The week after Labor Day marks the end of summer for some, but for advertisers, it means the return of primetime television and football. In honor of the 2018 NFL kickoff game, we wanted to share some of the agency’s favorite Super Bowl commercials. From a dancing monkey’s to surprise celebrities, here are the ads that made the list:
The Force (2011)
After almost a decade of not airing a Super Bowl commercial, Volkswagen created its most successful commercial yet. The simple story captured the audience’s interest by juxtaposing an infamous Star Wars villain with a whimsical little boy, delighted by a small gesture from his father. The lighthearted ad garnered over two million hits just one day after it aired and the honor of most watched Super Bowl commercial of all time.
Puppy Love (2014)
Nothing says “Super Bowl” like a Budweiser commercial featuring its iconic Clydesdales. However, this ad in particular decided to add a puppy and Passenger’s “Let It Go” to really pull at a viewer’s heart strings. The video highlighted the unbreakable bond between two unexpected friends and positioned the Clydesdale to represent the brand rather than its actual product. The clever execution highlighted creativity in branding and storytelling.
Whassup? Wasabi (2002)
While the original “Whassup?” commercial aired during a Monday night football game in 1999, the “Whassup? Wasabi” was the final installation in its campaign. The slogan was so comedic and irresistible that everyone began saying it. The ads were such a massive hit that the phrase became recognized worldwide, expanded into pop culture and won several advertising awards.
Cat Herders (2000)
This outlandish yet hilarious ad made a huge impression by using deadpan humor and creating imagery off of the office jargon idiom, “it’s like herding cats.” The video sold the message that no problem is too hard to solve. The commercial for EDS helped improve the company’s brand image and the visits to the company’s website reached nearly 7 million in the week after it premiered.
While this ad may start obscure, it makes sure to end brilliantly with the phrase “Well, we just wasted 2 million bucks. What are you doing with your money?” The absurdity brings entertainment value while the witty commentary effectively drives E*Trade’s bottom line.
Doritos/Mountain Dew (2017)
This ad is a success because it’s basically two commercials in one. Just as you think it can’t get any better than Peter Dinklage rapping to Busta Rhymes, you’re gifted with Morgan Freeman spitting to Missy Elliot. PepsiCo looked to consumer purchasing habit insights and realized that two products are commonly purchased together. They used the data to roll out two new flavors and create one epic advertisement.