The 10 best Super Bowl ads of the (young) century

From M.J. to Budweiser, these managed to sell without being sleazy
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Perhps it’s not socially acceptable to enjoy Super Bowl ads. Every year, it seems, casual critics declare the commercials were among the worst yet.

But looking back at the first 10 years of the 21st century, the era has actually been pretty solid, filled with memorable Super Bowl advertisements that were better than the commercials in the 1990s and at least as inventive those from the 1980s.

A series of culture-altering events — the end of the dot-com boom, the 9/11 attacks and Janet Jackson’s partial breast exposure during a halftime show — seemed to challenge advertising professionals, leading to some of the more creative commercial spots in the Super Bowl’s 45-year history.