Let’s face it. Who even tunes into the Super Bowl to watch the game anymore! Well, some might. But over the years, the Halftime commercials have become bigger, louder, more memorable and more budget-busting than ever before. As flagship brands have been forced to go head-to-head to score a prized spot in the Halftime commercial schedule, the ad game is well and truly on.
Luckily for us, this means brands have been forced to push their creativity to the max, win over celebrity endorsements and find the most impactful way to score a marketing touchdown. These brands have really pulled out all the stops to win us all over with some of the most heartwarming, hilarious, feel-good, off-the-wall and star-studded ads. The competition is fierce, but here are the most memorable Super Bowl Commercials of all time.
In 2018 M&M Turned Danny Devito into a Human Spokescandy
Danny Devito has enjoyed a legendary career spanning five decades. But in 2018, the diminutive star took on his most bizarre role to date. You see, he agreed to be transformed into a human spokescandy and morphed into a giant M&M in their memorable Super Bowl commercial, “Human.”
The ad began with two animated M&Ms, Mr.Red and Ms. Brown, strolling down the street. Mr. Red then complained that three people already that day had tried to eat him. He just wished he was human. Luckily, his wish was granted and Mr. Red morphed into his human counterpart, Danny Devito. Naturally, Danny ran around the street asking if people wanted to eat him, and this ad will stay etched in our memories forever.
In 2013 Bar Rafaeli Made Out With a Nerd for Go Daddy
In 2013, the domain-name site, Go Daddy, was attempting to shake off its racy and provocative commercial image. So they hired the swimsuit supermodel, Bar Rafaeli. Still, they gave their ad an edge by including Walter, a self-confessed nerd, played by actor Jesse Heiman. The ad was also narrated by the female racing car driver, Danica Patrick.
The ad was part of their “Smart meets Sexy” campaign to show how “there are two sides to GoDaddy.” Danica narrated how Bar represented the “Sexy side” and “Walter” personified the “smart side.” She added, “Together, they’re perfect.” Bar then surprised us all with one of the longest and most awkward kisses in the history of TV. Reportedly, Walter made sure they practiced that kiss 45 times to get it right and he felt like he’d “Won the championship of men!”
In 2018 Alexa Lost Her Voice
In 2018 Amazon blew us away us all with one of their most-viewed Super Bowl commercials of all time, with over 50 million views and counting. The star-studded ad showed us all what would happen if Alexa, the virtual assistant, got a cold and lost her voice.
The hilarious ad was filled with a host of familiar celebrities, from Cardi-B and Gordon Ramsey to Anthony Hopkins and Rebel, and we got to see how each personality would react if they stood in for Alexa. And the results were spectacular, from Gordon Ramsey ranting about recipes to Cardi B insisting that the only music available on the internet was her music! The message we all took home is that Alexa is simply irreplaceable!
In 2015, Always, Changed the Game With Their ‘Like a Girl’ Campaign
Back in 2014, the feminine-hygiene brand, Always, wanted to find a way to both engage young girls, tackle the issues of confidence and stereotypes associated with women. The resulting campaign, “Like a girl,” was one of the most powerful ads ever created and really changed the whole marketing game.
The advert opened by asking a group of adults, “What does it look like to run like a girl?” For the adults, “Like a girl” was interpreted as more of an insult, as many men and women giggled and flipped their hair. They then posed the same questions to a group of confident young girls. The young girls instinctively ran as fast as they could and tried to be the best. By the end, the message about stereotypes was clear, and the ad tried to “rewrite the rules.”
In 2016 Amy Schumer and Seth Rogen Started Their Bud Light Party
Sometimes Super Bowl commercials are memorable for different reasons. In 2016, during the Presidential race, actors Amy Schumer and Seth Rogen tried to make us all vote for their mock party, aptly named The Bud Light Party. In the civil-rights style beer ad, they rallied about issues like equal pay for women and men and retail discrimination.
They then proudly promised voters that “Bud Light proudly supports equal pay. That’s why Bud Light costs the same no matter if you are a dude or a lady.” While they did put a lot of effort into this budget-busting ad, it wasn’t so well received as some thought they were making light of those issues. Either way, bad publicity is still publicity. The ad sparked conversations and got people watching, so it became memorable anyway.
In 2014 Butterfinger Cups Spiced Up The Game with Couple’s Therapy
In American culture, it’s pretty much accepted that certain flavors go together, like peanut butter and chocolate. But in 2014, the classic candy brand spiced up their game with their suggestive Superbowl ad. The commercial opened with a couple representing chocolate and peanut butter on their visit to couples therapy.
The therapist then asked if the couple wanted to try something different. While the man squirmed and got uncomfortable, the woman was a little more excited about the idea. Then we were taken to a whole new level of awkward as “Mr. Butterfinger” popped out and playfully sat between the pair. As they gasped and giggled, we were told it’s a “whole new way to love peanut butter and chocolate.” And we can never look at chocolate in the same way again!
In 1971 Coca Cola Created Their Catchy Hilltop Jingle
In 1971, Coca Cola produced one of the catchiest jingles in ad history in its groundbreaking “Hilltop” commercial. As a sign of the times, in the 70s, Coca Cola wanted to engage the younger generation and spread a message of hope and love. So they gathered a multi-cultural collection of teens from all over the world on a hilltop in Italy to watch them sing.
As the teens sang the catchy jingle “Buy the World a Coke,” the tune soon transcended the commercial. In fact, it became so popular that it was transformed into a pop song, called “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing In Perfect Harmony,” and became a hit record in the UK and the US. The ad is still one of the most iconic Coca Cola commercials of all time.
In 2013 the E-Trade Baby Told Us All How We Could Splash Our Cash
Back in 2001, ETrade debuted the ETrade Baby to the world. As the ETrade Baby sat in their bedroom, talking to a webcam and broke down financial concepts to us in an adult voice, the brand tried to convey how their investing business was so simple, even a baby could explain it.
From that point on, the brand became synonymous with the ETrade Baby and every year they would debut a new ETrade Baby Super Bowl commercial to the world. One of the most memorable was in 2013 when the baby advised us all about watching out for hidden fees. Thankfully, ETrade doesn’t have hidden fees. So he then showed us all how to splash the extra cash, from popping bottles to flying to the moon and we still love all of those ideas.
In 1999 We All Learned How to Wassupppp With Budweiser
In 1999, Budweiser took the world by storm with one of the most iconic campaigns in Super Bowl history. The ad started simply enough, with a group of best buds chilling on the sofa, phoning each other to ask “whassup?” It soon escalated, as every time they phoned another friend, they would reply with “Whassssssupppppppppp?”
While it may have started out as annoying, the ad was instantly relatable as it felt like this group of best buds had a secret code and we all wanted to be part of it. As the ad resonated around the world, the catchphrase started to trend. The ad became a cultural phenomenon, scored numerous awards and became one of the most successful campaigns in Budweiser’s history.
In 2018 A Celebrity Feud Went Down Between Martha and Jack in the Box
As celebrity feuds go, we’ve seen Kanye vs. Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj vs. Cardi B. But these all paled in comparison to what went down between domestic goddess Martha Stewart and fast-food chain mascot, Jack in the Box. In 2018, the Super Bowl ad showed us all how the culinary feud started. The commercial began with Martha whipping up an Asian Fried Chicken Sandwich.
As Martha proudly announced how “You would never find this in a fast-food restaurant,” Jack in the Box busted in and challenged Martha to a spat. Everything then escalated quickly, and Martha reached and pulled off his nose. As Jack gets threatened by security, the hilarious ad soon became viral. It was also accompanied by a social media feud on Twitter, which made the campaign even more impactful.
In 2018 Old Spice Told Us All What Our Man Could Smell Like
In 2010, Old Spice scored a marketing touchdown with its winning campaign, “Smell Like a Man, Man,” featuring a shirtless Isiah Mustafa. The hilarious ad brought us unforgettable lines like, “Ladies look at your man, now back to me…sadly he isn’t me,” but with Old Spice “He could smell like he’s me.”
Isiah then transported us all to a boat with the “Man your man could smell like.” The hilarious advert promised ladies everything they could wish for and more, and Isiah then told us in the most random way, “I’m on a horse.” That viral ad shot Isiah to stardom and those catchy taglines became a huge part of pop culture.
In 1979 Coca Cola Made Mean Joe Greene Smile
In 1979, Joe Greene had earned a reputation as one of the most formidable defensemen in NFL history. While he was widely admired for his skills, his reputation proceeded him and he was known as “Mean Joe Greene.” It seemed like nothing could soften him. That was until Coca Cola came up with a genius plan. During their 60 second ad, we all saw Joe Greene limping into the locker room after a hard-fought game.
Joe was then interrupted by a starstruck young boy, who tried to compliment him. As Greene seemed ambivalent, the young boy then offered him a Coke. He then took the bottle and gulped it down. As the boy walked away, heartbroken, Joe had a change of heart and finally smiled. He then threw his jersey to the boy and his little face lit up. That ad won awards and everyone wanted to hug Joe and offer him a Coke after that.
In 2019 Doritos Made Us Cringe with The Backstreet Boys and Chance the Rapper
In 2019, Doritos made their original Nachos hotter. So the marketing geniuses tried to make a spicy impact by combining the original 90s boy band, The Back Street Boys, with millennial rap sensation, Chance the Rapper. In theory, Doritos were appealing to the older and newer generations. It seemed like a winning formula. What could go wrong!?
Well, the Super Bowl ad allowed Chance the Rapper to freestyle and remix the classic boyband track, “I Want it That Way.” In reality, it didn’t go as smoothly as they had imagined. As Back Street Boys fans cringed over Chance’s lyrics, rap fans cringed over the boy band-style choreography. While it was essentially a flop, it soon became memorable as everyone tuned in to see what all the buzz was about.
In 2019 Stella Artois Brought Back Carrie and The Dude
In 2019, SATC star Sarah Jessica slipped on her Manolos one more time for Stella Artois in their winning campaign. “Change Up The Usual.” Sarah reprised the role of Carrie Bradshaw and arrived in style at a swanky restaurant. The waiter then asked if she wanted her signature cocktail, The Cosmopolitan. Carrie then startled the entire restaurant, and plates crashed all over the floor when she replied: “Nope tonight I’ll have a Stella Artois.”
As everyone was still reeling in shock, all of a sudden Jeff Bridges strutted over as his iconic Big Lebowski character, The Dude. He then brought the restaurant to its knees when he shunned his signature drink, the White Russian and proudly ordered a Stella Artois. The unlikely pair then compliment each other for their choice of beverage and we’re still not over this commercial!
In 2016 T-Mobile Cashed in on Drake’s Hotline Bling
In 2016, Drake’s mammoth hit, “Hotline Bling” became one of the most viral tunes of the year. We all watched as the rap genius donned his turtleneck and threw his trademark awkward dad dance moves. Soon enough, Drake and his dad moves became a viral meme and the rapper became even more marketable than ever.
So T-Mobile were fast to jump on the bandwagon and produced their own “Hotline Bling” themed Super Bowl commercial. Fans rejoiced as Drake sported his infamous turtleneck and reprised his signature moves. All of a sudden, T-Mobile executives asked him to change the lyrics to include the terms and conditions. While Drake initially agreed to be a corporate sellout, we were then assured that T-Mobile won’t ruin the song and the network will let you “stream all you want.”
In 2016 Mountain Dew Introduced Us to the Puppy Baby Monkey
In 2016 Mountain Dew took Super Bowl by storm when they debuted their incredibly cute, strange and freaky “PuppyMonkeyBaby” commercial. During the ad, we all got to see a group of young guys chilling on a sofa and announce how they feel like chilling tonight. That was until the door burst open and we were all greeted by the PuppyMonkey Baby sensation.
As the PuppyMonkey Baby strutted over with a bucket of Mountain Dew, he then started a catchy song about himself. As he kept repeating PuppyMonkey Baby over and over and dancing, the beat started and the boys were all energized, like us. The catchy advert boasted how it had combined three awesome things in one and instantly went viral. Fans were divided between loving the creature and finding it all a bit too freaky to handle.
In 2016 Budweiser and Helen Mirren Made Us All Give a Damn
While some beer brands could be accused of glamorizing alcohol with a series of dreamy ads, in 2016, Budweiser took a different approach. Instead, they enlisted the help of British actress, Helen Mirren to provide a no-nonsense rant about the issue of drunk-driving.
During the 60 second ad, Helen proceeded to scold us all like school kids with a series of brazen insults, delivered in a tone that only Helen Mirren could deliver. The powerful but simple ad, called “Simply Put” made us all stop and listen and we’re sure the campaign encouraged many Super Bowl fans to think twice about driving home from the game.
In 2012 Honda Gave Ferris Beuller Another Day Off
The classic 80s hit Ferris Beuller’s Day Off starring Matthew Brodrick, is still one of the most iconic movies of all time. We all watched Ferris as he faked a sick day from school and caused havoc around the city. So fans went into overdrive when Matthew reprised the role of Ferris for the Honda CRV Commerical.
The commercial was filled with all the nostalgic references from the movie, only this time, Matthew called in sick from his job as a Hollywood actor. As he announced, “How can I work on a day like today,” he hopped in his Honda to enjoy a day in the city. This time he lived by going on a roller coaster, visiting a museum and singing on a Chinese-themed float. The spectacular ad was filled with close calls with his boss too and it gave us all the feels.
In 2018 Tide Brought The Old Spice Guy Back
In 2018, Isiah Mustafa had already become a household name, and synonymous with the Old Spice brand. His taglines like “Look at your man, now look at me” and “I’m on a horse” had transcended the commercial and were a big part of pop culture. So fans rejoiced in 2018 when he returned to our screens on a horse. However, there was a plot twist in store.
This time, he appeared in character as the Old Spice guy and started to deliver his familiar lines. All of a sudden a Tide cleaning bottle appeared in his hands. Staying in character, he then declared “I’m in a Tide ad.” As the camera pans out, we saw that actor David Harbour sitting behind him on his horse. So he exclaimed, “Get off my horse.” The ad was a crossover Old Spice and Tide campaign and was executed to pure perfection.
In 2010 Beyonce, Britney, Pink and Enrique Showed us All How to Rock with Pepsi
In 2010, Pepsi showed us all how to rock with their gladiator themed, star-studded ad, “We Will Rock You”. The budget-busting commercial featured four superstar songstresses, including Beyonce, Britney, and Pink who were all hyped up to go out into the gladiator ring. Latin heartthrob, Enrique Iglesias played the Emporer and presided over the game.
As the songstresses strutted out into the ring, they all burst into song and powered out the lyrics to Queen’s “We Will Rock You.” As Enrique was angered by their singing, they eventually caused the stadium to rock. Eventually, the cans of Pepsi and Enrique tumbled to the arena. As the girls handed out refreshments to the crowd, the tables turned and Enrique was left to an untimely fate. It soon became one of the most iconic ads in Super Bowl history.
In 2017 Justin Timberlake and Christopher Walken Said, Bai Bai Bai
Justin Timberlake is no stranger to Super Bowl history. He famously performed at the Halftime show with Janet Jackson with her newsworthy wardrobe malfunction and he’s now a regular on the Halftime show circuit. But in 2017, Justin made his mark in the most unforgettable way in the Bai refreshment commercial.
The ad opened with Hollywood legend, Christopher Walken who is known for his dark narrating voice. Christopher was perched on a leather sofa and started to tell a story. It soon became clear that he was reciting the lyrics from the classic 90s N-Sync track, “Bye Bye Bye.” The camera then hilariously panned over to Justin, the former frontman for the band, and the pair just look at each other. The ad was executed to perfection and deserves a place on our list!
In 2018 Budweiser Won Us All Over With Their Puppy Love Ad
It seems like Budweiser have already found the winning marketing Super Bowl formula, and know exactly how to tug on all our heartstrings. In 2018, the beer brand tugged on all our heartstrings yet again with their “Puppy Love” commercial. The ad quickly went viral became one of the most engaging and shared ads of the year.
For a few years now, Clydesdale horses and dogs have become synonymous with the brand. So in 2018, we all watched the same labrador from the “Lost Dog” ad, as he kept running away from his adoption home to meet his “Best bud,’ the horse, in the stables. When the pup was finally adopted, the horses intervened and wouldn’t let him go. A chase ensued until the new owner was forced to turn around and let the pup stay with their “Best bud.”
In 2018 Pepsi Created a Star-Studded Ad to Celebrate Every Generation
In 2018, Pepsi blew us all away with their celebrity-studded ad to “Celebrate Every Generation.” The throwback ad was filled with pop references to all the familiar Pepsi ads in the past. We were overjoyed the supermodel Cindy Crawford returned to our screens to recreate the iconic Pepsi commercial that helped catapult her to fame. This time she was joined by the next generation, in the form of her son.
The Back to the Future-themed commercial was both poignant and powerful as it took us back in time and referenced all familiar stars who had featured in Pepsi ads. From Michael Jackson and Britney Spears to Ray Charles, the crowd-pleasing commercial filled us with nostalgia and now holds a special place in Super Bowl history.
In 2016 Carl’s Jr. Showed Us All What Would Happen When Tex Met Mex
In 2016, America was abuzz with the issue of tightening security around the border between Mexico and Texas. So, the hamburger brand, Carls Jr. had their own enlightened answer to the issue with their ad “Tex Mex Bacon Borderball.” The commercial wowed us all with a group of scantily clad models, representing Mexico and Texas who started to boast about their favorite burgers.
The models then agreed to settle it once and for all and battled it out with an entertaining and highly provocative volleyball match. While the ad kept closing up on the images of the ladies, we all forgot that this was even a burger ad, until we were reminded at the end. We’re still not sure who won but this ad has now earned a memorable place in Super Bowl ad history.