Every Super Bowl, companies pay the big bucks just to win some screen time during the big game. And on top of the in-house rivalries and lively tailgates, Super Bowl commercial-watching has become part of the annual tradition.
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Past Super Bowl ads have pulled on heartstrings, left viewers laughing, stunned and oftentimes, outright confused.
We went back in time to find some of the most memorable ones, listed below (in no particular order).
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Coca Cola (1979)
This ad from Atlanta-based Coca Cola starred Steelers defensive tackle “Mean” Joe Greene and is credited with kicking off the advertising trend of featuring popular sports celebrities. “Hey Kid, Catch” will still melt your heart.
Framing rival IBM as promoting a bland George Orwell-inspired dystopia, Apple’s iconic and controversial Cold War era ad from famed director Ridley Scott urged viewers to open their minds (and bank accounts) to the company’s new Macintosh computer.
Considered one of the funnest Super Bowl ads of all time, this Snickers short featuring “Golden Girl” Betty White launched the company’s “You’re not you when you’re hungry” campaign.
Remember Budweiser’s rhythmically croaking frogs, “Bud,” “Weis” and “Er”? The original Budweiser Frogs ad directed by Gore Verbinski, the man behind the first three “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies, proved the lasting power of a catchphrase.
“Puppy Love” from Budweiser is another solid winner, bringing a lovestruck golden retriever puppy and Clydesdale horse together at last. The #BestBuds ad was highly-praised and garnered more than 23 million YouTube views in the days leading up the game.
Packed with star power, this Michael Jordan and Larry Bird basketball showdown stole the show on football’s big day.
Atlantans may be #TeamCocaCola all day everyday, but Pepsi emerged the victor of the two with its 1996 “Your Cheatin’ Heart” ad. The risky short targeted its rival by featuring a Coke delivery man trying to sneak a bottle of Pepsi out of a store cooler. Hank Williams’ jam played soundtrack to this timeless ad.
Did we miss any of your all-time picks? Let us know in the comments.
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Remember, Super Bowl LIII will be played on Feb. 3, 2019, at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium and your best shot at snagging some tickets will be as part of hospitality packages or on the secondary market, the AJC previously reported. Learn more about Super Bowl LIII tickets and how to get them.