We know what you’re looking forward to this Sunday: for a break in the football action so you can get back to watching the annual parade of big-budget Super Bowl commercials, right?
But before a new wave of ads takes over the Internet, we thought we’d step into the time machine and take a look back at our ten favorite Super Bowl commercials from years past. Remember these golden oldies?
Terry Tate, Office Linebacker for Reebok (2003)
We can’t remember a laugh-out-loud funnier Super Bowl ad than this decade-old offering from Reebok, which had trash-talking linebacker Terry Tate (actor Lester Speight) bring his hard-nosed style to the corporate environment. Sure, the joke was kind of one-note, with Terry repeatedly smashing into co-workers to remind them about office protocol. (“Break was over fifteen minutes ago, Mitch!”) But it never stopped being hilarious.
Cindy Crawford for Pepsi (1992)
How many boys came of age when this commercial first aired? We may never know an exact number, but the sight of supermodel Cindy Crawford downing a Pepsi remains a fond memory in many a male mind. To the classic strains of Doris Troy’s “Just One Look,” Crawford drives up to a dusty gas station in a cherry-red sports car (and very high-waisted jean shorts) and hits a vending machine to satisfy her thirst while two young boys look on, jaws agape. Heck, our jaws are still agape, twenty years later.
‘Wassup’ for Budweiser (2000)
Sure, it’s totally played out by now -- but back at the turn of the century, Budweiser’s “Wassup” ad campaign was as unavoidable as pop culture gets. The initial ad was simple enough: a group of dudes calling each other up and greeting each other with ridiculously drawn-out “Wassssssuppppp”s. But the idea caught fire, spawning a series of follow-up ads and changing the way bros greeted each other for years to come.
Betty White for Snickers (2010)
The former “Golden Girl” has this ad to thank for her recent career resurgence. During a fiercely fought football game, she gets tackled in the mud and throws out a few juvenile insults (“That’s not what your girlfriend says!”) before it’s revealed she’s just a guy who’s “playing like Betty White” because he needs a Snickers. This led to Betty’s “SNL” hosting gig, and “Hot in Cleveland,” and her current position as the lady everyone wants to be their grandma.
Mean Joe Greene for Coca-Cola (1980)
This one is etched forever in the memories of TV fans everywhere: Pittsburgh Steelers great “Mean” Joe Greene limping off the field and meeting an adoring fan on his way to the locker room. Greene brushes off the kid’s compliments until the tyke offers him his bottle of ice cold Coke. Rejuvenated by the sugar rush, Greene turns a little less mean and tosses the kid his game-worn jersey. This ad actually debuted before the Super Bowl, but its airing during the big game made it an all-time classic.