The best Super Bowl commercials of all-time have been a pretty big debate since all the way back in the 1980s when “Mean Joe Greene” made a kid’s day in a Coca-Cola ad.
Four years later, Apple announced its presence with an advertisement introducing the new Macintosh computer. That set the stage for Steve Jobs’ company to pretty much dominate the lanscape of the technology world for decades to follow.
Heading into Super Bowl LVIII between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers, we wanted to take some time to look at the 10-best Super Bowl ads of all-time.
But before we do that, let’s provide some context for what could be the best Super Bowl commercials this year.
The Budweiser clydesdale commercials are back with a teaser for Super Bowl LVIII.
Bud Light also provided a teaser.
Here is a teaser for what promises to be the best Super Bowl commercials in 2024.
OK. Now that we’ve given you some teasers, let’s check in on the best Super Bowl ads of all-time.
Related: Top storylines for Super Bowl LVIII
Ranking the best Super Bowl commercials
10. Budweiser Super Bowl commercial (1995)
Anheuser-Busch is well known for its Budweiser Clydesdale commercial. For good reason. They have been among the most-epic spots in the history of the big game. However, it’s this commercial during Super Bowl XXX between the then-San Diego Chargers and San Francisco 49ers that had people talking.
Three frogs took to the screen to say Budweiser in tune with one another. Their croaks consisted of “bud,” “weis,” “er” for 30 seconds before the camera panned out to show a Budweiser bar. It remains etched in the minds of Super Bowl-watchers nearly three decades after it premiered.
9. McDonald’s Larry Bird vs Michael Jordan Super Bowl commercial (1993)
Super Bowl XXVII between the Dallas Cowboys and Buffalo Bills took place near Hollywood. So, why not have two of the biggest names around the country at the time advertise the largest fast-food restaurant in the United States? This might actually be considered one of the best commercials of all-time for us children of the 1980s and 1990s.
The two legends played a game of horse with the winner being able to eat McDonald’s in front of the other. It started in an unnamed gym and continued out in the parking lot before the now-famous theme song took hold.
8. Reebok’s office linebacker (2003)
“Terry Tate: Office linebacker.” Created by “Dodgeball” writer and director Rawson Marshall Thurber, this Super Bowl ad was a smashing success during the big game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and then-Oakland Raiders.
It was pretty much a mock of the then-hit show “The Office” with Tate going around the office tackling co-workers for breaking rules, including taking the last of the coffee without making any more and throwing recycling into a trash bin. Yeah, it was all sorts of awesome and remains one of the best Super Bowl commercials of all-time.
7. Pepsi’s Cindy Crawford commercial (1992)
Us children of the 80s and 90s know full well how the boys in this Super Bowl commercial felt. Seeing smoking hot Cindy Crawford get out of her convertible wearing daisy dukes. It was almost too much for 10-year-old me as I tried to keep focus on the then-Washington Redskins and Buffalo Bills Super Bowl. There’s not much more that can be said here outside of Crawford making Pepsi look sexy. For us who love Coca-Cola, that’snot easy to do.
6. Budweiser Bud Bowl (1989)
Bud Bowl 1 pitting Budweiser against Bud Light for the consumers. It was actually an amazing campaign from the company, one that introduced everyone to a low-calorie version of the regular Budweiser that had been a staple for decades in the United States.
There’s very few commercial campaigns that stick out at the level of this one. Anheuser-Busch ended up getting to promote its new low-cal version — creating one of the most impactful light beers on the market and starting a trend we’re seeing today with Keto-friendly beer such as Michelob Ultra.
5 Best Super Bowl commercials of all-time
5. Betty White Snickers commercial (2010)
It was just back on New Year’s Eve of 2021 that the world lost a true legend in that of Betty White at the age of 99. Her career on television and radio spanned seven decades. She depicted everyone from the naive Rose Nylund on “Golden Girls” to more adult-themed roles.
However, the younger generation might know Mrs. White more for her starring role in this Snickers commercial during XLIV between the New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts. The commercial shows White playing pick-up football with a bunch of young men before one hit her hard. White responded, “come on, man, you’ve been riding me all game.” One of the men responded, “you’re playing like Betty White out there,” as she came back with a “that’s not what your girlfriend says.” Just epicness.
4. Google’s ‘Loretta’ Super Bowl ad (2020)
As the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs did battle in Super Bowl LIV, commercials were a theme on our televisions. Unlike previous iterations, the were much more serious ads this year. That included Google hitting one out of the park.
“Hey Google, show me photos of me an Loretta,” the ad starts with. An old man that talked about his deceased wife and the trips they took, including one to Alaska. “Show me photos from our anniversary,” the elderly man said. Photos than showed up via Google. “Remember, I am the luckest man in the world,” the man said as the ad wrapped up. This not only goes down as one of the best Super Bowl commercials of all-time, it was an absolute tear-jerker.
3. Famous “Mean” Joe Greene Coca-Cola ad (1980)
This might be the first of many spots that have been listed in articles featuring the best Super Bowl commercials of all-time. During the big game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Los Angeles Rams at the Rose Bowl, Steelers star defensive lineman Joe Greene made a kid’s day by offering him up his game-worn jersey after the kid gave him his ice-cold Coke.
As the child walked away from an injured Green,” the future Hall of Famer said “hey kid, catch” while tossing the jersey his way. It was as heart-warming as it gets.
“To this day, I’m still rather amazed,” Penny Hawkey, a former copywriter who crafted the commercial, said during an NFL Films documentary on Greene. “It’s the commercial that will not die.”
2. Wendy’s ‘Where’s the Beef?’ (1984)
1984 was a darn good year for some of the best Super Bowl commercials of all-time. We’ll get to the greatest one ever below. But this Wendy’s ad represented the beginning of an era when companies pretty much competed against one another during ads themselves.
Three elderly women open up a bun, only to see a micro burger with pickles and a small slice of cheese. Said ad was obviously a way to troll McDonald’s at a time when fast food was growing in the United States more than ever before. The immature one in us can also laugh when they ask “where’s the beef?” Either way, this was epic.
Best Super Bowl ad ever
1. Apple Macintosh Super Bowl commercial (1984)
With the theme set to George Orwell’s classic novel 1984, Steve Jobs and Apple made its name around the United States and the rest of the world simply due to this advertisement. The legendary Ridley Scott directed this ad that only aired once during the big game between the Los Angeles Raiders and then-Washington Redskins.
When it comes to top Super Bowl commercials, this one takes the cake. The commercial culminated in a woman carrying a torch to reprecent the dawn of the Macintosh era and end the conformity that had defined the technology sector in the years prior.