Super Bowl 50 is quickly approaching, and the Web has been buzzing with announcements, teasers and leaks from the brands paying top dollar to ensure that their commercials are seen by millions of viewers during the game. Each year, the teams competing for the coveted "win” change – yet somehow our anticipation for the commercials that will fill the breaks and timeouts seems to stay the same.
No doubt, we’ve seen some hits and misses in Super Bowl commercials through the years. Take last year’s Nationwide Insurance debacle, for example. (We’re still trying to block that one from memory.) Set aside the mishaps, and you have to admit that Super Bowl commercials have helped launch many brands into the national spotlight. Others have ingrained themselves in our minds. Others have somehow managed to find a way into our hearts.
In honor of 50 years of football greatness, we’ve selected a few of our favorite Super Bowl commercials from the past four decades to share as we countdown to the Panthers vs. the Broncos. Doug Powers, PriceWeber creative director, took a look at the following iconic spots from the 1980s, and shared why they were so effective.
"These three Super Bowl commercials chosen to represent the ‘80s all show the power of creative juxtaposition: Mean Joe Green with the theme line ‘Have a Coke and a Smile.’ The elderly ladies fawning over the size of a hamburger bun and then getting angry over the miniscule size of the burger in Wendy’s iconic ‘Where’s the Beef?’ spot. But for me, the single best use of contrasting elements was ‘1984’ for the launch of Apple’s MacIntosh computers. The filmmaking itself, with the programming of gray automatons interrupted by an athletic female in bright-orange gym shorts, is as fresh today as any film made in the 21st century."
"The commercial said nothing about the product. It did not show the product. It centered around a book that most football fans probably hadn’t read. And yet it was the turning point for a company – an entire industry – and created a risk-taking, bold, icon-smashing, radical identity for Apple that has become a part of its brand identity. It also stood in total contrast to the IBM culture."
"Today, nearly a half-century later, the creative and executional brilliance of director Ridley Scott’s ‘1984’ still shatters the screen.”