It's awards season and Super Bowl week, making it the perfect time to present our own honors for Super Bowl ads! In an effort to get the most out of their millions of dollars, companies go to great lengths to win the Super Bowl ad wars with most suggestive, adorable, heartfelt, and funny commercials they can produce. Many of these are so good (or bad) that they stand head and shoulders above the rest in their respective categories. Join me as we honor the best the Super Bowl has to offer.
Most Innuendo-Packed Ad
Ahhh, the '70s. Arguably the first famous Super Bowl ad, this Noxema commercial starred the one and only Farrah Fawcett and possibly the most charismatic football player ever, Joe Namath. There's very little script, mostly just Farrah and Broadway Joe saying "creamed" over and over again. No obscenity, no skin, just enough creepy dialogue to give you the giggles. Simple, suggestive and effective. Go Daddy can only dream of being this brilliant.
The Most Annoying Trend Caused By A Super Bowl Ad
Admit it, you've said it. We've all said, and it was hilarious for roughly 15 minutes. Since it's been awhile since we've heard it, maybe it's poised for a comeback ... "WASSSSSSSSSUU..." Nope. Still annoying.
Ad Most Likely to Ruin A Company
What was once one of the largest athletic shoe retailers in America met a swift death thanks to one ill-fated Super Bowl ad. A short 11 months after this disastrous 1999 ad from Just For Feet, the company filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy and closed their last store in 2004.
I know it's not cool to cry in front of friends but I'm willing to bet more than a few of you openly shed a tear when this one aired. In 2002, four months after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Budweiser released "Tribute."
Worst Ad Sequel
In 1984, Apple released what is widely considered the best commercial in Super Bowl history. In 1985 they released a sequel of sorts. It's widely considered one of the most depressing, uninspired commercials ever.
Most Epic Ad
Speaking of Apple's 1984, no Super Bowl advertising list is complete without it. Apple was actually in a touch of trouble in 1984 when they released the Macintosh. I'm not sure you could say this commercial saved the company but it certainly didn't hurt seeing as it's pretty much the gold standard of Super Bowl commercials.
Most Memorable Ad from A Company You Probably Don't Remember
EDS' “Cat Herders” commercial aired during the 2000 Super Bowl in the midst of the dot-com boom. Unfortunately for EDS, they hit advertising gold with this hilarious spot but failed to make more than a lucid connection.
This was a tough decision and a hotly debated topic. But for my money, Terry Tate: Office Linebacker is the funniest Super Bowl commercial ever. Physical comedy, catchphrases, and we definitely can all relate. No one likes the office jerk who forgets the cardinal rule "You empty the jo, you make some ‘mo!"
Our heart can’t help but melt when mini Darth Vader finally finds The Force in last year's Volkswagen ad. I pity the person who thought to even attempt to follow up this commercial this year. The bar has been set far too high.
Most Beloved Super Bowl Ad Stars
Appearing in more than 15 Super Bowl ads since their debut in 1986, the Budweiser Clydesdales are far and away the most beloved ad characters in Super Bowl advertising history. If you don't believe me, just look to 2010 when InBev, the new owners of Anheuser-Busch, considered leaving the horses out of their campaign. They turned to the fans and a Facebook poll of three potential ads showed that more than 70% of fans wanted to see the majestic horses once again. Check out their first Super Bowl appearance below.
Of course there are many, many more categories that could be included in this list, and we want to know your additions in the comment section below. After 45 years of this, we've come to expect advertising greatness during the Super Bowl. Here's hoping Super Bowl XLVI lives up to our advertising expectations!
Photo credit: Matt McGee on Flickr.