Best Super Bowl Ads Ever

by Joe Lavelle on January 14, 2010

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We are in the middle of the NFL playoff season, with the Super Bowl fast approaching on February 7.  Most of us won’t be in Miami to watch the game, but instead gathered around television sets and enjoying a spread of pizza, hot wings, and chips.  (I will try to enjoy the festivities despite the fact that my hometown New England Patriots went down badly in their first-round playoff game, losing a home game in the post-season for the first time in more than 30 years.)

As we all know, the commercials that air while the teams are huddled for a time-out are just as entertaining and memorable as the game itself.  And, companies know that Super Bowl Sunday provides an unparalleled opportunity to make a statement about their products.  This value of sharing your brand during the big game must be high, as it is reported that CBS is selling ad time for up to $3 million a spot.

I’ve discussed the topic  of personal branding before on this blog and several posts have generated great comments and discussion.  What are the some of the most memorable commercials that you have ever seen during the Super Bowl?  Which advertisers did the best job of  branding?  What companies left you wondering why anyone ever thought that was a good idea?

Here are just two that stand out for me:

1. The “1984” ad that introduced the Macintosh. Experts recognize this ad, during which a woman runs into a room filled with a group of identical-looking people who are staring at a TV and proceeds to smash the screen with a sledgehammer, as one of the most defining moments in Super Bowl commercial history.

2. The Bud Bowl. The clash between Budweiser and Bud Light became so popular that it ran for several years.  Displays promoting the event were evident in supermarkets for weeks before the two “teams” took to the airwaves.  The results were reflected in the company’s profits, with a 17% increase in January beer sales.

Please share your favorites with us and let us know why you found them to be so effective!

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