Super Bowl Commercials: The Most Memorable Ads in History

Super Bowl Commercials: The Most Memorable Ads in History

Every year, millions of viewers tune in to the Super Bowl not just for the game, but also for the commercials. Super Bowl commercials have become just as much of a cultural phenomenon as the game itself. From celebrity endorsements to heartwarming narratives to hilarious moments, there have been countless memorable ads that have left a lasting impact on viewers. In this article, we will take a look at some of the most unforgettable Super Bowl commercials in history.

1. Apple’s “1984” Ad (1984)

In 1984, Apple aired a commercial during the Super Bowl that would go down in history as one of the most iconic ads ever. Directed by Ridley Scott, the ad depicted a dystopian future in which people were brainwashed by a giant screen. A young woman in athletic gear runs through the crowd and throws a hammer at the screen, shattering it. The commercial ended with the tagline “On January 24th, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh. And you’ll see why 1984 won’t be like ‘1984’.” This ad not only introduced the Macintosh computer but also set a new standard for Super Bowl commercials.

1.1 Impact

The “1984” ad is often credited with changing the way companies approach Super Bowl commercials. It showed that ads could be more than just a way to sell products – they could be a form of art that resonates with people on a deeper level. The ad also solidified Apple’s reputation as an innovative and forward-thinking company.

2. Budweiser’s Clydesdale Ad (2013)

Budweiser has become synonymous with Super Bowl commercials, and one of their most memorable ads aired in 2013. The commercial depicted a heartwarming story of a Clydesdale horse and the trainer who raised him. The trainer visits the horse at his stable years later, and the horse recognizes him immediately. The ad tugs at viewers’ heartstrings and promotes the message of friendship and loyalty, all set to the backdrop of a beautiful score.

2.1 Impact

This commercial resonated with viewers not just because of its emotional storytelling, but also because of the connection it created with the Budweiser brand. The Clydesdales have become a symbol of Budweiser’s commitment to tradition and quality, and this ad reinforced that image.

3. Volkswagen’s “The Force” Ad (2011)

In 2011, Volkswagen aired a commercial during the Super Bowl that became an instant classic. The ad featured a young boy dressed as Darth Vader trying to use the Force on various objects around the house. When he tries to start his father’s Volkswagen, the car magically starts up thanks to his father remote starting it from the kitchen. The ad was not only humorous but also heartwarming, as it showcased the bond between father and son.

3.1 Impact

“The Force” ad was a huge hit with viewers, becoming one of the most shared and talked-about commercials of that year. It managed to combine humor, nostalgia, and a feel-good message in just 60 seconds, making it a standout commercial in Super Bowl history.

4. Doritos’ Crash the Super Bowl Campaign (2007-2016)

For ten years, Doritos ran a highly successful campaign called “Crash the Super Bowl,” in which fans were invited to create their own commercials for the brand. The winning commercials would air during the Super Bowl, giving amateur filmmakers a chance to showcase their creativity on a global stage. Some of the most memorable ads from this campaign include “Pug Attack” and “Ultrasound,” both of which went viral after airing during the game.

4.1 Impact

The “Crash the Super Bowl” campaign not only provided a platform for aspiring filmmakers but also generated a lot of buzz for the Doritos brand. By involving their audience in the creative process, Doritos managed to create a unique and engaging experience for viewers, setting a new standard for user-generated content in advertising.

5. Coca-Cola’s “Mean Joe Greene” Ad (1979)

In 1979, Coca-Cola aired a commercial during the Super Bowl that would become one of the most famous ads of all time. The ad featured Pittsburgh Steelers player Mean Joe Greene drinking a Coke and tossing his jersey to a young fan who offered him the drink. The heartwarming moment between the tough football player and the young boy struck a chord with viewers and went on to become a classic example of storytelling in advertising.

5.1 Impact

The “Mean Joe Greene” ad is often cited as one of the best Super Bowl commercials ever made. It not only showcased the power of storytelling but also promoted the message of kindness and connection. The ad became so popular that it inspired a remake in 2016, featuring Mean Joe Greene and the young boy, now grown up.


Super Bowl commercials have become a cultural touchstone, with many ads becoming ingrained in popular culture. From emotional narratives to humorous moments to innovative campaigns, the Super Bowl has seen it all. The commercials mentioned in this article are just a few examples of the many memorable ads that have left a lasting impact on viewers over the years. As the Super Bowl continues to be one of the most-watched events in television, we can expect to see more unforgettable commercials in the future.

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