It’s almost that time of year again. Whether you’re a fan of the Falcons or Patriots, a football fan in general or you’re just here for the commercials, those tuning into the Super Bowl on Sunday are in for a real treat beyond the field. Super Bowl commercials have long been an American tradition alongside the football game itself. Each year, brands vie for the coveted multimillion-dollar TV spots. With 111.9 million viewers watching the game last year, the hype around the Super Bowl commercials reaps nationwide awareness and exposure for brands and can have a huge impact in perpetuating brands’ values or in altering public perception of brands (CNN). In addition to the real-time views, these ads often generate enough buzz themselves to go viral on the Internet.
In honor of the 51st Super Bowl, the Freestyle team has compiled a list of our favorite past Super Bowl commercials. From Apple’s groundbreaking “1984,” to Budweiser’s light-hearted “Puppy Love,” Super Bowl commercials continue to garner attention even years after they first air. Here’s our list of the most memorable commercials:
Budweiser – “Puppy Love” (2014)
In the 2014 Super Bowl, Budweiser melted our hearts with a story of friendship between the brand’s iconic Clydesdale horse and cute Labrador puppy. Although the commercial had absolutely nothing to do with beer, it created a genuine emotional connection with the audience. For consumers to connect with brands on an emotional level is priceless.
Consumer reactions were so positive toward the #BestBuds horse/puppy duo that Budweiser kept the momentum going the following year with their “Lost Dog” commercial. You just can’t go wrong with puppies and horses.
Always – “#LikeAGirl” (2015)
When did doing something “like a girl” become an insult? In an attempt to change the stigma attached to doing things “like a girl,” Always empowers women and young girls to define the meaning of the phrase on their own terms, to make “running like a girl” also mean winning the race. #GirlPower
Doritos – “Finger Cleaner” (2014)
Another finalist from 2014, this cringe-worthy Doritos ad is so good/bad that you can’t help but click replay on YouTube. It may not be KFC, but it is finger-lickin’ good…
HEINZ Ketchup – “Wiener Stampede” (2016)
HEINZ pairs a melancholy song with a hilarious scene of dachshunds wearing hot dog costumes and frolicking through a field toward a cluster of people, presumably their owners, in ketchup costumes. These wiener dogs are our spirit animals.
Apple – “Introducing Macintosh” (1984)
Apple’s iconic “Introducing Macintosh” commercial aired nationally on television just one time, during the third quarter of the 1984 Super Bowl football game. That’s all it took to become one of the most famous commercials to date.
Pepsi Max “Love Hurts” (2011)
Pepsi appeals to the health-conscious consumer in their humorous, light-hearted 2011 Super Bowl ad showing a man trying to eat unhealthy behind his wife’s back. The wife catches him in the act every time, even replacing his burger with a bar of soap. When he drinks the Pepsi Max, however, his wife joins him in consumption of the new zero calorie beverage.
E*Trade – “Wasted $2 Million Bucks” (2000)
E*Trade’s 1999 commercial, featuring “a monkey and two idiots,” displays a clever use of irony with the concluding line: “Well, we just wasted 2 million bucks.” The financial services company follows up with the timely question: “What are you doing with your money?” So, your next move is obviously to put your money in the hands of the company that spends 2 million bucks on a silly commercial.
Volkswagen – “The Force” (2011)
Volkswagen introduces the new Passat in this light-hearted, Star Wars-themed Super Bowl ad featuring a young boy playing around his house in a Darth Vader costume. Simple and sweet
Avocados from Mexico – “The First Draft” (2015)
In this witty commercial by Avocados from Mexico, each country selects different species and plants during “The First Draft.” In the end, Mexico selects the avocado and explains why avocados from Mexico are better. Even the jingle at the end is catchy!
Budweiser – Wassup (2000)
The O.G. of Super Bowl commercials. “Wassssuuuuuuupp.” ‘Nough said.
Tune into Super Bowl LI on February 5th to witness more potentially life-changing ads and decide for yourself whether they really are worth the big bucks.