All-Time Super Bowl Ad Hits and Misses

January 29, 2015

What’s the best Super Bowl ad of all time? The worst? Though the answer might be subjective, it’s fair to say many of us tend to agree which Super Bowl commercials take top honors – and are bottom-dwellers – as we approach Super Bowl XLIX. If we were privy to the results of each Super Bowl commercial, picking the winners and losers would be easy, at least from a marketing standpoint: we’d know which ads helped companies gain new customers and increased sales, and which ads put their backers on the brink of bankruptcy (at $4 million per 30-second spot, it would be easy to do). Then again, many perennial advertisers use the Super Bowl for branding purposes (think Pepsi – typically no call to action, just brand reinforcement), so response would be difficult to measure. That said, we can say certain companies find Super Bowl advertising worthwhile by simple virtue of the fact that they continue to buy spots year-after-year. Others we can judge as successful based on viewer feedback, though that admittedly doesn’t mean the ads were ultimately successful from a marketing standpoint. Thus, this list represents my personal opinion regarding which Super Bowl ads are the best – and worst – ever. See if you agree!

Best Super Bowl ads ever

Terry Tate: Office Linebacker (Reebok)

Still going strong on YouTube today, this commercial set off a series of hilarious ads in which an office firm hires an office linebacker to dole out justice to on-the-job slackers.  


Coke Guy Gets Caught (Pepsi)

What better way to depict your brand as the best than by showing a competitor picking it over their own product?  


$2 Million Wasted (eTrade)

This ad is funny, but the humor lends itself to eTrade’s point: you need to be managing your money better, and eTrade can help.  


Worst Super Bowl Ads Ever

Perfect Match (GoDaddy)

No one wants to see this. Ever. Yet if the goal is to be part of the conversation, GoDaddy wins.  


Doberhuahuas (Audi)

I love this commercial – I really do. It’s pure entertainment. However, it does nothing for the brand. Audi builds luxury vehicles, yet the dog they ultimately use to represent them is a mutt. Nothing against mutts, but in the world of dog shows purebreds are premium stock.  


Pandas Need Sales Leads (SalesGenie)

Universally condemned for being racist, irrelevant, and downright stupid.  

  What’s your favorite Super Bowl ad of all time? What’s the worst? Let us know in the comments!

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About Brian Morris

Brian Morris serves in various capacities as a freelance writer, content developer and public relations specialist for growing small businesses. When he’s not writing, he can be found on the racquetball court - usually getting his tail kicked by guys 20 years older.

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