere.

As one of the most influential film sagas in history, plenty of advertisers have attempted to use Star Wars to help sell their products. But the timing of this commercial was so spot-on, it instantly became one of the  most talked-about commercials for weeks after the game aired. Its widespread popularity is a sign of what social media can do for marketers, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s one great ad.

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Reebok – “Terry Tate: Office Linebacker”

Simply utter the words “Terry Tate” (with or without his official title of ‘Office Linebacker’) and there’s a good chance any Internet-savvy consumer will have come across a video of misbehaving office workers being tackled at their desks by the titular enforcer. Played by Lester Speight, the character appeared in several spots, putting the hurt on employees for not following company policies.

The commercial’s premise and star became so iconic that they eventually outshone the product they were meant to be selling. The ad campaign has been cited as potentially wasteful, since few viewers could actually tell you that the campaign was run by Reebok, illustrating a key point for Super Bowl marketers: an ad being memorable is key, but if it shares no link with the product being sold, don’t expect to earn anything more than YouTube views.

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E*Trade – “Monkey”

The average TV viewer may not know much about advertising contracts or marketing campaigns, but they know this: Super Bowl commercials are as expensive as they come. So when the horde of overnight millionaires created by the Internet wave lined up to carelessly spend their money for the status, not just advertising gained by buying a spot in the big game, E*Trade decided to approach their pitch differently.

The financial services company decided to call out the ludicrous price tag required for the advertising slot and make a memorable impression at the same time. With an ad featuring a chimpanzee dancing besides two men on lawn chairs and the tagline “we just wasted $2 million,” the company managed to be clever and blatantly honest about misusing money.

While the ad became one of the most memorable ever aired due to its irreverence, we like to think E*Trade’s follow-up in 2001 – after the Internet bubble burst, and dot-com businesses failed left and right (obviously due to unwise spending) – turned out to be just as brilliant, even including a cameo from one of the monkey’s fallen dot-com mascots.

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NEXT PAGE: Where’s the Beef?

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TAGS: super bowl

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  1. I don’t know. I like the list but the bud ones. You can pick just about any bud bowl year was way better then most of these on the list. Each one was different because it was a game and it was freaking beer cans playing football with no hands or legs. Classic stuff right there. Sad Sad Sad. I would put every bud bowl with maybe the last one as the exception.

  2. Were way better then most of the ones on here. I would look forward to it each year. Me and my friends would talk about it almost as much as the up coming game. https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=5_c1lKJMS2o

  3. I don’t know Mr. rob . I have to say I really like your site and I enjoy reading the majority of the stuff you guys post on here but your list are kind of like wtf? to me. How do you guys come up with these lists? Does one person do them , do you take a vote with all the ppl who post and work with the site? I would like to know.

  4. The Budweiser one with the newborn horse was good, but their beer still sucks.

  5. I would have put the “Imported from
    Detroit” Chrysler ad that featured Eminem on the list. I really like that commercial.

  6. the Michael Jordan one is awesome, but you can’t touch the Where’s the beef ha

  7. when the Cap Trailer plays today someone post it up, don’t be shy thanks :D

  8. Some cool ads I’ve never had the pleasure of seeing before due to being a non-US citizen.

    Also, RIP Philip Seymour Hoffman.

  9. I think that the commercials are the dumbest part of the Superbowl.Movie trailers,ok,I’m fine with those,but over the past 10 years or so,I’ve found that the games themselves have been entertaining enough.

    I guess people seem to forget that no matter how funny,or touching these commercial are,there SOLE purpose is to entice you to buy their product.If I’m not drinking Bud Light now,there’s nothing that these commercials can do to make me start.

    • That’s the thing though, I’m not likely to need to compare different insurance companies to get a cheaper deal because I don’t pay insurance on my home or my health and I don’t drive so have no car insurance but that can’t stop me from enjoying the meerkats that help advertise for one insurance company.

      Like this one, where they teamed with Take That singer Gary Barlow to perform on the set of Britain’s longest running TV soap opera (been on the air since 1962) for a commercial late last year.

  10. I wasn’t impressed with the commercials this year. I have to say the one with the mixed breed dog was very funny. But over the years, the commercial have been costing more and have been less entertaining. This list of what you considered your favorite past 15 super bowl commercials wasn’t bad, but it was still lacking.

    There is something about a man innocently cooking supper for his sweetheart and the cay getting covered in red sauce and then being seen by said sweetheart holding a red covered cat and knife, that made me laugh again like before. That surely is one of the better made commercials picturing something that could happen to anyone.

    But missing from your list for my liking are the Budweiser frogs and chameleon. Most of those were classic and I think the trendsetters of super bowl commercials. But you are right, Budweiser still has a lot to be desired.

  11. In case you guys don’t know, there area a lot of Football fans in the U.K. too. And I do mean American Football! We have to stay up until 3.30/4.0 AM to catch all the match.
    Yes, we ‘get’ the ads too – VW is always brilliant.
    This year the only spoiler was the lack of any Broncos at the Game. We knew it was Super Sunday; you should have told them too. Well played Seattle, the Brits always love it when the underdog wins, especially in the manner that the Seahawks played.
    Thanks America, lookin’ forward to next year already. Any chance we could have the ‘Skins there? (I go back to John Riggins!)

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