What makes a good Super Bowl commercial?A catchy jingle? Humor? Shock value? Stuff that makes you go, “Wow?” 1. Coca-Cola — ‘Hey kid, catch!’Super Bowl: 14 (Jan. 20, 1980)This commercial technically isn’t a Super Bowl commercial since it debuted before Super Bowl 14, but it famously re-aired during that 1980 Super Bowl, and it’s way too iconic not to include. Advertisers have been trying to figure out the formula and stay on the cutting edge of commercials for a long, long time. It seems in more recent years, though, that the formula has been perfected. A little bit of humor and absurdity go a long way. That’s why it’s not a surprise that the days of selling a product the way they did the ’70s and ’80s have gone by the wayside, and ads now focus more on selling an emotion — humor, anger, awe. It makes sense, in theory.So, here’s a totally subjective list of the 25 greatest Super Bowl ads of all time. MORE: Watch the best leaked commercials before Super Bowl 54Best Super Bowl commercials of all timeHonorable mention: Audi — ‘Vampire Party’Super Bowl: 46 (Feb. 5, 2012)No Robert Pattisons were harmed in the making of this commercial. 25. Nationwide Insurance — ‘Boy’Super Bowl: 46 (Feb. 5, 2012)This is the most controversial one on the list, not because of its humor — because there isn’t any — but because of its pure, unbridled shock value. Sure, Super Bowl Sunday is a day for beer, wings and family, but the staying power of something so damning, controversial and memorable means it earns a slot. Even a low one.24. E*Trade — ‘Baby’Super Bowl: 42 (Feb. 3, 2008)Ah, the famous E*Trade baby, someone who managed to make investing in stocks adorable and entertaining. 23. NFL — ‘Touchdown Celebrations to Come’Super Bowl: 54 (Feb. 4, 2018)There are three things the NFL absolutely loves: the Manning Family, the Giants and flashy wide receivers. So, why not kill three birds with one stone?22. Hyundai — ‘First Date’Super Bowl: 50 (Feb. 7, 2016)Really, most Kevin Hart things are hilarious, but there’s a certain level of believability when it comes to Hart playing watchdog on his daughter’s first date.21. Fiat — ‘Blue Pill’Super Bowl: 49 (Feb. 1, 2015)The Fiat isn’t as big of a hit in the U.S.A. as the blue pill, but the commercial is a memorable one, for sure.20. Doritos — ‘Middle Seat’ Super Bowl: 49 (Feb. 1, 2015)Doritos is a Super Bowl stalwart, and this is arguably the best commercial the company’s had in a long time. Maybe the guy will learn to keep it in his bag next time.MORE: How much do Super Bowl commercials cost in 2020?19. Coke Zero — ‘Troy Polamalu’ Super Bowl: 43 (Feb. 1, 2009)Anyone who’s seen the original knows this one doesn’t quite warm the heart, but any time you get to see Troy Polamalu’s luscious, flowing hair, it’s a bonus.18. Toyata — Bold, new CamrySuper Bowl: 49 (Feb 1, 2015)Oftentimes when commercials try to sell an idea rather than their product, it falls flat. But this 2015 commercial with Paralympics medalist Amy Purdy — “narrated” by Muhammad Ali — is badass.17. Budweiser — ‘Hero’s Welcome’Super Bowl: 48 (Feb. 2, 2014)Given the all-out blitz that Budweiser has in ad campaigns during the Super Bowl — Bud Knight, Dilly Dilly, Clydesdales — it’s a name that’ll appear a few times on this list. This one tugs at the heart strings, though.16. FedEx — ’10 Things’Super Bowl: 29 (Feb. 6, 2005)FedEx came oh-so-close to nailing the perfect Super Bowl commercial with their “10 Things” ad, but lost points because the “cute kid” is actually not that cute at all.15. Noxzema — Joe and FarrahSuper Bowl: 7 (Jan. 14, 1973)There was no cooler football star than Joe Namath, and there was no more popular woman on the planet than Farrah Fawcett. Unfortunately, this was also the last time the Jets made it anywhere near a Super Bowl.14. Wendy’s — ‘Where’s the beef?’Super Bowl: 18 (Jan. 22, 1984)Long before the answer was “On Twitter,” Wendy’s was throwing hands at McDonald’s and Burger King via ads. The most famous campaign, featuring three elderly women, is one of the most memorable ads in Super Bowl history.13. Pepsi — ‘A New Can’Super Bowl: 26 (Jan. 26, 1992)The perfect bait-and-switch, the focus wasn’t on Cindy Crawford, the world’s most famous supermodel, but rather the New Pepsi Can. This commercial went over better than New Coke did.12. Apple — ‘1984’Super Bowl: 18 (Jan. 22, 1984)If you want to point to one ad that pushed the evolution of Super Bowl commercials, it’s Apple’s 1984 commercial.11. Amazon — ‘Alexa loses her voice’Super Bowl: 52 (Feb. 4, 2018)If you don’t have a smart speaker, you’re missing out. If you don’t have a smart speaker that curses at you like Gordon Ramsay after you burn a piece of toast, we’re all missing out.10. Budweiser — ‘Puppy love’Super Bowl: 48 (Feb. 2, 2014)Who doesn’t love puppies?9. Snickers — ‘Betty White’Super Bowl: 44 (Feb. 7, 2010) “That’s not what your girlfriend said!”8. Reebok — ‘Terry Tate: Office Linebacker’Super Bowl: 37 (Jan. 26, 2003)I’m sure the Sporting News newsroom down in Charlotte could use one of these guys. Or 10.7. Volkswagen — ‘The Force’Super Bowl: 45 (Feb. 6, 2011)The charm of this commercial lies in its relatability. Who hasn’t tried to use The Force in everyday life?6. Sprint — ‘Crime Deterrent’Super Bowl: 40 (Feb. 5, 2006)Boy, if he threw an early-2000s Nokia at this guy, his head would have exploded.5. Budweiser — ‘Brotherhood’Super Bowl: 47 (Feb. 3, 2013)More like Budweiser Crys-dales. This should have been a Kleenex commercial.4. Old Spice — ‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like’Super Bowl: 44 (Feb. 7, 2010)Before “1917” was edited to seem like one take, there were Old Spice commercials. It’s probably fair to point to this commercial as the birth of the modern internet meme. Also, four words: “I’m on a horse.”3. NFL — ‘The 100-Year Game’Super Bowl: 53 (Feb. 3, 2019)It’s a bit self-serving for the NFL to have a commercial for itself during the Super Bowl, but hey, it worked. And it’s cemented as one of the greatest of all time. And it’s getting a sequel!2. McDonald’s — ‘Jordan vs. Bird’Super Bowl: 27 (Jan. 31, 1993)The GOAT vs. Larry Legend for a … Big Mac? It’s so absurd it works.
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