By: Renee Grant
When we all gather together at Super Bowl parties around the country this Sunday, and fill ourselves to capacity with pizza, wings and other delicious things, our eyes will be glued to the matchup between the two titans on the field. However, one of the best parts of America’s official unofficial holiday is not about the game or the food… it’s all about the commercials!
In 2015, the big game was seen by at least 114 million viewers in the United States, beating out the previous years’ ratings for the most watched event in U.S. TV history. The cost of ads running during the hours leading up to, during and after the game are now averaging $4.5 million per commercial. With all those dollars being spent, and all those potential consumers watching, it’s no wonder that these become some of the most memorable ads you’ll see on TV all year.
- That Time Pepsi Called Out The Competition:
In this ad that aired during the 1996 Super Bowl, Pepsi took a big risk in placing their competitor’s products next to theirs in the spot, but it proved to work out for them and now it’s a practice you see much more often. Pepsi was definitely a pioneer in this regard.
- That Time Nike Put Michael Jordan & Bugs Bunny Together:
Two of the most iconic faces to ever be seen on TV in one place, basketball star Michael Jordan and fictional, comedic character, Bugs Bunny, were placed together by Nike and the rest is history… including the 1996 hit film Space Jam.
- That Time Budweiser Made Us Fans Of Frogs:
Who can forget hearing those Budweiser frogs croaking out the name of the beer? It got stuck in our heads and suddenly, we all wanted a cold one… and those frogs stayed around years after the commercial made its debut, proving the power a Super Bowl commercial can truly have on the public.
- That Time Old Spice Made You Want To Be A Man On A Horse:
When Old Spice brought us a man who could seemingly do anything because… he was wearing Old Spice, men everywhere wanted to be him and women everywhere wished he wasn’t just an ad (he had a handful of diamonds, come ON!). The campaign proved to be incredibly successful, spawning a series of hilarious follow-up commercials.
- That Time Cindy Crawford Turned Us All Into Kids With A Crush:
In 1992, Cindy Crawford was at the top of her career. Girls everywhere wanted to be her, complete with that well-placed mole, and boys everywhere were falling in love. Enter this ad for the redesigned Pepsi can that had us all feeling a bit thirsty.
- That Time Wendy’s Had Us Looking For The Beef:
One of the most legendary Super Bowl commercials ever featured a group of elderly women who were incredulous to find that after removing the top bun of an enormous burger from a Wendy’s “competitor”, there was barely any beef to be found. The catchphrase became a pop culture phenomenon, even making its way into politics during the 1984 primary season. To this day, the phrase hasn’t truly left our lexicon.
- That Time Apple Became Our Master:
While today Apple products are ubiquitous, in 1984 we were all still figuring out the tech landscape. What better way to show the competition is outdated than to make us see them in a dark and dreary dystopian world (much like the book 1984)? The rest is clearly history.
- That Time Budweiser Made Us Wonder “Whassup!?”:
When Budweiser brought the “Whassup” guys, it didn’t take long for the phase to catch on. College kids everywhere were calling each other and starting conversations with the word, and parents everywhere were baffled. The ad proved to be incredibly catchy for months, possibly years, after the initial campaign.