In 2010, a report from Nielsen Ratings—the most unhuman-sounding audience measurement system in existence—concluded that 51% of the Super Bowl viewers actually enjoy the broadcast’s ads more than the game itself. We can’t say we’re surprised—advertisers dropping stacks for a spot in the Super Bowl have been on a roll for nearly 40 years. As of 2017, the Super Bowl will have successfully delivered ~443 laugh-inducing TV spots featuring pretty much every major company from Budweiser to the Worldwide Wrestling Federation.
In honor and remembrance of just how strongly the Super Bowl and its faithful advertisers have delivered in the game’s past half-century of broadcasts, we spent an entire day compiling our team’s 10 favorite Super Bowl commercials of all time. Mildly interesting side-note: the following ten ads are valued at about $25 million dollars total.
10. Snickers — “I’m Batman” (1996)
Alright, on the real, this commercial should be up near the #7 spot… but I wanted to start off strong so you know this list is coming correct. It’s also a bit interesting that this commercial is centered around making light of the effects of a concussion—a commercial focus that would definitely receive the veto from the NFL’s powers-that-be in today’s day in age.
9. Bud Light — “Magic Fridge” (2002)
Bud Light has so many good commercials, but this one is truly wonderful. Also, I can’t help but get the impression that the guys on the receiving end of the “magic fridge” are the type of dudes that celebrate the Super Bowl by smoking a super bowl, which kinda justifies their reaction to a phantom kitchen appliance popping up in their living room and supplying them with booze.
8. Cure Auto Insurance — “Avoid Distractions” (2016)
There’s really only a half second of greatness in this commercial and it belongs to the lead actor’s delivery of “whas up.” If they didn’t have a dinky insurance logo and slogan attached to the end of this spot, I’d go buy a car right now and sign up just to say they guys are my insurance company. Just kidding, their Google reviews are horrendous and this is their logo. Actor deserves an Emmy doe.
7. Doritos — “Tim Loves Doritos” (2010)
As a guy that hates sharing food—you know the shit I bought with the intention of eating it myself, go f*cking figure—this Doritos spot hits home. I had a roommate in college that would do this with my Ben and Jerry’s and I wish I’d had the intensity to physically deal with the situation in a manner akin to Tim’s, because that’s how I felt deep inside.
6. Avocados From Mexicos — “#AvoSecrets” (2017)
That’s right, a commercial from a Super Bowl that hasn’t happened yet. Had to pull a few strings and sign a few checks to get this one, but that’s just what we do here a whalebonemag.com. Just kidding. Great commercial and shoutout to YouTube’s “Latest Upload” filter. Also, is he wearing a neck brace?
5. Career Builders — “Monkey Business” (2006)
Yo! I love this one. They really could not have chosen a better song for the monkeys to be raging to either. I don’t think Career Builder is doing so hot anymore, and if I had to guess, it’s probably because the genius who made these commercials for them has moved on to bigger and better things, like running a meme page on Instagram or being a semi-well-known DJ in the EDM world.
4. Volkswagen — “The Force” (2011)
Not a huge fan of low-key sentimental commercials, on account that I only like to have one of my emotions appealed to at a time, but VW had a winner with this spot. If you’ve never tried to use the force on inanimate objects, take your mouse, move it up to the corner of your browser and click on the red button with an “x” in it. You do not deserve the rest of this list.
3. Shock Top — “Unfiltered Talk with TJ Miller” (2016)
TJ Miller is the man. Hard to believe Miller Lite didn’t throw more money at him for a Super Bowl ad than Shock Top, but part of me thinks he took this one on because they let him do whatever he wanted to do for it. His idea? Argue with a beer tap.
2. E-TRADE — “This Is Enzo” (2011)
If we’re choosing favorite Super Bowl commercials NOT from 2003, than this is our #1. E-Trade took a page from Bad Lip Reading’s book and pulled up with a series of talking baby commercials that work wonderfully to convince viewers to invest money in this stock-trading platform. Doesn’t make sense and I love it. #Take #My #Money
1. Reebok — “Terry Tate, Office Linebacker” (2003)
“Retired NFL Linebacker, “Terrible” Terry Tate enforces the office rules at the Felcher and Sons’ headquarters the only way he knows how: with bone-crushing tackles and hardcore trash-talk.” This spot was so good that they made it made into a 5-min short film with IMBD credits and everything. “YOU KNOW YOU NEED A COVERSHEET ON YOUR TPS REPORTS, RICHARD.”
If you’d like to challenge our top 10, or think we left out some of the best of the Super Bowl’s televised excellence, shoot us your addition(s). If it’s good enough, we’ll use it to replace #8.