Recalling the Best Super Bowl Commercials


Super Bowl Commercials this year opted for sentimentality over humor

Each year, national advertisers spend millions of dollars for a thirty-second commercial slot during the Super Bowl. Because of the outrageous cost, most companies make sure to save their best advertisements for this one time every year. While some are remembered for only a few days, some are remembered for being the most viral Super Bowl commercials.

While some where more thought out than others, most companies seem to come to the conclusion that while they may have a weird commercial, that is not necessarily a bad thing. However, there have been some commercials over the years that have been well-thought out and were received well.

A popular commercial was 2011’s Best Buy commercial. It followed Ozzy Osbourne, everyone’s favorite scatter-brained celebrity, as he struggled through the filming of the commercial. Alongside him was Justin Bieber, who took Osbourne’s place halfway through. While easily-impressionable teenage girls watched only for Bieber, most everyone else loved it for both celebrities making fun of themselves.

Some companies are even depended on for clever or heartwarming ads. The Budweiser clydesdales, for example, are known to come around every year with a sentimental advertisement. While the 2014 commercial featured a puppy being brought back to the ranch by the owner’s horses, there were more memorable versions of the beer company’s iconic horses.

The 2004 addition to the horse-themed commercials showed the Little Donkey that Could. For forty-five seconds, we see the little donkey train to become one of the clydesdales, and is rewarded at the end with an honorary place alongside the larger horses three times his size.

Four years later, they reinvented that same idea, but replaced the donkey with a outcast horse named Hank. After failing to make the final cut to pull the Budweiser wagon, a friendly dalmatian spends the next year training Hank through rain and snow, all to the theme from Rocky. At the end of the commercial, viewers are rewarded with seeing Hank walking beside his dalmatian trainer as he is called to pull the wagon.

E*Trade’s 2009 started their “cute talking baby” campaign with their Super Bowl commercial. Because of this campaign, the baby became known for quotes such as “apparently riding the dog like a small horse is frowned upon in this establishment!” Some ads are remembered, but not for the product or service that was being advertized. Fortunately for E*Trade, their commercials are still remembered for their talking baby, while also associating their name with it.

Lastly, Volkswagen’s 2011 “The Force” commercial was another of the most popular advertisements. Throughout most of the ad, a child dressed head-to-toe as Darth Vader goes about his day trying to use the Force to get what he wants. While the mother originally tried to help him, his father took a different approach. Once he arrived home, the child raced to the outside to see if he could use the Force on the car. From inside, the father remotely started the car, leading his son to believe he had actually achieved his dream.

While some commercials are known for their comedy, some of the more popular ones use nostalgia and sentiment to market their products.