The 42 Best Super Bowl Commercials of All Time
There's such a wide variety of spots out there, including ones that have won awards, a few that gained 10s of millions of viewers on YouTube and even one that started a years-long campaign that will remain in our minds forever. And considering that this year, the cost of a commercial is $6.5 million (almost double the price in 2012), we have very high expectations for Super Bowl LVI.
From the ads that make us laugh out loud to the ones that pull at the heartstrings, here are the 42 Super Bowl spots we can’t forget. (Best enjoyed with chips and dip. And maybe some tissues.)
42. State Farm: Drake from State Farm (2021)
Over the years, many iconic characters have developed from commercials, like Flo from Progressive or the gecko from GEICO. And included among those figures is Jake from State Farm, who got a surprise doppelgänger in 2021, when the insurance company aired a star-studded clip featuring Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers, Paul Rudd and in a comical twist, Drake.
41. Best Buy: Asking Amy (2013)
Amy Poehler was at the peak of her Parks and Recreation fame when this Super Bowl ad aired in 2013, and there is plenty of Leslie Knope-style zaniness as Poehler asks a Best Buy employee whether LTE is contagious or if we are “in the cloud.”
40. Rocket Mortgage: Comfortable (2020)
Some Jason Momoa fans might find his “transformation” behind closed doors a bit jarring, but the overall concept of the ad is pretty intriguing. Also, seeing his wife, Lisa Bonet, easily grab a weight that Momoa struggles to lift is oddly satisfying.
39. Audi: The Chase (2009)
Action hero Jason Statham takes us on a wild ride as he speeds through past decades in different Audi cars. Eagle-eyed fans will notice quite a few references, from Miami Vice to the popular Transporter franchise.
38. Doritos: Now It’s Hot (2019)
It’s the collab we never knew we needed: Chance the Rapper and the Backstreet Boys. In the ad, the boy band's iconic song "I Want It That Way" gets some hip-hop flavor, including an impressive new verse from Chance.
37. Pepsi: Now and Then (2002)
The fabulous Britney Spears takes us on a journey through recreated vintage Pepsi ads, starting with the '50s and working her way through five decades. Prepare to feel all the nostalgia.
36. Snickers: The Brady Bunch (2015)
The brand recreated one of the most popular Brady Bunch scenes, where Danny Trejo appears as an angry version of Marcia—until she gets her first bite of a Snickers bar. Steve Buscemi's brilliant performance as angry Jan is everything we need.
35. FedEx: The Lollipop Guild (2000)
In this clever homage to The Wizard of Oz, FedEx recreates the classic scene where the Munchkins welcome Dorothy with a song. Only this time, they run into an obstacle, which forces FedEx to come to the rescue with a special package. Although the ad was ultimately pulled due to safety concerns raised by the National Inhalant Prevention Council, it still gets points for creativity.
34. Nike: Hare Jordan (1993)
Folks, allow us to introduce the fun ad that inspired the live-action animated movie, Space Jam. For the first time, Bugs Bunny teams up with Michael Jordan for an intense game on the court—while sporting the new Air Jordans, of course.
33. Esurance: Sorta Pharmacy (2015)
In this ad, Breaking Bad’s Walter White (Bryan Cranston) takes on a new role as a mysterious pharmacist, better known as "Sorta Greg," and it's nothing short of brilliant. Say his name.
32. Kia: The Truth (2012)
Laurence Fishburne dons his black shades and trench coat to reprise his Matrix role as Morpheous in this sleek ad, making us all question, yet again, what's real and what's not. *Slowly reaches for the red key*
31. PepsiCo: Doritos Blaze vs Mountain Dew Ice Battle (2018)
An intense lip-syncing rap battle between Morgan Freeman and Peter Dinklage? Um, YES please. The Game of Thrones alum kicks things off with Busta Rhymes’s fiery verse from Chris Brown's “Look at Me Now,” fittingly representing Doritos Blaze. But then Freeman follows up with a lip-sync of Missy Elliott's "Get Ur Freak On," literally giving us chills.
30. Hyundai Genesis: First Date (2016)
Anything that involves Kevin Hart is guaranteed to deliver some laughs—and this commercial is all the proof you need. The comedian stars as an overprotective dad, who follows his daughter’s every move while she goes out on a date.
29. Pepsi: More Than OK (2019)
If Steve Carrell, Cardi B and Lil John all showed up at our local cafe to vouch for Pepsi, we’d totally order a tall glass (or two). The trio will have you convinced that Pepsi is way more than OK to drink. Or in Cardi's words, "Okurrr."
28. Mastercard: Errands (2004)
As Homer Simpson runs his errands on a typical day, using his trusty Mastercard, he gets into a little spat with the narrator, who starts to contradict his actions. It’s always a treat to see this legendary character in action.
27. Toyota: Jessica Long (2021)
The tear-inducing ad sheds light on the adoption story of American Paralympic swimmer Jessica Long, who went on to become a 16-time gold medalist after her lower legs were amputated at just 18 months old. (In case you’re confused about the connection to Toyota, the brand is a proud partner of Team USA.)
26. Mountain Dew Kickstart: Puppymonkeybaby (2016)
OK, hear us out. We know it was, well, odd, to say the least. But that’s not to say that the hybrid puppymonkeybaby creature wasn’t memorable. Seriously, the spot nearly broke the internet because the world had so much to say about it. Looks like the Mountain Dew marketing team really came through on this one.
25. Squarespace: Calling John Malkovich (2017)
In the ad, the Emmy Award-winning actor finds himself in a bit of a pickle after learning that someone else with the same name has already snagged the domain name he wanted. Anyone else feel compelled to visit JohnMalkovich.com right after watching this?
24. Kia: Hero's Journey (2017)
You know anything starring Melissa McCarthy is going to be good, and this funny ad—which was Kia’s eighth consecutive Super Bowl appearance—definitely delivers. It even won the USA Today Ad Meter popularity contest.
23. Google: Loretta (2020)
An elderly man uses Google Assistant to help him remember his favorite moments with his late wife, Loretta, from pulling up anniversary pics to playing her favorite movie. We’re not crying, you are.
22. Pepsi: Cindy Crawford (1992)
Cindy Crawford stepping out of a red Lamborghini in a white tank top was the ideal way for Pepsi to draw attention to their new can design. The commercial became so popular that the company even brought the model back for their 2018 spot.
21. Google: Parisian Love (2009)
This simple ad showcased the efficiency and elegance of the company's search capabilities while simultaneously telling a love story in the process. Don’t mind us: We’ll just be quietly sobbing in the corner.
20. Bud Light/HBO: Joust (2019)
Viewers were shocked when HBO made a surprise appearance in Bud Light's Super Bowl ad to tease the final season of Game of Thrones. The result? An interesting crossover of the show and Dilly Dilly.
19. Honda: Yearbook (2017)
A super-sweet (and technically impressive) commercial that encourages people to follow their dreams. What that has to do with cars, we don’t know.
18. Hyundai: Smart Park (2020)
Native Bostonites John Krasinski, Chris Evans and Rachel Dratch made sure to let their accents shine in last year’s popular ad. (We don’t think we’ll ever be able to "pahk the cah in Hahvahd Yahd.”) And according to creative director, Ryan Scott, he would love to do another spot, next time with a few Philly natives...
17. Amazon: Alexa loses her voice (2018)
The celebrity-packed commercial (which had appearances from Cardi-B, Gordon Ramsay, Rebel Wilson and Anthony Hopkins) became the year's most-viewed ad on YouTube with over 50 million views online.
16. Monster.com: When I Grow Up (1999)
Ad Age ended up naming this tragically-comedic spot Ad of the Year. “Before the Super Bowl, Monster.com’s traffic was running at about 1.5 unique visitors per month," the outlet reported in 2000. "For the remainder of 1999, it averaged 2.5 million visitors per month.” Pretty impressive.
15. Walmart: Famous Cars (2019)
To promote their new pickup service, Walmart went all out and paid homage to a host of iconic cars from our favorite films. Among the rides are the Batmobile, the Mystery Machine from Scooby-Doo, the Mutt Cutts Van from Dumb and Dumber and Ecto-1 from Ghostbusters.
14. Budweiser: Born The Hard Way (2017)
While we’d expect this ad to be for beer, it’s actually not. Instead, it reminds viewers of the core values of Adolphus Busch—a German immigrant who risked all to travel an ocean and North America with a simple idea and a drawing. It’s also important to mention that the spot also came at a time when immigration came to the forefront of politics.
13. MCDONALD'S: THE SHOWDOWN (1993)
Larry Bird and Michael Jordan play a crazy game of H*O*R*S*E for Jordan's Big Mac. Sure, the shots are impressive, but this one lives on thanks to the famous “nothing but net” catch phrase.
12. Doritos: Keep Your Hands Off My Doritos (2010)
Betty White wasn’t the only star of 2010’s ads. A young boy named Jaylin made quite the impression in a Doritos spot for Super Bowl XLIV. When his mom brings home a date who tries to eat Jaylin’s snack, the little boy slaps the man across the face and tells him to keep his hands off his mama and his Doritos.
11. Tide: It’s a Tide Ad (2018)
Stranger Things star David Harbour proves his comedic chops in this clever Tide ad, which suggests that if we see anyone in a random commercial with stain-free clothes, then it’s got to be because of the brand’s detergent. We dare you to watch without laughing.
10. Budweiser: Puppy Love (2014)
While Budweiser is known for their memorable commercials (as proven by this list) this adorable clip, set to the tune of Passenger's “Let Her Go,” tells the heartwarming story of an unlikely friendship between two animals.
9. Wendy’s: Where's the beef (1984)
Yup, Wendy’s has been throwing shade at its competitors for over 35 years (!). And before there was social media, they opted to do their trolling via Super Bowl commercials. Not only did “Where's the beef" instantly become a catch phrase, but the fast-food chain’s sales jumped 31 percent that year, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
8. Old Spice: The Man Your Man Could Smell Like (2010)
Old Spice is no stranger to SB ads, however, this spot was where it got its start (although it looks like it was shot for YouTube). And if you know the person who wrote the line, “I’m on a horse,” please introduce us.
7. E-Trade: Baby (2008)
E-Trade managed to make a topic as boring as buying stocks entertaining with the use of one adorable talking baby. Turns out, the ad wasn’t expected to be a sure-fire hit. “When we first created the baby, we had no idea if it was the dumbest thing we’d ever done or if it was genius,” said Tor Myhren, chief creative officer at ad agency Grey. “I was terrified.”
6. Coca-Cola: Mean Joe Greene (1979)
It may not be the funniest or smartest Super Bowl commercial ever, but this all-time favorite from Coca-Cola starring the Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle is definitely one of the most iconic.
5. Volkswagen: The Force (2012)
Kids make the best commercials. Don’t believe us? This adorable spot about a young Star Wars fan is one of the most shared Super Bowl ads of all time. Not to mention, it immediately went viral and has been viewed over 50 million times.
4. Always: Like a Girl (2015)
This inspirational ad questioning what it means to run, throw and fight “like a girl,” was actually a continuation of an earlier campaign from Always. The video really caught the eyes of viewers since it was strategically placed in the middle of male-centered ads.
3. Snickers: Betty White (2010)
While the phrase “You’re not you when you’re hungry” has become synonymous with this nutty candy, it was actually born during this 2010 spot featuring the infamous actress.
2. Budweiser: True (Wassap) (2000)
The ad actually spurred an entire campaign for Budweiser using the catchy one-liner. August Busch IV of Anheuser Busch said in a statement: “In our lifetimes, we’ll never see so much value created from a single idea.” We loved it at the time. However, we hated it for the year our brother-in-law answered every call with “Wassap?”
1. Apple: 1984 (1984)
While it’s hard to imagine a world without Apple products, this spot, directed by Hollywood big shot Ridley Scott, was totally groundbreaking at the time.