Super Bowl Ad Time Line I-XLIV

Read More at: Mediaweek

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If you’re a sports fan (and 60 percent of Americans identify themselves as such), there’s a good chance you can name some famous Super Bowl moments. Even for those of you who were in diapers during the Bowl’s first years, you’ve probably still heard about Mean Joe Green’s breathtaking footwork in Super Bowl IX or Joe Namath’s Hail Mary passes that handed Super Bowl III to the New York Jets. But there’s another part of Super Bowl history that goes along with plays like these—for example, Mean Joe Green accepting a Pepsi from a kid in the stands or Joe Namath grinning like a kid while Farah Fawcett slathered his stubbly chin with Noxema. What did these scenes have to do with football? Nothing—and everything.

These were, of course, legendary Super Bowl commercials. And, like it or not, they and their ilk are now more famous, more memorable and often more fun to watch on YouTube than anything that shook out on 120 yards of Astroturf. While nobody’s attempted to peg an exact percentage, it’s now accepted fact that a good portion of those who tune in for the Big Game not only stick around for the commercials (TiVo be damned), but a good many of them tune in just to watch the commercials.