The Super Bowl is a commercial for commercialism wrapped like bacon around a football game. Paying through the nose to reach a captive audience for 30 seconds has long been a rite of passage for The Brands. With each year, the pressure to be creative and stand out builds. More analysis is arguably given to which ad won the night than which team won the Lombardi Trophy.
Bound by Internet Law to present this, here is a short list of the best Super Bowl commercials to air.
Coca-Cola - "Hey Kid, Catch!" (1979)
Just pure, clean stuff here. Mean Joe Greene wasn't so mean after he got that sugary swill up in him. I'm talking about the old recipe. The stuff that really kicked. A person would have to be a heartless miser not to feel something when the sweaty, stinky jersey hit that kid in the face. This Is Us should work this into a storyline next year.
Budweiser - "Bud." "Weis." "Er." (1995)
It may sound weird to some of our younger readers, but for a good eight months after this one aired, 83 percent of all conversation in America was done in the frog cadence. It's a damn shame that all changed. We should bring it back. No matter how many times you watch this one, it's still good for a laugh. A real heat-seeking missile for the dumbest part of our brains.
Apple - "1984" (1984)
Absolutely bananas from start to finish. Has all the makings of an above-average Nic Cage movie. It proved prophetic, though-- the revolution was televised. Our dystopian landscape evaporated into a bright world of people playing Oregon Trail and printing out Happy Birthday banners on noisy printers.
McDonald's - "Showdown" (1993)
In retrospect, it was probably problematic to feed Michael Jordan's gambling habit into the capitalism machine, but things were just different back then. Love Larry Bird's fashion choice. You may not, yet you should know that's just what the peak male body looks like.
Chrysler - "Imported From Detroit" (2011)
I am allowed to say this: This was Detroit's most memorable Super Bowl moment. Some very hard men in my life got wet, doleful eyes when this aired. Don't think it was a coincidence.
E*Trade -- "Monkey" (2000)
In the joyful haze of celebration following Y2K turning out to be nothing to worry about, America was feeling invincible. Essentially allowing a monkey to light $2 million on fire didn't warrant a second thought. Companies were spending like the Yankees taking on overhead. What a delightful time.
Reebok -- "Terry Tate, Office Linebacker" (2003)
Responsible for untold amount of workplace incidents the following weeks when employees decided to take out their aggression on co-workers.
Budweiser -- "Bud Bowl I" (1989)
Football and beer commercials go together like peanut butter and jelly so it's no surprise that the domestic draft enthusiasts dominate this list. Bud Bowl was revolutionary and felt like its own event. In an era where blowouts were the norm, a case could be made at the time for making the whole broadcast out of Bud Bowl.
Pepsi -- "Cindy Crawford" (1992)
It was actually against the law to buy groceries in the early 1990s without looking at six different magazine covers featuring Cindy Crawford. The young boys in this spot were treated to an in-person show and that was something that you could do back then. One of the few times Pepsi has ever been fine.
Volkswagen -- "Darth Vader" (2011)
Even me, a person who absolutely despises child actors, has to admit this Star Wars-themed celebration of key fobs is spot-on. One wonders if it's canon, though. And please do not provide me that answer in the comments.