The Super Bowl is one of the most viewed programs on television, making it the premiere time for American brands to advertise to a wide audience. Over the years, The Super Bowl has become known for dynamic, high-profile commercials, and it's not uncommon to hear someone say they watch the program “just for the commercials.” Let’s take a look back at some of the most famous Super Bowl commercials of all time, starting with Apple’s announcement of Macintosh in 1984.
Apple’s announcement of the Macintosh computer is undeniably one of the most iconic commercials of all time. "1984" stars athlete Anya Major, who hurls a hammer at a version of Big Brother, actor David Graham, destroying him.
The commercial is an explicit reference to George Orwell's dystopian novel 1984, and the author’s estate sent a cease-and-desist to Apple a few months after it aired.
Directed by record-breaking ad mogul Joe Pytka, Nike‘s Air Jordan VII (1992) inspired the 1996 movie Space Jam! NBA icon Michael Jordan and Warner Bros icon Bugs Bunny sport Nike’s new sneakers as they conquer a group of competing players. A play on words of the shoe’s name, Air Jordan, the Hare Jordan commercial fused a bond between Looney Tunes and the NBA.
A tribute to the victims of 9/11, Budweiser’s “Respect'' aired only once to avoid exploiting this sensitive subject. The somber clip shows a group of Budweiser’s iconic Clydesdale horses visiting Ground Zero to kneel at the landmark in a sign of respect.
Betty White charms viewers as "Mike," a weekend football player in need of a glucose boost. In addition to being hilarious, the ad and its string of successors helped to boost Snickers sales by 15.9%.
Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa got a bit of a makeover in this Super Bowl LV advertisement. In the 60-second commercial, an executive daydreams about what it would be like if the actor Michael B. Jordan was the human-form of Alexa.
That’s all for our roundup, but there are many more impactful commercials that first aired during the Super Bowl over the years. What’s your favorite Super Bowl commercial?