The numbers don’t lie. This year’s Super Bowl will be the most expensive for advertisers, $4 million the going rate for a 30 second spot. The folks over at Time have tipped the five hottest trends for this year, including longer commercials, ‘real people’, funny people(..) and targeting multi-screen viewers.
Ads and the big game have come a long way.
1973 — Joe Namath and Farrah Fawcett
Broadway Joe was the most marketable NFL player in the early 70s. His brash persona coupled with good looks and boyish charm made him the perfect front man for Noxzema’s ‘clean yourself up, you look terrible’ ad campaign. Namath would go on to guest star on several television shows, including The Brady Bunch, The Dean Martin Show and Here’s Lucy. Fawcett was an unknown commodity when the commercial aired during Super Bowl VII.
1980 — Mean Joe Green
Though it wasn’t technically a Super Bowl ad –it originally aired on October 1, 179– Mean Joe’s deal of the century is still considered one of the best SB advertisements of all time. The Steelers would go on to win Super Bowl XIV, defeating the L.A Rams 31-19 in Pasadena. Green handled the situation well. Not only was he trespassing, the kid had the gall to talk back to Green. ‘Hey kid, take this blood stained jersey in exchange for a refreshing bottle of coke’ is the best bit business we’ll ever see.
1993 — MJ and Larry Bird
So many great things in this one. The in your face 90s beats, ‘no dunking’ and horrible special effects made this an all time great, overshadowing a terrible game that saw the Cowboys throttle the Bills 52-17. MJ would team up with Bugs Bunny for another ad in 1993, laying the groundwork for Space Jam — unquestionably the greatest movie of all time. Though we never actually know who won, Jordan’s swaggy threads were enough to retain the Big Mac in my mind.
1995 — Budweiser Frogs
Lauded at the time for its originality, this ad would usher in a dark period for Super Bowl adverts. For some reason watching this nearly 18 years later made me incredibly angry. The frogs became instant heroes, thanks in part to the lopsided nature of Super Bowl XXIX. Budweiser got the message: simple sells. The world has paid for this realization ever since.
2000 — The Dot Com Super Bowl
MicroStrategy was one of the few dot com companies to survive after their ad aired during Super Bowl XXXIV. If anyone can gather what the hell this company was selling in this poorly produced ad let me know. Kathy’s portfolio is surely in shambles today. Check out that weak ass phone.