You sure do love sports. You love them so hard, there’s nothing in the world that beats the feeling you get seeing your team score the winning hoop in the football match on Super Bowl Thursday. Goal!
But you also kind of watch it for the commercials. They remain to be the one universally appealing aspect of the big game that’s still intact since the halftime show lost its last shred of charm. A few Super Bowl commercials are even more iconic than some of the games played, so they deserve a fitting retrospective.
Scroll down to see our choices for the 10 greatest, weirdest and most memorable Super Bowl commercials ever.
10. America Meets Spuds MacKenzie
Of all the adorable critters enlisted to sell alcohol or tobacco, only one was the coolest and cutest. Spuds MacKenzie (real name “Honey Tree Evil Eye”—seriously) started shilling Bud Light one magical late-80s Super Bowl and did so for several years until angry parents who didn’t like his drunken, free love attitude—and the revelation that he was actually a she—killed the commercials forever.
9. Jordan and Bird Play Hoops for a Big Mac
This vintage spot combined two Super Bowl spot staples: sports icons and fast food. If they’d finished their game of HORSE with a refreshing beer and/or Coke/Pepsi, the collective consumer brain might have just melted. The wonder of seeing Michael Jordan and Larry Bird together may have since lost its luster, but it’s still a gem for Jordan’s Cosby sweater.
8. E*Trade's Monkey Commercial
Is this pre-recession era E*Trade commercial less funny now that our nation's economy is in El Stinksville? Maybe, but we still heart its clever tagline and decidedly postmodern take on the standard Super Bowl commercial.
7. EDS’s Cat Herding
To many, 2000 marked the “dotcom” Super Bowl. Dozens of Web sites—most of which don’t exist any longer—threw their well-funded hats in the commercial ring. And one of them was Electronic Data Systems, who more than made up for their boring name with sixty seconds worth of burly cowboys herding fields of CGI kitties. Apparently it was some sort of metaphor.
6. Coca-Cola's Mean Joe Greene
It's not often that professional athletes like Hall of Fame defensive lineman Joe Greene chug a Coca-Cola right after playing a game. Mean Greene downs a bottle of Coke from a little boy and in exchange throws him the sweaty jersey off his back. High fructose corn syrup can make you do anything.
5. Exploding Tabasco Mosquito
It isn’t often we find it rewarding to sit through a sweaty redneck noisily eating pizza, but how can one deny a Super Bowl that ends with a mosquito exploding after sipping on blood tainted with a spicy condiment? (It was pretty impressive back in ’98.)
4. Hank, the Aspiring Budweiser Clydesdale
Clydesdales are majestic creatures, and apparently, all they want in this world is to pull around old-timey trucks full of beer. When Hank the horse was told in last year’s Budweiser spot that he wasn’t up to the grade, he enlisted the help of a Dalmatian to get in shape. It was both ludicrous and oddly heartwarming—as interspecies friendships almost always are.
3. Miller Lite Catfight
Girls fighting in a pool over what they like best about Miller Lite: not classy or creative, but it got the point across.
2. Apple's 1984
Many credit this 1984 commercial, launching the first Macintosh computer, with starting the Super Bowl ad craze. It featured some sort of javelin thrower breaking conformity (and a large television) in a world run by Big Brother. It got everyone talking, and twenty years later, some of them actually started switching to Macs.
1. Cindy Crawford Drinks a Pepsi
Possibly the most iconic soda commercial ever created, Pepsi didn’t resort to CGI animals, specially penned songs or even competitor smack talk—it just filmed Cindy Crawford and her famous mole downing one of their drinks in ten seconds flat. Pretty girl, pretty car, pretty good cola. What more could you ask for?