By Michael Willson
If you are like me, the Super Bowl is still fresh in your mind. In addition to mourning for the Panthers, cheering for the Broncos, and feeling underwhelmed by the halftime show, most of us can agreed that the commercials were not what they used to be. There were some good commercials, like the dog driving a Subaru and Mike Tyson singing the Michael and Son jingle, but they did not add up to their predecessors. Here is my list of the top ten favorite Super Bowl commercials from years past.
10. Apple: 1984 (1984)
This commercial, directed by filmmaker Ridley Scott, shows a dystopian society made to resemble George Orwell’s 1984. A theater full of uniformed, identical people are watching a giant screen with Big Brother, symbolizing IBM, brainwashing them. A runnier comes in and throws a sledgehammer at the screen, opening up a ray of sunshine. The commercial ends by saying, “On January 24th, Apples Computers will release the Macintosh. And you’ll see why 1984 won’t be like 1984.” What makes this commercial so good is how epic it is. It literally looks like a movie. Using 1984 is also clever, making it relevant to the time. I will say this, though: it is ironic that a company like Apple would show themselves as being against Big Brother. Seriously, Apple customers have no freedom.
9. Doritos: Pug Attack (2011)
This year’s commercial with a baby rushing out of the womb to get a Dorito was kind of lame if you ask me. There commercial in 2011, however, was hilarious. In this commercial, a man heckles a pug by offering him a Dorito. The catch is that the pug is outside and the glass door is closed. As the pug runs to the door in slow motion, it looks like he will crash into the door. Instead, the pug breaks down the door and crushes the man. In addition to Doritos’ trademark slapstick and goofiness, this commercial is incredibly adorable. Let’s be honest, you could put a pug in or on anything and people will love it . . . unless it’s crossbred with a monkey and a baby, then it’s disturbing.
8. Snickers: You’re Not You When You’re Hungry (2010)
This year’s commercial with Willem Defow and Marilyn Monroe was alright, but it was nothing compared to Betty White. The commercial shows a pickup football game when, out of nowhere, White gets tackled. White is given a Snickers and it turns out that it wasn’t White who was playing. Instead, it was just a hungry guy. In addition to this commercial having hilarious physical comedy, it also introduced White to a younger generation.
7. Ram: So God Made a Farmer (2013)
There’s not really a whole lot to say about this commercial. It’s a series of photos of farmers and Paul Harvey’s poem So God Made a Farmer. There’s just something about it that is so charming. I remember when I first saw the commercial, I said out loud, “I want to be a farmer now.” I guess it could be due to the fact that when most Super Bowl commercials use sex and partying, Ram celebrates a wholesome and honest career.
6. Coca-Cola: Mean Joe Green (1980)
Coca-Cola is an American icon. We all love Coke. It makes sense that they have a commercial every year. This year’s commercial with Ant-Man and the Hulk was pretty good, but it pales in comparison to Mean Joe Green. In this commercial, football player “Mean” Joe Green walks away from the field, grumpy after losing the game. A little boy offers him his Coke. Green reluctantly takes the Coke and drinks it in one gulp. He takes a 180 in his mood and gives the boy his jersey. What makes this commercial great is that it’s so heartwarming. The boy is kind enough to give Green his Coke and Green shows his appreciation by giving him a free souvenir. Plus, it really makes you crave a Coke.
5. Weight Watchers: Take Back Control (2015)
This commercial uses a montage of people eating fattening foods as a narrator makes excuses for why you should eat them such as “You’ve earned it” and “It’s a special occasion.” The commercial ends with Weight Watchers saying, “It’s time to take back control.” What makes this commercial great is not so much the content, but the fact it was advertised during the Super Bowl. Think about it, if you were a company designed to help people lose weight, when would you want to advertise? On the day when people eat disgusting amounts of junk food.
4. Google: Searching (2010)
This commercial shows a Google search engine as different searches are being typed. It then tells a story about a man studying abroad in France and finding love. What makes the commercial great is that you wouldn’t think of a search engine as having a commercial. Most of us just go on the internet and use the first search engine we find. This commercial actually makes us think about which search engine we should use to get the best information. Plus, it’s also a cute commercial.
3. Volkswagen: The Force (2011)
This commercial shows a little kid in a Darth Vader costume walking around the house trying unsuccessfully to use the Force on various objects. The commercial ends with the kid’s father coming home from work. As she tries to use the Force on the Volkswagen, the father turns the car on from the kitchen. This catches the kid by surprise thinking that she actually used the Force. While most people like the commercial for its funny ending, I like it for how it breaks down gender stereotypes. It is easy to assume that the kid is a boy because she likes Star Wars, but one scene shows her trying to use the force on a doll. We don’t see a little sister in the commercial, so it’s safe to assume that the doll belongs to her and that kid is a little girl. Any commercial that breaks down gender stereotypes has my respect.
2. Budweiser: Reunited (2013)
The Budweiser commercial this year was a complete disappointment. Don’t get me wrong, Helen Mirren telling people not to drink and drive is great and all, but it’s not what a Budweiser Super Bowl commercial is supposed to be. Budweiser commercials are supposed to give you the feels. In 2013, Budweiser premiered a commercial about a farmer raising a Clydesdale from birth, only to sell it to Budweiser. Three years after selling it, the Budweiser Clydesdales come to town. Just when you think the Clydesdale has forgotten the farmer, it runs up to him in an emotional embrace. This is a commercial that you will need the tissues for.
1. Denny’s: Screaming Chicken (2010)
I know what most of you are thinking: of all the famous Super Bowl commercials, why did I choose this one? It’s because when this commercial first aired, I was on the floor laughing. The commercial is nothing but chickens screaming because of all the eggs they need to lay for Denny’s Free Grand Slam Day. The commercial is completely random, not only for its content, but also because it’s a Denny’s commercial. There are companies that always have commercials at the Super Bowl, such as Budweiser and Doritos, and then there are the underdogs– those companies no one would expect to have a Super Bowl commercial. This year, the underdog was Pokémon and in 2010 it was Denny’s