Super Bowl fever:
The best commercials of all time
Houston, Texas, hosts the 2017 Super Bowl, the US phenomenon which attracts millions of TV viewers around the world. Even if you don’t care for American football, the biggest single sports event on the planet has more to offer - especially during the commercial breaks.
Each year, companies spend incredible sums of money to get hold of an advertising slot during the NFL finale, and when they do, they often come up with something special. Take a look back at some of the best Super Bowl commercials of all time. Do you remember?
- Wendy’s: Where’s the Beef? (1984)
- McDonald’s: The Showdown (1993)
- Reebok Terry Tate, Office Linebacker (2003)
- Old Spice: The Man Your Man Could Smell Like (2010)
- Volkswagen: The Force (2011)
- Snickers: Hungry Betty White (2010)
- Apple: 1984 (1984)
Wendy’s: Where‘s the Beef? (1984)
This clip is an absolute Super Bowl classic from the fast-food chain Wendy’s in 1984. Three grannies inspect a burger which is significantly more bread than meat - an allusion to rivals such as McDonald’s and Burger King. The sentence “Where’s the Beef?” by actress Clara Peller became a cult phrase in the United States. Today, Americans still use the one-liner to scrutinise the substance of an idea or a product.
McDonald‘s: The Showdown (1993)
In 1993 competitor McDonald’s brought us the memorable Super Bowl promotional clip “The Showdown”, a video in which the two basketball legends Michael Jordan and Larry Bird compete in a wacky shot challenge, all just so one of them won’t have to watch the other eat a Big Mac.
Reebok Terry Tate, Office Linebacker (2003)
In keeping with the sports event, Reebok came up with the idea of the “Office Linebacker” in 2003 as a new way of motivating employees. A whole series of commercials followed with former American Football player and TV star Lester Speight in the role of Terry Tate. But it all started with the Super Bowl ad break.
Old Spice: The Man Your Man Could Smell Like (2010)
In 2010, the Old Spice brand scored a viewer touchdown with what has become a cult clip. The ad featured “The man your man could smell like” otherwise known as actor and former football player Isaiah Mustafa. The message was clear: everything is possible with a guy who smells like Old Spice. Or maybe it was simply: “I’m on a horse.”
Volkswagen: The Force (2011)
A year later, Volkswagen managed a super-coup with the clip “The Force”, becoming the most shared commercial ever. A young Darth Vader is desperately trying to figure out how to use his powers. With a new Passat and Papa’s help, he finds them.
Snickers: Hungry Betty White (2010)
“You’re not you when you’re hungry!” Sound familiar? It all started with a 2010 Snickers ad for the Super Bowl and featured legend Betty White playing football with a bunch of boys. The silver-haired hero can’t avoid being tackled until the chocolate bar comes to the rescue.
Apple: 1984 (1984)
The 1984 Super Bowl gave viewers an Apple ad which has gone down in history and ushered in a new era in TV advertising. The company introduced the Macintosh promising an end to conformity in the style of George Orwell’s classic “1984”. The legendary clip came from star director Ridley Scott and was never run on TV after the Super Bowl.