Super Bowl Sunday: When the best in the business make you laugh or cry to increase market share

Local News

TAMPA, FLORIDA – JANUARY 31: An aerial view of Raymond James Stadium ahead of Super Bowl LV on January 31, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

(WSYR-TV) — Whether you are a hard-core football fan or just there for the snacks, you have to admit that the commercials can sometimes be the best part of the evening.

Carmakers, brewers, soda companies, computer hardware, and software producers, are all vying for the attention of as many as 100 million viewers that will tune in for the game.

Just like the players on the field, the best of the best in advertising have worked much of the year preparing the campaigns and commercials that will appear during the 2021 game.

We thought we would come up with a top 5 or top 10 list of Super Bowl ads. But with so many ads to choose from and the topic so subjective, we thought we’d just post a handful of memorable ads along with some links directing you to find ads planned for this year’s games, and collections of past commercials.

Let’s head back to 1993, when Michael Jordan and Larry Bird squared off in a duel of impossible basketball shots to win a Big Mac and fries in this classic ad for McDonalds.

Anyone who ever saw a Star Wars movie got a kick out of this pint-sized Darth Vader desperately trying to summon the powers of “The Force”. The kid has no luck until he gets a little help from his Dad and his 2011 Volkswagen.

Of course a reboot of this ad could be done today using the automatic parking and other high tech features available in 2021.

This ad from 2015 has no shots of a cold beer in a frosted mug or attractive, hip people enjoying the beverage together. In fact, there are no shots of the product. Just a scared, lost dog, and his friends coming to the rescue. But everyone knows the brand. Grab the tissues.

Who doesn’t love Betty White? In 2010, the actress appeared in this football-themed commercial as Snickers introduced its marketing theme that you are not you, when you’re hungry.

Cameos from pop culture have also been popular in commercials.

In 2020, before we were locked down due to COVID, Walmart was promoting its curbside delivery using a whole shopping cart full of science fiction pop culture stars.

This is hardly an exhaustive list. Just a handful we stumbled upon while researching this story. If you want to fall down an internet rabbit hole full of Super Bowl commercials from years past, here’s a good place to start.

If you want a preview of the ads in this year’s Super Bowl, the folks at Ad Age have all the commercials.


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