Fiore Favorites: Best Super Bowl Commercials

 In Advertising, Audience Building

Whether you’re rooting for the Patriots or Eagles this Sunday, everyone knows the true winner of Super Bowl LII will be the brand that produces the most memorable, game-changing commercial. Whether they make you laugh out loud or shed a tear, unforgettable commercials are a staple of the Super Bowl experience.

As you gear up for Super Bowl LII, check out some of our team’s favorite commercials from past years.

Dave Fiore- Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Volkswagen’s Darth Vader (2011)

There have been lots of great Super Bowl commercials over the years, but this one really stands out for me. It combines several elements that I love – Star Wars, cool cars and messing with your kids. The way the young boy walks around the house trying to use The Force on everything with no luck is masterful. He is able to convey determination and frustration from inside a Darth Vader costume and tells the story with simple hand gestures and posture changes. We really feel for him and are hoping that the washing machine – or at least the dog – will respond. No luck. Take it from a kid who had a lightsaber in 1978, it is not as easy as it looks to conjure up that kind of power. At the end, when he tries one last time and his dad starts the car from inside the house, we celebrate with the young Sith Lord and delight in his success. Great commercial, this is!

Liz Laffitte- Digital Marketing Strategist 
Progressive’s Goodnight Flo (2012)

I love this commercial because it is absolutely ridiculous and random. This commercial does several things: it highlights some of their products and discounts for customers with those products, it reinforces the connection between their spokes-character (Flo) with their brand, and it makes you laugh. I may not remember all of the policy discounts advertised, but I do remember Flo’s hilarious chipmunk lines, and I remember them in her voice. Suddenly the stress-inducing topic is connected in my brain with something that makes me smile every time. This may not be the funniest commercial I’ve ever seen, but it came to mind above all others, and it’s over five years old! “Squirrel jail. Justice!”

Domonique Davis- Content Writer/Editor 
Budweiser’s Puppy Love (2014)

Growing up in Japan, I was never able to watch the Super Bowl because, thanks to a 14-hour time difference, it aired on Mondays and I was in school. Fortunately, I made my way back stateside before Budweiser rolled out its adorable “Puppy Love” ad, showcasing an unlikely friendship between a puppy and one of the brand’s infamous Clydesdales. As an animal lover, the heartwarming commercial drew me in from the moment the golden Labrador puppies hit the screen, and I became even more entranced as the sounds of Passenger’s “Let Her Go” played in the background. From the spot-on musical selection to the incredibly cute relationship between the two four-legged friends, this commercial was definitely an instant classic in my eyes.

Greg Salyer- Content Writer/Editor 
Pepsi’s Coke Driver Nabs Pepsi (1996)

Very few Super Bowl games can actually rival the competition between Coke and Pepsi in the ’80s and ’90s. Not only is this one of the first Super Bowl commercials I remember from my childhood, it’s full of seismic awkwardness that I can completely relate to as an adult. It depicts a Coke vendor who is unfaithful to his company and regretfully breaks the bonds of brand loyalty. I love everything about this commercial. The Hank Williams music, the long looks to make sure no one is watching, the utterly ridiculous and unrealistic amount of Pepsi cans that fall out of the cooler (my favorite part), the people staring down the aisle to see what happened and the shameful act of the Coke vendor setting the Pepsi back on the shelf and exiting through a sea of competitor’s soda cans. This commercial is timeless and hilarious!

Anna Fiore- Content Writer/Editor 
NO MORE’s Pledge to End Domestic Violence (2015)

While many Super Bowl commercials are fun and lighthearted, there are also those that deal with serious topics, such as the “No More” PSA. This ad aired in 2015 and was the first ever Super Bowl commercial to address domestic violence. This advertisement features a woman who is pretending to order a pizza but is really calling 911 for help while her aggressor is in the same room. I can still recall seeing this ad air for the first time and how impactful it was on everyone in the room. Though the ad is sobering, there is a glimmer of hope, as the organization behind the commercial encourages viewers to take a pledge to end domestic violence and sexual assault once and for all.

Bella Sirkis- Content Marketing Intern
M&M’s “Human” (2018)

Disclaimer: As someone who spent nearly an hour in New York City’s M&M World, and a lover off all things peanut M&M, this next choice might be biased. For Superbowl LII, M&M released their “Human” commercial. In this colorful ad, two M&M’s walk down the street and find a lucky penny on the ground. As they pick up the penny, one M&M says in a discouraged voice, “Sometimes I wish I were human.” That’s when the classic red M&M magically transforms into “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” star Danny Devito. After picking out people from the crowd to survey his new appearance, Devito excitedly finds out that for the first time in his life no one wants to eat him! And just as he goes to announce his new fortune to anyone who can hear him, he’s hit by a city garbage truck — so much for good luck. I guess M&M’s can never really catch a break!

Mandy Schnittker- Project Manager
Wendy’s Where’s the Beef (1984)

Did commercials in the mid-80s really look this old? With this choice I am admitting my age, but for me, the “Where’s the Beef” commercial is iconic. The spot debuted during the 1984 Super Bowl, but it launched an advertising campaign that would run throughout my childhood. And if “going viral” is possible without the internet, the commercial did just that. The catchphrase “Where’s the Beef?” was repeated in television shows, movies, magazines and about a million times by my younger brother. In my opinion, the best commercials are the ones where you can instantly recall the brand. Aside from the classic “Toys ‘R Us” ads that I sang along to as a child, this Wendy’s commercial/branding is one of the first I can really remember. At a young age, I knew they were selling Wendy’s hamburgers. I also knew that if the older actress, Clara Peller, needed a stand-in, they could call on my grandmother. Like Clara, she packed a big voice in a very small package.

Melizza Black- Content Marketing Intern
Snicker’s Betty White Tackle (2010)

Snickers commercials are iconic. Snickers has been known to use hilarious people (and sometimes animals) to show how awful, funny or annoying people can be when they’re hungry. What’s even more iconic than the commercials, is the star of their 2010 Super Bowl ad—Betty White. I’ve grown up with her, my parents have grown up with her, and my grandparents grew up with her. Her inherently funny personality adds a personal touch to this commercial that makes seeing her be tackled by a football player even more hilarious. I can only hope that when I’m 96 I have the same amount of spunk she does!

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