For 364 days of the year television commercials are a chore to behold. Actively used as a dramatic pause across the reality television genre (I want to know whose souffle didn’t rise NOW dammit), ad freaks and industry folk cling to the holiest of days on the advertising calender: Super Bowl Sunday.

For many fans, particularly us antipodes who aren’t familiar with the ways of the pigskin, Super Bowl ads (and its much mythologised Half Time Show) are far more interesting then the game itself. For $4 million, advertisers can buy a prestigious 30 to 60-second spot on the most watched sporting event of the year (in the US), hitting an audience in excess of 110 million viewers. And that’s not even taking into account the peripheral Internet buzz/traffic that is generated in the lead-up/aftermath of the game. Nail it and you’ve got a brand changer. Here are our Greatest Super Bowl Ads Of All Time.       

10. Budweiser 1995
A simple idea matched with cutting edge execution ensured that Gore Verbinski’s phonetic frogs would go down in Super Bowl history.

9. McDonalds 1993
The classic H-O-R-S-E battle doesn’t get more epic than this match between NBA greats Michael Jordan and Larry Bird. Despite the fact that the fries would be soggy and the burger long cold, the two hall of fame-rs competing in a trick-shot-off to settle which player gets a free lunch…

8. Apple 1984
Easily the most iconic of all Super Bowl ads, it manages to have an impact without actually telling the viewer anything about the product. Possibly all the more creepy considering its culture-defining prediction comes true. Were we just brainwashed?

7. E-Trade 2010
Of all the exotic medical conditions to be struck down with, money up the wazoo is by far the most preferable. 

E-Trade 2000
2000 was a great year for E-trade as the above clip will attest. And blowing $2 million on a dancing monkey in one of the dumbest ads ever further seared E-trade into the minds of the audience. Job done. 

5. Sprint Mobile 2006

Dedicated to anyone who hates those competitive technology-obsessed social noobs. 

4. Pepsi 1992

“Come back in a couple of years, boys.” Soft drink and supermodels go together so well.

3. Volkswagen 2011

Cute kids + Star Wars = Advertising win. 

2. Reebok 2003

Reebok produced the Office Linebacker spot after watching a short film based on the same concept. Why? Because watching people get belted by a hulking NFL player is funny. I bet Richard didn’t forget to put a cover sheet on his TPS reports after that.


Old Spice 2010
Extremely clever and brand relevant, this initial installment spawned a string of follow-ups but none could top the original.