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Top Ten Super Bowl Commericals

Updated on January 14, 2013

Watching the Super Bowl can mean many things for many people. For some it is a chance to watch their favorite teams play for the championship. For me it is a chance to see the advertisements. No, I am not in the advertising industry, nor am I typically riveted to the actual football game, rather it is a chance to be entertained by what the advertising world arguably submits as their best work for the year. I look forward to seeing what the creative geniuses come up with and what we (the viewers) will be talking about not only the day after the big game, but in some cases for years to come.

Super Bowl Logos
Super Bowl Logos

Top Ten Super Bowl Commericals

Since I typically don’t like a “forced selection” type of list I am putting the ads in the order that they first appeared. Check them out and you decide which of these your favorite is. Even if you don’t have a clear favorite, perhaps you will review the list and recall what you were doing the year the ad appeared. For some, you may have to ask your parents what they were doing since you may not have even been born yet!

I am struck how many of these commercials spawned sayings that became a part of the language of the pop culture (i.e. “Nothing but net”, “Wassup”, “I’m Good” etc.) and how wonder how many more Super Bowl commercials will we be talking about in the future.

Mean Joe Greene

Coke, “Mean Joe Greene” (1979)

The commercial: After a tough game, an injured “Mean” Joe Greene is walking off the field and is offered a bottle of Coke by a little boy. Green takes a long sip and stops the boy from walking away by saying “Hey kid,” and throws his jersey to the boy. Technically this ad did not first appear during the Super Bowl that year but it did indeed appear during the game and was met with favorable reviews. Since it did not first appear during the game I am including it in the list but it isn't counting for the top ten.  This is also a cheesy way for me to actually sneak eleven commericals on to my top ten list. (Did I mention I don't like force choice kinds of things?!)

Apple "1984"

Apple: "1984" (1984)

The commercial: The Apple Macintosh computer was introduced to the world in this ad during the Super Bowl. The spot saw an auditorium full of drones viewing “Big Brother” going on about the anniversary of the “Information Purification Directives” on a huge screen.  At that moment a blonde woman wearing shorts and a headband enters from the back of the hall and runs towards the screen.  The woman throws a slow-motion sledgehammer and shatters the screen.  The voice over says “On January 24, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh, and you’ll see why 1984 won’t be like “1984”.  This was a much talked about ad for quite some time.

Apartment 10 G

Pepsi, “Apartment 10G” (1986)

The commercial: When actor Michael J. Fox’s beautiful new neighbor asks for a Diet Pepsi and he realizes that his last bottle is empty; Fox goes to amazing lengths to get a new bottle for her. He leaps over cars, gets rained on and finally has to break his own window in order to get back into his own apartment. This ad caused many smiles.

Nothin But Net

McDonald’s, “The Showdown” (1993)

The commercial: Two NBA legends Michael Jordan and Larry Bird are seen playing a basketball shooting game in order to win a Big Mac. They throw crazy shots through windows, off of walls and from the top of skyscrapers and with each shot shout out “nothing by net”. This commercial spawned the phrase “nothing but net” and was heard on playgrounds and in gyms for quite some time.

Budweiser Frogs

Budweiser, "Frogs" (1995)

The commercial: This commercial for Budweiser beer became an instant classic when three frogs were seen sitting on lilly pads in a swamp.  The frogs start croaking a word beginning with “Bud”, “Weis” was heard next followed by “Er”.  The scene expands and a neon Budweiser sign can be seen hanging from a bar window.  There were lots of people croaking Bud-Weis-er the next day!


Budweiser, “Wassup” (2000)

The commercial: This Super Bowl commercial starts off with a man calling his friend and asking “What’s up” to which the reply was, “nothing, just watching the game and having a Bud”. Next, the phone rings and another guy says “Wassup” and then a series of guys over exaggerate the term wassup in a comical way. Untold numbers of people adopted the saying “wassup” as a result of this ad.


Budweiser, “Respect” (2002)

The commercial: This was the first Super Bowl after the 911 tragedy and as a sign of respect the Budwiser Brewing Company showed in slow motion a team of their famous Clydesdale horse carrying a wagon full of Budweiser beer across snowy fields.  When the wagon reaches the outskirts of New York City, the horses kneel down in show of respect and tribute to those who lost their lives during the September 11 attacks.  Not only was this a sobering reminder of what America endured, it was a classy way for Budwiser to pay tribute. This ad was aired only once and it still gives me chills.

E"Trade Baby

E*Trade, “Baby” (2008)

The commercial: In one of the first E*Trade talking baby commercials a baby can be seen in what viewers are lead to believe making investment trades on-line and talking about how easy it is to make a trade on line. The fact that this is one of the first times that the computer animators do an excellent job at making the baby talk in such a believable way is what sets this commercial apart from others.

"I'm Good"

PepsiMax’s, “I’m Good” (2009)

The commercial: The notion is that men can take anything and so Pepsi shows a series of guys getting hit in one way or another. For example one man is hit by the head of a golf club while bending down to tie his shoe and upon being hit exclaims “I’m good” to show he isn’t injured. Another scene shows a guy cutting a board on a table saw and the board goes flying and hits his buddy in the back. The buddy says “I’m good”. The spot is beautifully laid out and many folks can still be heard saying “I’m good” when something unexpected happens.

"Hands Off"

Doritos, “Hands Off” (2010)

The commercial: In this ad a woman leaves the room as she prepares for a date. Her date is seen alone in the room with the woman’s young son. When the date watches approvingly as the woman leaves the room and at the same time reaches for a Dorito from a bowl, the woman’s young son slaps the man across the face. The mother is heard asking her son if he is playing nice.

Betty White

Snickers,” Betty White” (2010)

The commercial: In a pickup football game with the guys senior citizen actress Betty White is seen struggling.  She says “Man, you’ve been riding me all day,” then she eats a Snickers candy bar and it transforms into a regular guy.  The commercial closes with actor Abe Vigoda being hit and the tag line of “you’re not you when you’re hungry”.    This commercial became an instant classic.

Best Super Bowl Commerical

Which Super Bowl Commerical is Your Favorite?

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Which One is Your Favorite?

Perhaps one of your favorite Super Bowl commercials is included in this list. Either way, hopefully you will recall with fondness some of these classics and look forward to what future Super Bowl commercials have in store. Take this (unscientific) poll and see where your favorite rates.


Submit a Comment

  • Judy HBerg profile image

    Judy HBerg 7 years ago

    Thanks Don! Check out the video link above from Apple as it might be the one you are speaking of. It aired in 1984 and it was the into to the new Apple Mac.

  • profile image

    Don 7 years ago

    This is great stuff, Judy;keep up the good work. My favorite Super Bowl commercial was the one run by Apple back the the mid-80's sometime that featured the introduction of the Mac.

  • Judy HBerg profile image

    Judy HBerg 7 years ago

    Pamela I am happy that you enjoyed watching the commercials and found the hub entertaining. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    it was fun to watch the commercials again. I think I remember all of them. I always liked but Budweiser commercials and particularly liked the one with Budweiser respect. I also like the Pepsi and Coca-Cola commercials. Thanks for the entertaining hub.

  • Judy HBerg profile image

    Judy HBerg 7 years ago

    I am glad that you see the fun in this hub Sandyeggan. Thanks for your comments.

  • profile image

    Sandyeggan 7 years ago

    What a fun Hub! You saved me tons of time looking around through youtube to find all of these! Enjoy the game and the commercials!