This Sunday we’ll see a showdown between Tom Brady’s Buccaneers and Pat Mahomes’ Chiefs, two iconic teams helmed by two iconic quarterbacks. And for a lot of people tuning in, they won’t care about any of that.
What they’ll care about are the commercials.
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Super Bowl ads have become as much a part of the Super Bowl experience as the game itself. We see that every year in the incredible energy at Ad Meter — the USA TODAY site that allows you to rate your favorite Super Bowl commercials in real-time. (It’s seriously fun and totally free, and you can still sign up to be involved.) Newest slot jackpots on youtube.
To celebrate this part of the game, we’re counting down five of our favorite Super Bowl ads of all time. Some are iconic, others are just weird ones that, for whatever reason, we’ve never been able to get out of our heads.
Why We Love It: This ad is breathtaking, and powerful, and so confident in itself it doesn’t even bother showing the product. Directed by Ridley Scott, it remains the gold standard for television advertisements, managing to create an entire universe in a minute, and positioning Apple permanently as the computer for those who “think different.” This ad also forever changed what it meant to be a Super Bowl commercial — it started the space race, the first ad that showed that a Super Bowl ad could transcend merely being a football game commercial and become a global cultural event.
E-Trade's Baby trader
Why we love it: What’s not to love about this thing? The central character of this commercial is a baby who isn’t just talking but is talking about trading stocks. On the internet! That’s hilarious. This dropped during the big game in 2008 just months ahead of the financial crisis, which makes this a bit more somber. But still, it’s a great laugh. And the baby stuck around for E-Trade until 2013.
Betty White Snickers commercial
Why we love it: First of all, Betty White is in this commercial. That’s a big win alone. But to see her in the spot playing football was hilarious. The concept of needing to eat a Snickers to snap out of hunger pains and stop playing football “like Betty White” is so over the top and ridiculous that you just have to cackle at it.
'The Showdown' McDonalds commercial
Why we love it: It’s Michael Jordan and Larry Bird. These were two of the greatest players to ever play in the NBA, who had already had countless battles on the court and built their own legends in their own right. And here they were, in this commercial, playing the most ridiculous game of horse ever. But the best part was, hyperbole aside obviously, it was probably exactly how you’d envision a game of horse between these two going — both of them just shooting the ball from anywhere.
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Why We Love It: This ad shows three frogs making noises. That’s it. That’s the entire concept. I’d like to believe the pitch meeting was an ad guy saying “So you know how sometimes frogs make a noise that sounds sort of like your product name? … Like Bud.” And then a Budweiser executive was like, “…What?” And then the CEO said “We’re moving on, that’ll work.” But somehow, it became iconic, and it resulted in a nation of people saying a beer brand name for literal years in weird voices. Incredible.