In case you’ve been in a cave or a coma lately, the Super Bowl is just around the corner. But some of us (who shall remain nameless) don’t watch the Super Bowl for football. We tune in for the commercials.
Indeed, Super Bowl broadcasts have showcased some of the most memorable television commercials of all time. So with Game Day waiting in the wings, we got to thinking about memorable TV commercials.
Now, “memorable” is highly subjective. A commercial doesn’t necessarily have to be any good to be “memorable.” It may be silly. Hokey. Or just plain ridiculous. It could be so bad, you can’t get it out of your head. It may also be so poignant and powerful, you can’t forget it.
So Kimber and I put our heads together the other day and came up with our own highly subjective, 100% unscientific list of the 12 Most Memorable TV Commercials Ever.
Not all of these commercials aired during a Super Bowl game. But can you name the ones that did? In no particular order:
1. The 9//11 Tribute (Budweiser, 2011)
When it comes to memorable ads, Budweiser is in a class by itselff.
The 9/11 tribute ad only aired once, during the 2011 Super Bowl. But once was enough.
Ten years after the tragedy, this ad features the famous Budweiser Clydesdales clip-clopping across the Brooklyn Bridge, past the Statue of Liberty, then bowing before the New York cityscape. Then “We’ll never forget” appears across the screen.
The ad airs without a single word of dialogue. It doesn’t need any.
One of the most poignant, powerful commercials ever.
2. I Can’t Believe I Ate That Whole Thing (Alka Seltzer, 1972)
In this ad, Ralph is seated on the edge of his bed, moaning about an upset stomach after over-eating. He doesn’t get much sympathy from his wife, who tells him to take some Alka-Seltzer.
The ad won a Clio Award (the television commercial equivalent of an Oscar) in 1972. The line, “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing,” was selected by Newsweek magazine as one of the ten best quotes of the decade.
3. The Mayhem Guy – St. Bernard Puppy (Allstate, 2019)
In this commercial, a 70-pound St. Bernard puppy with a “lack of impulse control” meets its match in Tina Fey. “Get Allstate. Where good drivers save 40% for avoiding mayhem – like me.”
The Mayhem Guy has made a career out of these commercials. Which is your favorite?
4. Aqua Velva Man featuring Pete Rose – (Aqua Velva, 1976)
Pete Rose sings in this cheesy Aqua Velva commercial from 1976. Because there’s just something about an Aqua Velva man.
5. The Most Interesting Man in the World (Dos Equis, 2010)
His mother has a tattoo that reads “Son.” I don’t always drink beer. But when I do, I prefer Dos Equis. Stay thirsty, my friends.
Wait. Did I say the Pete Rose ad was cheesy?
6. 241 Years of Battles Won (U.S. Marine Corps, 2017)
For a place. For a people. For an idea…. It’s what we do. It’s who we are….
This may be the best recruiting commercial ever.
- Are You Grown Up Enough For Granny Goose? (Granny Goose Potato Chips, early 1960s)
Interesting. Well-seasoned. Provocative. The only question is: Are you grown up enough for Granny Goose?
Love it or hate it, this was one memorable ad. Totally un-PC.
- Mean Joe Green (Coca Cola, 1979)
One of the most famous Coca Cola commercials ever. Have a Coke and a smile.
9. Times of Your Life Christmas commercial featuring Paul Anka (Kodak, 1976)
Remember Paul Anka?
Good morning, yesterday. You wake up and time has slipped away. Do you remember? The laughter and the tears? The shadow of misty yester-years? (Bet you can’t stop humming that…)
Nostalgia meets Kodak in this beautiful holiday commercial.
Kodak film. For the times of your life. They nailed it!
10.I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing (Coca Cola, 1971)
Who can forget this one? “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing (In Perfect Harmony)” is a pop song which originated as an advertising jingle. It’s sung by the Hillside Singers in this 1971 TV commercial.
It’s the real thing…
11.Another Angel Gets Its Wings (Target, 1993)
Scenes from the Christmas classic It’s a Wonderful Life intersplice this music video from the 1993 Christmas song, Another Angel Gets Its Wings. By Vince Gill and Trisha Yearwood.
The video appeared at the beginning of the Target Exclusive VHS copy of It’s A Wonderful Life. If customers bought a Christmas album by either Gill or Yearwood at Target, a free cassette single of this tune was included.
Remember, for each and every bell that rings, another angel gets its wings. So share you care…
12.Puppy Love (Budweiser, 2014)
An adorable puppy + a majestic Clydesdale + the bonds of friendship = best buds and a cuteness overload!
Budweiser knocks it out of the park again with this Super Bowl ad from 2014.
Will you be watching this year’s Super Bowl game for the football, the commercials, or a little bit of both?