The Best And Worst Super Bowl Commercials And Ads Of All Time
By Chris E. Hayner | @ChrisHayner on
If there's anything as exciting a the Super Bowl, it's definitely the commercials that air during the big game. Every year, companies spend insane amounts of money for their chance to shine in front of TV's largest audience, attempting to capture the attention of America with creative new commercials.
Sometimes things go really well, whether it's the Budweiser frogs or a new trailer for whatever massive film released are on the horizon. Other times, though, commercials miss the mark. It's hard to forget the General Motors commercial in which a robot commits suicide after losing its job. Someone, somewhere thought that was a great idea and spent a bunch of money to bring it to life.
With over 50 years of Super Bowl games to look back on, there are plenty of advertisements to revisit and GameSpot has done just that. We've gone through a long list of Super Bowls to find the absolute best and worst big game commercials of all time. Take a look at them and sound off in the comments with your favorite--or least favorite-- ad. Also make sure to check out our guide to alternative programming options if you don't feel like watching the big game this year or just want to skip Maroon 5's halftime show.
BEST: Peter Dinklage loves Doritos (2018)
Peter Dinklage can do it all, including perfectly lip synching a Busta Rhymes song to profess his love of Doritos. This particular commercial also included a Mountain Dew verse from Morgan Freeman--to Missy Elliott's Get Ur Freak On--to create the weirdest and best rap battle of all time.
WORST: GM robot commits suicide (2007)
Suicide isn't a funny joke, regardless of who's committing it. That's a lesson General Motors learned the hard way after its 2007 Super Bowl commercial featured a car-assembling robot hurling himself off a bridge after accidentally dropping a screw on the factory floor. Why did they think this was a good idea? Who knows, but the fact that it was all a dream the robot was having--again, this is a robot--didn't help matters.
BEST: The Budweiser frogs (1995)
Who doesn't remember the Budweiser frogs? They were the heart of what might be the most successful alcohol advertising campaign of all time. They were a meme before memes were a thing and they'll absolutely make a comeback one day.
WORST: Fred Astaire's Dirt Devil dance (1997)
Dirt Devil repurposing footage of Fred Astaire--who died in 1987--to sell vacuums is a truly strange move. Editing in actual Dirt Devil vacuums that weren't on the market when he filmed said footage is even more bizarre.
BEST: McDonald's Big Mac (1975)
Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun. The Big Mac jingle took the world by storm in the '70s and McDonald's put people to the test to see if they remembered it. Most couldn't figure it out, but that didn't stop them from wanting one.
BEST: The Bud Bowl (1989)
The King of Beers sure knows how to Super Bowl. From the infamous frogs the the massive game of Pac Man, Budweiser and Bud Light almost always deliver the goods with their big game commercials. The Bud Bowl, however, is the company's crowning achievement. The idea is simple enough, an animated segment that shows bottles of beer racing each other for supremacy. Cheering on your personal favorite Bud brew, though, is sometimes as exciting as the game gets.
WORST: Matthew Broderick's Honda commercial (2012)
While there's nothing wrong with this Honda commercial that spoofs Ferris Bueller's Day Off on the surface, Broderick's history makes it an odd choice. In 1987, a year after Ferris Bueller hit theaters, the actor was involved in a car accident in Ireland that killed two people. He was eventually convicted of careless driving and paid a fine. Maybe he shouldn't be selling cars on TV.
BEST: Bud Light's real-life Pac Man (2015)
This is the commercial that most of us wish we lived in. In 2015, Bud Light brought Pac Man to life with a massive game board that some unsuspecting beer drinker found himself running around in. It's a true marvel and we're still sad we didn't get our turn.
WORST: GoDaddy's weird nerd makeout (2013)
GoDaddy has always tried to be risque with their Super Bowl commercials, but 2013's ad that saw supermodel Bar Refaeli making out with some random geek was truly unsettling. We don't need to see any two people kissing that closely.
BEST: Apple's 1984 advertisement (1984)
Apple's commercial to introduce the Macintosh computer was weird, experimental, and, honestly, kind of creepy. But it made the exact kind of splash the company needed. After all, you are very possibly reading this on an Apple device.
WORST: Nationwide Insurance uses a dead child to make everyone sad (2015)
Nationwide really wants you to buy life insurance, but this ad featuring a child telling you all of the things he'll never get to do because he died "in an accident" does not make you want to do anything of the sort. If there's anything that's going to bum you out in the middle of an exciting Super Bowl game, it's the story of a dead kid.
BEST: Volkswagen takes on Star Wars with tiny Darth Vader (2011)
This kid has embraced the dark side of the Force and we love it. This commercial is the perfect mashup of two worlds, with the Imperial March playing while a young Darth Vader fan puts his powers to the test on his parents' car.