16. Budweiser: Wazzzzup?
Sure it inspired millions of wanna-be “cool dads” to repeat it ad nauseum, but any commercial that turned into a legitimate cultural phenomenon on the level of “Gangnam Style” deserves inclusion. Also I bet Psy shows up in a Super Bowl commercial. Just culturally relevant enough to seem hip, but already too late to really make sense. The last gasp of stardom.
15. NFL: Sitcom Football Fans
Kramer’s a Bills fan? I’m sold.
14. Volkswagon: The Force
This is just perfect. Amazing use of Star Wars. Charming as hell. Captures the wide-eyed wonder of childhood. Now that’s a great commercial.
13. Budweiser: Frogs
It’s shocking how simple this is considering the impact it made. Brilliant.
12. Budweiser: Bud Bowl
It’s bottles of beers playing football. I’ve never needed anything else in life.
11. Budweiser: Lizards
Maybe somewhat controversial to put the lizards above the frogs, but the ferret assassin is just so weird that it seems more fitting on an Adult Swim show than in a Super Bowl commercial. That gets it the nod.
10. Gatorade: Michael Jordan vs. Himself
This is like the Jurassic Park of commercials. The CGI still holds up even though it seems like it should look terrible by this point.
9. XEROX: Monks
A classic with a simple clever concept that gets extra credit for having the low level monk best the old, jerky monk. That makes the me still dealing with having survived 12 years of Catholic school very happy.
8. McDonald’s: Michael Jordan vs. Larry Bird HORSE
MICHAEL JORDAN’S OUTFIT. MICHAEL JORDAN’S OUTFIT. MICHAEL JORDAN’S OUTFIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
7. Master Lock: Marksman
The ad that saved America from a band of gun-wielding locker thieves. Thank you, Master Lock. Thank you.
6. Diet Pepsi: Michael J. Fox’s New Neighbors
It stars Michael J. Fox trying to seduce multiple ladies using Diet Pepsi. Only Marty McFly has enough charm to make this work.
5. Monster.com: When I Grow Up
Remember when the Super Bowl commercials were made up of a ton of dot-coms from the late ’90s tech bubble? Interesting that one of the ones who survived also had the best ad.
4. Budweiser: Clydesdale 9/11 Tribute
This ad only aired once. And considering it’s about horses bowing, it’s shockingly moving.
3. Reebok: Terry Tate Office Linebacker
The “Terry Tate Office Linebacker” commercials aren’t “commercial funny.” They’re legitimately funny. It’s a huge difference and it’s why this is so high on the list.
2. Coca-Cola: Mean Joe Green
This would be the number one on the list if it weren’t for the fact that it didn’t premiere during the Super Bowl. It did air during one though, so it qualifies with a slight deduction. It’s sweet and wonderful. One of the NFL’s meanest “scary” guys showing his soft side.
1. Apple: 1984
The commercial that brought Super Bowl commercials to a whole new level. It treated advertising like a movie and it helped make Super Bowl advertising must-see TV. It takes the crown.