You don’t have to be a football fanatic to appreciate these memorable Super Bowl commercials. Grab a winter cocktail and some barbecue, hunker down and salute the ads that are Super Bowl highlights in their own right. From adorable babies to sports legends, watch your favorites in Time Out’s list of top ten commercials, just in time for kickoff.
10. Reebok, “Terry Tate Office Linebacker” (2003)
Okay, maybe having a burly football player tackle employees who step out of line isn’t the best strategy for improving productivity. But it certainly makes for a good commercial: The titular character of this spot, first aired during Super Bowl XXXVII, brings both mayhem and discipline to an otherwise typical workplace.
9. E-Trade, “Baby” (2008)
Cute or creepy? That’s the question surrounding the talking E-Trade baby, who made his first appearance during Super Bowl XLII. Some viewers were charmed by the character’s adorable visage, droll whoa-dude delivery and remarkable online investing savvy; others, particularly Internet commenters, found the whole thing sort of weird.
8. Budweiser, “Frogs” (1995)
Bud also had success creating an earworm with this doozy, in which three frogs rhythmically ribbit the brand name. Directed by Pirates of the Caribbean filmmaker Gore Verbinski, the spot also spurred a ubiquitous ad campaign that lasted until the early 2000s.
7. Budweiser, “Whassup?” (2000)
The beer giant perennially contributes some of the Super Bowl’s most memorable and creative commercials, so it’s no surprise that the brand earned two mentions on our list. This spot initially debuted in 1999, but gained prominence during Super Bowl XXXIV; it birthed not only a years-long marketing campaign, but a casual greeting you still hear to this day.
6. Doritos, “Live the Flavor” (2007)
When it debuted during Super Bowl XLI, this Doritos promo became the first-ever fan-created commercial to air during the big game. Made by two college-age North Carolinians, it earned its prime-time spot after garnering the most votes in an online contest, beating out more than 1,000 other amateur submissions.
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.
Dig into December 2014 events in Chicago with our calendar of the best holiday activities, including free things to do, and picks from theater, art and music Chicago's biggest events by month March 2014 events April 2014 events May 2014 events June 2014 events July 2014 events August 2014 events September 2014 events October 2014 events November 2014 events December 2014 events January 2015 events February 2015 events December is here, the New Year is quickly approaching and you've still haven't finished your Christmas shopping. It's easy to get caught up in the stress of the holidays, but an evening at the Joffrey Ballet's Nutcracker or an afternoon of ice skating in Millennium Park can help to make the season bright. We've made a list (and checked it twice, naturally) of the best December 2014 events, including concerts, theater and seasonal things to do. RECOMMENDED: Events calendar for Chicago in 2014 Follow us December 2014 calendars December festival calendar Find some holiday cheer at these Chicago festivals. Christmas events Make it the best holiday season with our guide to holiday markets, ice skating and more. December concert calendar The end of the year means big arena gigs, holiday concerts and NYE parties. Holiday and Christmas concerts 'Tis the season for carols, choirs, silver bells, Handel and Jingle Bashes. Most popular in Things to Do Featured December 2014 events Joffrey Ballet: The Nutcracker The Joffrey Ballet's annual perRead more
The end of the year means big arena gigs, holiday concerts and New Year's Eve parties. End 2014 on a high note with these top live shows in December Rise Against Rise Against just marked its 15th year. The political punk rockers and heirs to Bad Religion are touring in the wake of their latest release, The Black Market, all breakneck drumming, wide-eye lecturing and tight-fist harmonies. Opening is the hot British blues-punk duo Royal Blood. St. Vincent + Future Islands Radio station 93XRT reels in a couple hip fish for its annual BIG Holiday concert. Get in the yule spirit with lines like “Oh what an ordinary day / Take out the garbage, masturbate.” Jamie T Coming straight outta Wimbledon armed with an acoustic bass in the mid-oughts, Jamie Treays crafted a funksome, singalong fusion of Billy Bragg, Bob Marley and The Streets that picked him up a Mercury nomination. He released his first album in five years, Carry on the Grudge, in September. Les Sins Toro Y Moi man Chaz Bundick forgoes the lush disco of his day job and indulges his (even more) electronic itches with his Les Sins side project. A debut album under the monicker, Michael, his shops in December, led by the hard house of "Bother." The South Carolinian has a knack for hooks and booty movement. Wilco Chicago's most beloved active rock act gives us a gift for the holidays, a six-night stand in Uptown. Jeff Tweedy takes a break from promoting his lovely solo(ish) album to jam with Glenn, John, Nels, Pat. Expect a lotRead more