The 22 Best Super Bowl Commercials of All Time
We wouldn’t dare tell you who we think will win the big game on February 7 this year, but what we can do is show you some of the best Super Bowl commercials ever made.
Not to mention, there's such a wide variety of spots out there, including some 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 commercialLV is $5.6 million (almost double the price in 2011), we have very high expectations for Super Bowl LV.
From the ads that make us laugh out loud to the ones that pull at the heartstrings, here are the 22 Super Bowl spots we can’t forget. (Best enjoyed with chips and dip. And maybe some tissues.)
22. 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.
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. 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.
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. 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.
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.