Ten best Super Bowl commercials ever

By Mark Paul, Yahoo! Contributor Network
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Every year, millions and millions of people tune in to the Super Bowl. While the game is the main attraction, Super Bowl commercials have earned their place as part of the tradition. With the high cost of Super Bowl advertisements, companies reserve their best ads for the Super Bowl. Many people value the commercials just as much as the game. Over the years, the Super Bowl has produced many classic ads. Here’s a look at the ten best Super Bowl commercials of all time.

Coca-Cola – “Mean Joe Greene” – 1980

This commercial has been parodied countless times. In the ad, the Steelers defensive lineman is offered a Coke by a boy as he enters the locker room. After Greene takes a long sip, the boy starts to walk away with a sad look. Before he leaves, Joe shouts to the kid and tosses him his jersey. This commercial perfectly capitalized on the admiration that children have for professional athletes. Though this commercial originally aired during the 1979 season, it still made an appearance during the big game in 1980. That cements its legacy on this list.

Apple – “1984” – 1984

This iconic ad parodied the George Orwell book “1984.” In it, a jogger tosses a sledgehammer through a personal computer, represented as Big Brother here. The ad then mentions the release of Apple’s MacIntosh, telling viewers that the actual 1984 won’t be anything like the book. By today’s standards, this ad wouldn’t be all that popular. However, it was iconic at the time and is often pointed to as the catalyst behind the rise in Super Bowl commercials.

McDonald’s – “The Showdown” – 1993

What could be better than two of the best NBA players playing a game of HORSE? With a Big Mac on the line, Michael Jordan and Larry Bird battle it out in a hoops contest. As the shots become more elaborate, each player calls what he will do, ending each line with the phrase “nothing but net.” The commercials shows them shooting over rafters, off the floor, and eventually over buildings. Few commercials have a better rewatchability factor.

Budweiser – “Frogs” – 1995

This commercial is brilliant in its simplicity. Three frogs sit on lily pads making different noises. As the frogs realize that each of their sounds is a syllable of Budweiser, they put it together and happily recite the word over and over again. Budweiser capitalized off the popularity of this commercial many times, including adding lizards to the mix.

Pepsi – “Diner” – 1995

A pair of deliverymen sit together in a diner. One works for Pepsi, and the other works for Coca-Cola. The two become fast friends, showing pictures of their families and listening to the jukebox. The Pepsi man then takes a sip of Coke and has a laugh. The Coke man then sips the Pepsi, but refuses to give it back. This was another commercial that was funny in its subtlety.

Budweiser – “Clydesdales Football” – 1996

In this commercial, the Budweiser Clydesdales divide themselves in to two teams for a football game. After one side kicks an extra point, an amazed viewer asks the guy next to him if the horses usually do that. In a deadpan manner, the man responds “Nah, they usually go for two.” This remains one of the best Budweiser commercials ever made.

Monster – “When I Grow Up” – 1999

This ad parodies the ambitions of kids. Instead of aiming to be astronauts or football players, the kids in the ad express their desire for mind numbing careers in middle management. It was a smart commercial that got its strong point across in a funny way.

Reebook – “Terry Tate” – 2003

This commercial led to several repeats, but the original concept was still the best. In the advertisement, a company hires an ‘office linebacker’ to inspire bored employees by tackling them. While it was funny enough watching Terry tackle people as he yelled about TPS reports, the commercial also took solid jabs at the boredom of office jobs.

Bud Light – “Hitchhiker” – 2007

Bud Light has produced many funny Super Bowl commercials, but I still love this one. The ad shows a man and his girlfriend driving down the road. Against her wishes, he stops to pick up a very suspicious looking hitchhiker carrying an axe. Of course, he’s also got a case of Bud Light, making the driver happy to pick him up. Later, he picks up a chainsaw wielding hitchhiker who also has a case of Bud Light, much to the chagrin of the axe man.

Snickers – “Betty White” – 2010

In this commercial, we see Betty White playing a rough game of touch football. As we see her struggle, a teammate says ‘Come on, you’re playing like Betty White out there.” White responds with an insult back. After that, a girl offers White a Snickers bar, and we see the man who is playing in reality. The best part is the end, in which ageless actor Abe Vigoda takes a sack.

*Note: This article was written by a Yahoo! contributor.