With Super Bowl LVII fast approaching which sees the Kansas City Chiefs take on the Philadelphia Eagles at the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona this Sunday, February 12, a number of related topics have cropped up... including Super Bowl commercials.
Not only is the Super Bowl popular for its action-packed football and always entertaining Halftime Show, but also for the wealth of wacky and creative commercials that air during the program. From commercials featuring the likes of Terry Tate, Betty White, and David Harbour, to those that put a Breaking Bad twist on snacks like PopCorners, the Shack staff recently sat down to share some of their all-time favorite Super Bowl commercials.
Question: What's your favorite Super Bowl commercial?
Terry Tate, Office Linebacker - Ozzie Mejia, That man is playing Galaga
I thought about venturing back to the 90s for this, because really, few commercials are more iconic than the Budweiser frogs. Then I remembered all the laughs I got from Reebok, of all companies, when they debuted the hard-hitting, no-BS-taking, musclebound monster that was Terry Tate, Office Linebacker at Super Bowl XXXVII in 2003.
This was the guy who, for a while, I mistook as Terry Crews. No, this is not Terry Crews. This is Lester Speight, who never quite made it to the NFL, but sure seemed to have what it took, judging by these ads. This wouldn't be the last that anyone would see of Terry Tate. In fact, there was even a brief push to resurrect the character, complete with a full-blown Terry Tate YouTube channel. Times have changed in this work-at-home world, but every office still needs a 300-pound beast to bust anyone loafing on the clock.
Mtn Dew Zero Sugar Shining ad - TJ Denzer, would take a Mtn Dew from Bryan Cranston
I love me some Mtn Dew, and I also love me some Bryan Cranston, and I also, also love me some Stephen King. Put all of those things together and you have something altogether unhinged, but it also makes for one of the funniest Super Bowl commercials of all time in my opinion.
Bryan Cranston delivers the craziness of Jack Nicholson so well in this ad, right up until he breaks through the door and hands fellow (and also excellently performing) Tracee Ellis Ross the Mtn Dew. Top it off with the bizarre superimposing of Cranston’s face on the creepy twin girls at the end of the commercial and you have some bizarre nightmare fuel hilarity that I have never ever been able to shake from the back of my mind.
It’s a Tide Ad - Morgan Shaver, Secretly a bottle of Tide
I’m not well-versed on the Super Bowl or Super Bowl ads, unfortunately. In sifting through the handful of Super Bowl ads that I remember offhand, the one that stands out the most is “It’s a Tide Ad” from 2018’s Super Bowl. Featuring David Harbour (Stranger Things), “It’s a Tide Ad” spoofs a number of frequently aired Super Bowl commercials from a variety of recognizable brands (without ever naming any of them explicitly).
The ad sees Harbour bouncing between each product and the unique way those products are typically marketed from driving a car, to being passed a beer in a rustic-looking bar, to showing off a pretty bottle of perfume, and more. Eventually, it’s revealed right about midway through that the ad is for none of these things. Instead, it’s an amalgamation of commercials all masquerading as an ad for Tide laundry detergent.
Pepsi Diner Commercial - Blake Morse, Holds no allegiance in the Cola Wars
Ah yes, the Cola Wars, that magical time in the late 20th century where friends and family divided into two warring factions: Coca-Cola or Pepsi. It was, well, dumb to put it lightly, but that corporate rivalry gave way to some of the best Super Bowl commercials we’ve ever seen. Both sides still throw a metric crapton of money at ads each year with a never-ending cavalcade of celebrity endorsements. However, my favorite Super Bowl commercial features no pop stars or celeb endorsements.
It’s simply just two blue-collar drivers who work for the two big bev companies sharing a moment of common ground that escalates into violence by the end of it all. Seeing this commercial for the first time you’d think there was a sentimental message coming, but nope, we get a chair through the window at the end instead. It was a definite win for Pepsi from a purely promotional standpoint and helped to highlight just how absurd the Cola Wars truly are. The fact that this commercial aired when I was 14 (invert that age and that’s how old I am now for reference) and still sticks with me shows how great of an ad it is and why it gets my vote for best Super Bowl commercial ever.
PopCorners Breaking Bad - Sam Chandler, CHIPS, BITCH!
Is it Breaking Bad inspired, Breaking Bad adjacent, or a straight-up spoof of Breaking Bad? Then I consider it to be the best. I love the energy that each actor brings to their characters here. Walter is as stoic as always, Jesse loves the product, and Tuco’s unbridled rage as he demands severn is just perfection.
Breaking Bad PopCorners - Bill Lavoy, Say My Name
I was all set with a Walter White Super Bowl ad from years ago, but since there’s a new one coming this year, I’m getting ahead of the trend. The Breaking Bad PopCorners ad hasn’t played during the Super Bowl yet, but it will in a couple of days and will rightfully take its place as my favorite Super Bowl ad ever. I can make this statement with the utmost confidence, because you can watch the ad for yourself right now via the embed above.
Puppy Monkey Baby - Donovan Erskine, Mountain Dew enjoyer
The Mountain Dew brand has always thrived on absurdity, and there is no greater example of that than the commercial it aired during Super Bowl 50. The 30-second ad for Mountain Dew Kickstart sees a weird creature, the titular Puppy Monkey Baby, enter a living room (through its own special door) to deliver some ice-cold beverages to a trio of bored young gentlemen. I vividly remember the confusion and disgust on my parents face when the creature hopped into one of the guys’ lap and licked his face. I still hum the Puppy Monkey Baby jingle every now and then.
Snickers Betty White Steve Tyminski, Long time suffering Jets fan!
When your team isn’t in the Super Bowl and you don’t care about the game, what do you care about? The answer is the TV commercials that companies spend tons of money on. Snickers ran the “You’re not you when you're hungry!” campaign and their 2010 commercial had the likes of Betty White and Abe Vigoda in it.
They assumed the roles of the guys who weren’t playing very well in the pick-up football game. It was such an unexpected commercial at the time and it still holds up. Another ad I always liked was a Simpsons 2004 Mastercard commercial where Homer is buying stuff and getting annoyed with the voiceover. The Simpsons didn’t do commercials too much back in the day and any extra Simpson stuff on your TV was always a good thing. These are just a few of my favorite Super Bowl commercials so fingers crossed this year’s batch won’t suck.
Macintosh 1984 ad - Asif Khan, Luminary
Widely considered as one of the most influential advertisements of all-time, I had to stop by Shack Chat to remind everyone of that time when Apple was the little guy taking on Big Blue IBM. Macintosh brought some revolutionary new experiences to personal computers, and this ad will always bring back fuzzy memories of a simpler time. The Mac ad at the 1984 Super Bowl remains iconic to this day. Fun fact, Steve Jobs and Woz went into their own pockets to finance the ad because the board didn’t want to spend money on Mac ads.
And there you have it, our picks for some of our favorite Super Bowl ads. Now we turn the question over to you, what are some of your favorite Super Bowl commercials? Let us know in Chatty!
Shack Staff posted a new article, Shack Chat: What's your favorite Super Bowl commercial?