Memorable Super Bowl commercials over the years

THROUGH Liv Croagh ON January 27, 2022 5 minute read

It’s almost time for the biggest event on the advertising calendar: the Super Bowl. Viewers around the world watch the ads, and this is used as an opportunity for creatives to adapt. So which companies have had the most impact over the years?

From famous faces to shock factor, humor or even our emotions, Super Bowl ads are created to be remembered. Apple to Pepsi to every car brand under the sun, what are some of the best Super Bowl ads over the years?


It was risk versus reward with the 1984 Apple ad. And, the risk paid off. It was the first television commercial that did not show the product. The post-apocalyptic ad was directed by Ridley Scott and promised his 1984 Macintosh wouldn’t be the start of an Orwellian 1984. Even though nearly 40 years have passed since this emblematic campaign, it remains a pioneering place.


Volkswagen is known for its simple but effective advertising. In 2011, it was no different. Following the popularity of the most recent star wars version, the auto company saw an opportunity. The ad featured a child dressed as Darth Vader trying a mental trick. This frankly adorable announcement also earned the company a Cannes. It is not difficult to understand why.


Pepsi has used pop stars and female celebrities as faces. No one would forget this Kendall Jenner Pepsi campaign. But in 2002, the soft drink industry had Britney Spears at the height of her career to market her products. Spears appears in the commercial in a number of looks using her vocal prowess to sing a Pepsi-themed song. The ad became iconic, but Spears was infamously dumped by Pepsi after she got drunk while sipping a Coke.


It may be because of her recent passing, but Betty White’s Super Bowl ad for Snickers was one for the history books. The beloved comedian was tackled to the ground during an NFL game before eating a Snickers. Just as the Snickers ad has always promised, White transforms into a young sportsman and the game continues. White’s appearance was appreciated around the world.

ancient spice

Old Spice knows what it’s doing when it comes to advertising. The perfume industry has employed everyone from Terry Cruz to Fabio in an attempt to sell its products. In 2010, Old Spice featured “The Man You Wish Your Man Smell Like”. A short, sharp and choppy spot saw said man being the perfect partner. The ad is fun, playful and deservedly went viral.


Is there anything more typically 90s than Michael Jordan, Air Jordans and Bugs Bunny? At the time when space jam was on everyone’s VCR, the sports brand jumped on the bandwagon. Air Jordans continue to be one of Nike’s best sellers, and space jam has found its way onto a list of classics. This ad sums up the 90s perfectly.


Beer and puppies? It’s a winning combination. In the 2014 (and later 2015) Budweiser ad, the beer brand wasn’t so much about beer as it was about adopting a dog. The ad featured an adorable puppy and an unlikely friendship with a Clydesdale horse. It may not have quenched anyone’s thirst, but the ad became a huge hit and led to many more puppy adoptions.

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