Three of the Most Memorable Super Bowl Ads Ever

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Samuel Strike Super Bowl

Flickr CC via Gibtach

Samuel Striker is President at KMG Consultants, located in Southfield, MI.

For those who aren’t into football, there are a few other reasons to watch the Super Bowl. Some tune in for the halftime show, which looks great with Bruno Mars and the Red Hot chili Peppers. Others however, tune in to watch the commercials. Companies save their best stuff for the Super Bowl, and the money they pay to do it shows. Here are a few Super Bowl ads that ended up being memorable years after they aired.

Mean Joe Green – 1979

“Mean” Joe Green had a reputation as a deadly force on the football field. He carried the perfect combination of toughness and vulnerability, and didn’t look like the typical choice for a soda advertisement. His reputation was perfect for the ad: a kid offering him a coke, with Greene accepting, and in turn offering his jersey to the kid. People who saw the advertisement witnessed Greene become show a softer side, and seem more relatable. Green later claimed that the ad transformed his public perception for the better. Troy Polamalu, current safety for the Pittsburgh Steelers, remade the ad in 2009.

Bud Light Frogs – 1995

Taking a risk on talking frogs gave Budweiser some much-needed attention. The commercial was simple: three frogs in a swamp each saying a syllable in Budweiser, while looking at a light-up Budweiser sign. The advertisement was catchy and funny, and was acclaimed by millions of viewers. The frogs first appeared in 1995, and ended up appearing in a total of six more commercials. The frogs gained some controversy when a study showed that kids grouped the frogs with other children’s brand mascots, including Ronald McDonald and Tony the Tiger.  Brand Director Mike Brooks took a shot with the frogs, even staking his job on it with his boss August Busch IV. Overall, the experiment turned into a success.

Darth Vader Kid – 2011

Volkswagen hit it out of the park with their advertisement for the 2012 Passat, involving a kid dressed as Darth Vader. Not only did the kid’s cuteness win viewers, but it also had a nostalgia factor for the target audience of new families. People that grew up with Star Wars found it relatable, and others loved the kid’s involvement. The moral of the ad centers on something that all viewers could relate to, a child’s desire to live a fantasy. The ad is currently the most shared advertisement of all time.

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