Feb 02 '18

Steve’s Top 5 Super Bowl TV Commercials

This week, I counted down my Top 5 Super Bowl spots of all time.  It was no easy feat, considering that well over 1,000 advertising spots have run on the Super Bowl the last 52 years. To narrow it down, I chose spots that weren’t necessarily the funniest or the most poignant or had the coolest special effects.  I chose the five that, after they ran, changed the way we spoke, consumed and watched commercials. Here are my all-time, top 5 Super Bowl TV spots:

  • #5: “When I Grow Up” (1999) – A triumph of writing, directing and editing.
  • #4. McDonalds “The Showdown” (1993) – This spot, known as “Nothing But Net” starring Larry Bird and Michael Jordon changed the lexicon in America.  And that’s the power of the Super Bowl.
  • #3: Budweiser “Wassssssup??????” (1999) – Just one of the many examples of this brand capturing lightning in a beer bottle with a phrase. The Bud Frogs (“Bud-Weis-Er”) is also an example, as is their latest “Dilly Dilly”.
  • #2: VW “The Force” (2011) – VW unveiled a :60 version of this spot online in advance of the game making it the most-shared Super Bowl ad of all time, with 17 million views before kickoff and more than 60 million views on YouTube since. It changed the way consumers consume Super Bowl spots, and the way brands present them.
  • #1: Apple “1984” (1984) – This spot changed the game for Super Bowl ads and deserves to be at the top of the list. Up until this point, Super Bowl spots had been heavy on happiness, product placement and star power. This spot is an epic story with fantastic production values told in 60 seconds by Ridley Scott — the guy who was already famous for directing Alien and Blade Runner, for god’s sake!  It tapped into many of the truths American’s were feeling at the time, from fears associated with the Cold War (this was 1984, after all) and new ideas on gender roles (the hero of the spot is a woman).  And people still talk about this spot to this day, 34 years later.

Will one of this year’s Super Bowl TV spots overtake “1984” at the top?  That’s as unlikely as Nick Foles outplaying Tom Terrific.   But, as this Super Bowl spot from 1976 expresses, miracles do happen.



Thanks for following!  I’d love to know what you think of my picks, and what yours are.  And, follow me on Twitter & Instagram @sbwolfie to see what I think of this year’s spots!



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