Top 10 Best Super Bowl Commercials of All Time

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Happy Super Bowl Week! We are counting down the days until Super Bowl 50 is here on Sunday, February 7th when the Denver Broncos take on the Carolina Panthers. With the celebration of the Big Game’s golden anniversary comes many looks back at past Super Bowl glory. The amazing catches, the hard-fought triumphs, the…commercials. Join us as we count down our Top 10 Best Super Bowl Commercials of All Time.

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10. The Little Blue Can

Bob Dole had long been impersonated by Norm MacDonald on Saturday Night Live, and was the butt of many jokes after he began shilling Viagra in 1998. It was these factors, along with the (ahem) stiff persona typically associated with the 1996 Republican Presidential nominee, that made his Pepsi ad so hysterical. Bob Dole knows that you made fun of Bob Dole for his erectile dysfunction, and Bob Dole wants you to know that Bob Dole gets it. Thank goodness he found Pepsi-Cola to help him feel “youthful and vigorous” again. Modern Family fans will also chuckle at the before-they-were-famous cameo by actor Eric Stonestreet.

9. Reply All

Everyone makes the “reply all” mistake at least once in their lifetime. Sometimes you innocently include your mom on a group text with your friends, sometimes you accidentally accept an additional 28,000 students to your freshman class. We’ve all been there! Bridgestone Tiresplayed upon that fear in their 2011 Super Bowl commercial showing a guy going to great lengths to undo his mistake.

8. Imported From Detroit

Detroit has developed a tough reputation in the midst of massive debt, social tensions, abandoned structures, and home foreclosures. The Motor City, once glorious for the birthplace of Motown and the heydey of its automotive assembly plants, became America’s punching bag. But in 2011, for two whole minutes (a long time for a Super Bowl commercial), you believed the city could be great again. Chrysler brought in native son Eminem and utilized a gospel-driven version of his song “Lose Yourself” for the soundtrack. Eminem shows you his hometown from the passenger seat of his Chrysler 200, and paired with a commanding voice-over, you buy into Detroit’s comeback. Eminem will give you chills when he says, “This is the Motor City. And this is what we do.” Top 10 Best Super Bowl Commercials of All Time

7. Wassup

Budweiser spawned a catchphrase that dominated living rooms, school playgrounds, office break rooms for a long time. Don’t try to tell us you never uttered a “Wassuuuuuuup” yourself. There were even sequels to this iconic commercial, but the original is still the best, don’t you think?

True, true.

6. Apartment 10G

It doesn’t get more cheesetastic than this 1987 commercial featuring Michael J. Fox for Diet Pepsi. Gail O’Grady, who went on to find fame years later in NYPD Blue, co-stars as the big-haired babe (bless the 80’s) who knocks on Fox’s door to “borrow” a Diet Pepsi. Everything about this commercial will make you nostalgic: O’Grady’s shoulder pads, the soft jazz saxophone music that turns into a blatant ripoff of “Danger Zone,” the dreamy camera cross-fades. The dramatic tension reaches its peak when Michael is faced with grabbing a Diet Pepsi can from a vending machine. He has to make it safely past a rough and tumble motorcycle gang of…Sears models in leather jackets? All while rocking a sweater vest! Let me say it again, bless the 80’s.

5. Like a Girl

Feminine hygiene products are not usually present among the beers, soft drinks, cars, and junk food featured during Super Bowl ad breaks. Always took a chance on running this commercial in 2015, which sought to remove the subversive insult associated with what it means to do something “like a girl.” Show me what it means to be inspired by strong, confident females and I’ll show you what it looks like to get goosebumps while eating buffalo wings on your friend’s couch.

4. The Showdown

Basketball heroes Michael Jordan and Larry Bird play out their friendly rivalry in this 1993McDonalds commercial. Despite being able to afford approximately 42 gajillion Big Macs each, they have a shootout for the one Jordan brought with him to the court. The acting, Jordan’s crazy wardrobe, the synthesizer music: this ad hasn’t “aged” well in some respects. But you can’t deny how much fun it is to watch two of the greatest basketball players of all time make shot after shot and try to outdo one another. “Over the second rafter, off the floor, nothin’ but net…” Top 10 Best Super Bowl Commercials of All Time

3. Terry Tate – Office Linebacker

Terry Tate is the comedic creation of director Rawson Marshall Thurber and actor Lester Speight. He is not an actual NFL football player. But this Reebok commercial from Super Bowl 2003 almost convinces you to Google “Terrible” Terry Tate’s stats online and find out where you can buy his jersey. Tate raises productivity at the fictional company Felcher & Sons (that name is surprisingly naughty, and it’s a wonder made it past the censors) by striking fear into the hearts of his co-workers. Should anyone violate office rules, Terry “motivates” them with his cartoonishly violent tackles and catchprases like “When it’s game time, it’s pain time, baby!”

2. Herding Cats

Before there was 2016’s Wiener Stampede from Heinz, there were stampeding cats for EDS.Electronic Data Systems was a company founded by Ross Perot (yes, that Ross Perot) that merged with Hewlett-Packard in 2008. Their ad features gruff, manly cowboys extolling the virtues of being responsible for the transport of cuddly, fluffy kitties. EDS likened their ability to bring “information, ideas, and technologies” together to, well, herding cats. It’s tough to say how much the average Super Bowl viewer remembers about EDS being the company behind the ad, or how many people ran out to avail them of their services the way you could easily go and buy a Snickers. No matter what, this commercial is one of the most memorable in Super Bowl history.

1. The Force

2011 was several years before Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens arrived in theaters, and approximately 34 years after Star Wars was released in 1977. That shows the enduring power of “The Force.” This ad also has a lasting legacy, as we still count it among one of the best Super Bowl commercials of all time. It’s simple, contains no dialogue, and it doesn’t have any big celebrity cameos or flashy special effects. The music really sells it, of course. The little boy inside the Darth Vader suit, played by Max Page, is so wonderfully expressive with his shoulder movements and hand gestures that we root for his success despite never seeing his face (or the fact that he’s apparently chosen the Dark Side). When the boy believes he has used the force on his dad’s Volkswagen, you want to cheer. There’s no question why this is one of the most viewed Super Bowl Commercials of all time.

Here’s to the 2016 Super Bowl Commercials being worthy enough to appear on a future top countdown list!


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