Top 10 Super Bowl Commercials of All Time

Top 10 Super Bowl Commercials of All Time

As the Super Bowl has become a major part of American culture, so have the television commercials that punctuate the action. Major companies spend significant time and money producing flashy short commercials to entertain fans and expose their brands to the world. Super Bowl commercials have become so famous that some people watch the game only for the ads. Here is a list of the top 10 Super Bowl commercials of all time.

1. Apple’s 1984 (1984)

The best Super Bowl commercial of all time is Apple’s take on the dystopian novel and film 1984. Directed by superstar science fiction director Ridley Scott, the commercial was cheekily shown during Super Bowl XVIII, which was held in January of 1984. The one-minute ad features a crowd of enslaved futuristic people who are saved by a hammer-throwing woman. A narrator pledges that the new Apple Macintosh computer will ensure the real 1984 will not resemble the fiction.

2. Hyundai’s Smaht Pahk (2020)

One of the best Super Bowl commercials of all time was Hyundai’s Smaht Pahk. It had three common features of any Super Bowl ad: celebrities, humor, and clear brand sponsorship. In the ad, actors Rachel Dratch and Chris Evans mock the size of a parking space until fellow actor John Krasinski arrives in a Hyundai Sonata and uses the car’s self-park feature to fit in the spot. During the entire commercial, all actors use an extremely thick Boston accent for comedic effect. It was shown during Super Bowl LIV in 2020.

3. Coca-Cola’s Mean Joe Greene (1980)

Coca-Cola’s Super Bowl commercial from 1980 has become a classic. It debuted a few months before, but the ad reached fame and prominence during Super Bowl XIV. The commercial features “Mean” Joe Greene, a famously tough defensive tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers, who is shown limping back to the locker room in pain. An adorable moment with a young fan displays the nicer side of Greene’s personality in a heart-warming exchange involving a Coke.

4. Always’ #LikeAGirl (2015)

One of the best and definitely one of the most inspiring Super Bowl commercials came from the feminine hygiene products brand Always. In the ad, children and adults are asked to imitate actions done “like a girl,” and then participants are asked why they did those actions. Then, actions done “#LikeAGirl” are shown in a much more positive light to emphasize the empowerment of young women possible if we shift what we say and how we say it. This moving commercial was shown at Super Bowl XLIX in 2015.

5. Snickers’ Betty White (2010)

The Snickers ad from Super Bowl XLIV features Betty White and is a masterpiece of physical comedy. White hilariously portrays an unfocused and underperforming member of a pickup football game. White is told that she’s “playing like Betty White” and gets tackled into a puddle of mud for a shocking effect. A helpful bystander turns things around by offering White a Snickers, and the game plays on.

6. Old Spice’s The Man Your Men Could Smell Like (2010)

One of the most amusing commercials made for the Super Bowl was not actually shown during it. In this absurd ad, a shirtless man talks to an unnamed female audience and describes all the men that women could have if only they would put on Old Spice deodorant. With each type of man described, the background and items on the screen shift using special effects as the narration continues. Instead of playing live, the commercial was released online before Super Bowl XLIV in 2010.

7. Google’s Parisian Love (2010)

One of the most unique and successful Super Bowl ads came from the tech powerhouse Google. In their commercial Parisian Love, a love story between a person from America and a person from Paris is told solely through Google searches from their very first flirting to eventually their preparing for a child. The touching ad was shown during Super Bowl XIV in 2010.

8. Budweiser’s Frogs (1990)

Budweiser’s commercial during Super Bowl XXIV spawned a marketing campaign that lasted throughout the decade. The ad featured three frogs in a bayou, each of which croaks one of the syllables of the brand “Budweiser.” After various configurations, the syllables are finally uttered in the correct order, and the frogs croak, “Budweiser.” The Budweiser frogs have since become nearly as iconic as the Budweiser Clydesdales, and it was nearly impossible to reference the brand in the 90s without thinking of the croaking frogs.

9. Wendy’s Where’s the Beef (1984)

Apple’s fascinating 1984-themed addition was not the only notable Super Bowl commercial shown in 1984. In the simple but effective ad, three elderly women look at burgers from fast food franchises and loudly ask why there is so little meat on their buns. Thankfully, a Wendy’s burger with plenty of meat is given, and a narrator promises more meat than McDonald’s or Burger King can offer. The commercial was shown during Super Bowl XVIII.

10. McDonald’s The Showdown (1993)

McDonald’s tapped NBA superstars Larry Bird and Michael Jordan for their spot in Super Bowl XXVII. The simple and playful commercial features the two basketball players sharing a gym for a workout. Bird challenges Jordan to a shooting contest, with the winner eating Jordan’s Big Mac while the loser watches. A hilarious shooting match follows in a comedic display of 1990s basketball prowess.


What is the best Super Bowl commercial of all time?

The best Super Bowl commercial of all time is arguably Apple’s 1984. Fresh off his wild success with the movie Alien, Ridley Scott directed this commercial, and it depicted a future where everyone is enslaved in a nod to both the current year and George Orwell’s novel 1984. A new future is promised if people simply buy MacBooks from Apple. The ad was shown at Super Bowl XVII in 1984.