During Super Bowl I, you could buy yourself a 30-second clip of commercial time for $42,000. A princely sum, to be sure, but rather quaint when you look at today’s $3.5 million price tag. Of course, it took a few years before advertisers saw the Super Bowl as anything more than just another sporting event. The tide turned during Super Bowl VII, for which Noxzema filmed a commercial starring Joe Namath. The ad was the talk of the town the next day, and advertisers saw that the Super Bowl was a valuable way to advertise. Madison Ave. also realized that people like funny commercials, and thus they tried to make them funny. Of course, some were funny at the time, but wore themselves out (Budweiser frogs), and some tried to be funny and just fell on their face. But here are 12 that stand the test of time. Let’s hope that Sunday brings us a few more to add to this list.
12. Yo Yao. Making fun of New Yorkers is always funny.
11. Donkey Clydesdale. This one is more cute than it is laugh-out-loud funny, but still a solid commercial, and much better than the one where the Clydesdales play football, which is overrated in my book.
10. Cash4Gold. One of my favorite lines in Super Bowl history: “I can get cash for this gold medallion of me, wearing a gold medallion.”
9. Kevin Federline Nationwide. Watching this commercial gave me, for a few days at least, a modicum of respect for Kevin Federline.
8. Emerald Nuts Robert Goulet. This one is just, well, nuts.
7. Hulu with Alec Baldwin. A devious Alec Baldwin plots to destroy people’s brains so he can take over the world. This one is brilliant.
6. Bud Light Fire. The first of two commercials involving cat allergies. Advertisers, take note.
5. Jackie Moon. It’s just vintage Will Ferrell, acting like a moron. It’s too bad the movie wasn’t nearly as funny as the commerical.
4. EDS Cat Herder. It’s the details in this commercial that make it so great. The cat scratches on the guys’ faces, the guy rolling yarn, the sneezing, the lint remover to get the cat hair off the jacket.
3. Ameriquest. The secret to a funny joke is the twist at the end, and this commercial has a great one.
2. Terry Tate Office Linebacker. A simple, straightforward joke, but brilliantly executed.
1. Planters Nuts. This one has me laughing non-stop from beginning to end. This commercial basically takes the old Doublemint gum commercials and turns them on their head. This is the funniest Super Bowl commercial I’ve ever seen.