Super Bowl commercials: The ten best Super Bowl ads of all time

Time Out loves the time-outs! Our Super Bowl commercial roundup will reacquaint you with the most captivating, silly and truly absurd ads from years past.

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  1. 10–6
  2. 5–1

5. Volkswagen, “The Force” (2011)

The tiny Darth Vader in this adorable ad may have much to learn about the ways of the Force, but thanks to fancy-pants car technology, the kid gets a big shock by “activiating” Dad’s new Passat. With nearly 59 million views on YouTube, the commercial is one of the most viral TV spots ever.

4. Wendy’s, “Fluffy Bun” (1984)

Better known as the “Where’s the beef?” commercial, the fast-food chain used actress Clara Peller’s brazen honk to great effect. The advert’s popularity led to a 31 percent revenue increase for Wendy’s, and presidential candidate Walter Mondale made the slogan a part of his campaign.

3. McDonald’s, “The Showdown” (1993)

With a juicy Big Mac at stake, basketball legends Larry Bird and Michael Jordan proceeded to play an epic game of horse over the course of two spots during Super Bowl XXVII. (But that duel was nothing compared to the pair’s golf battle with Bill Murray three years later, in the cinematic masterpiece Space Jam.)

2. Coca-Cola, “Hey Kid, Catch” (1980)

In the ’70s, “Mean” Joe Greene was the biggest, baddest member of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ intimidating defensive front, known as the Steel Curtain. But if this advert was to be believed, a cold bottle of Coke and an adorable kid could soften even the toughest of NFL stalwarts. The spot debuted during Super Bowl XIV, when Mean Joe’s Steelers crushed the L.A. Rams, 31 to 19.

1. Apple, “1984” (1984)

Your iPhone may be a virtual extension of your hand now, but 30 years ago, Apple products didn’t quite possess the societal omnipotence of Big Brother in George Orwell’s 1984. That honor belonged to IBM. But change arrived once this groundbreaking ad, directed by Ridley Scott, aired on January 22, 1984. The Macintosh 128K, Apple’s first personal computer, hit the market two days later; the rest is history.


  1. 10–6
  2. 5–1

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