They spend their whole lives training and training, for that one moment. They break bones, sweat and bleed to achieve their dream. They never give up, they never quit and they never say die. All that matters to them is the Super Bowl. It’s the biggest and most important moment of their life. No, not the quarterback, coach or unstoppable defense, we’re talking about advertisers.
The Super Bowl is the championship game of the National Football League (NFL). The game is played yearly and usually takes place in the early part of the year. The game is one of the biggest sporting and television events. It attracts a very large audience and routinely brings in some of the biggest ratings for a network. The commercials have become a huge part of the broadcast. In fact, many people watching the Super Bowl are actually watching for the commercials and not the game. Networks charge a huge amount of money to advertisers. In 2015, the average cost of a thirty-second ad was around $4.5 million. Due to the cost and wide audience, the commercials are usually expensive and very creative. Often, they will be clever, original and unique. Some of the most common ads revolve around beer, food or cars.
Car commercials during the Super Bowl have become a phenomenon in its own right. The car commercials can range from funny and clever, to dramatic and compelling. The commercials can also feature a well-known celebrity or athlete. Here is a look at 15 of the greatest Super Bowl Car commercials of all time.
15) The Chase – Audi 2009
The Chase aired in 2009, during Super Bowl XLIII. It featured action star Jason Statham on the run from some bad guys. He steals various cars over different periods of time in order to escape. He struggles with getting away but is finally able to, once he gets behind a 2009 Audi. The bad guys can’t keep up with him and he gets away unscathed. The commercial combines intense chase scenes with humor. It almost feels like a trailer for an upcoming action movie. However, it’s actually an advertisement for the 2009 Audi.
14) Prom – Audi 2013
Nobody wants to go to Prom alone, but dating is hard these days. Well, this commercial fulfills the dream of many young teenage boys. Those that lacked the confidence to go up the prettiest girl and say, “Hi”, without throwing up in their shoes. The ad, Prom, features a teenager going to prom alone. His parents let him take the Audi and this gives him a sudden burst of confidence and courage. He speeds down the street and parks in the principal’s spot. He then charges into prom and gives the prom queen a hot and passionate kiss. He goes home alone in the Audi with a black eye and a smile. It aired in 2013, during Super Bowl XLVII.
13) The Humbler – Pontiac 1970
The Humbler aired in 1970, during Super Bowl IV. It was the early days of companies advertising during the Super Bowl. The ad featured a young man driving his Pontiac GTO through a drive thru, looking for a racing opponent. The commercial debuted a new, but short-lived feature on the GTO, which was the Vacuum Operated Exhaust (VOE). By activating the VOE, it relieved the car of backpressure and gave it better performance. However, it did increase the noise of the exhaust a lot. The commercial and the feature did not last long. In fact, the commercial only aired once, which was during the Super Bowl that year before being pulled.
12) Wisdom – Dodge 2015
Wisdom aired during Super Bowl XLIX, in 2015. The ad was meant to celebrate 100 years of Dodge. The commercial is unique, original and clever. The ad features people around the age of 100. They give the viewers wisdom and advice about love, life and dreams. Like many of our sweet, caring grandparents, their advice goes from deep and beautiful to brutally honest. They tell us that there are miracles all around us, tell the truth, stay young, keep your eyes open and sometimes…your mouth shut. They then tell us not to complain, tell it like it is and most importantly, put the pedal to the metal.
11) Transactions – Acura 2012
Transactions is a commercial about nothing…er…wait…it actually is about something. The ad features stand up comedian and TV icon, Jerry Seinfeld as he attempts to be the first person to own an Acura NSX. The only problem is: somebody else is already first in line. Jerry tries different ways to bribe the man into letting him be the first person, such as, performing stand up comedy for free at a fancy dinner party. Once he finally convinces the man, former Tonight Show host, Jay Leno flies in (literally) and the man gives the car to Jay. It aired during Super Bowl XLVI, in 2012. The commercial pays tribute to one of the greatest TV sitcoms of all time, Seinfeld.
10) Blue Pill – Fiat 500X 2015
Blue Pill aired in 2015, during Super Bowl XLIX. The commercial is very clever, unique and somewhat risqué. The ad features a man and a woman about to make sweet, tender love. However, the man needs the help of a little blue pill. The blue pill falls out of his hand and goes on a wild adventure that ends with the pill in the gas tank of a car. The blue pill helps the car become confident, romantic and last forever…wait…that doesn’t seem right. The pill helps improve the car’s power and performance. With the help of the blue pill, the car becomes a Fiat 500X. Now, that’s the pill to choose.
9) Pigeons – Nissan Maxima 1997
Pigeons aired during Super Bowl XXXI, in 1997. The commercial pays tribute to the film Top Gun, starring Tom Cruise. In the commercial, a group of pigeons are launching deadly missiles at certain targets…er…not deadly missiles…deadly pooh. The pigeons notice a Nissan Maxima that would make great target practice. No matter what the pigeons do, they can’t keep up with the car. They dig down deep and drop some of their best work but the Nissan keeps getting away unscathed…or more like, unpoohed. Critics praised the commercial for its sense of humor and parody of Top Gun. It was one of the most talked about commercials during the Super Bowl that year.
8) Fable – Mercedes-Benz 2015
Fable aired during Super Bowl XLIX, in 2015. The commercial told the well-known story of the Tortoise and the Hare. The quick as lighting, Hare and the slower then a snail, Tortoise decide to have a foot race to see who truly is the fastest. The arrogant Hare is over confident that he will beat the slow but wise, Tortoise. However, slow and steady wins the race for the Tortoise. This commercial adds a little twist at the end. The Tortoise has a bit of a different approach here. He wins the race by getting in a Mercedes-Benz and speeds past the Hare. Apparently, not only are Tortoises wise, they’re also great drivers.
7) The Godfather – Audi 2008
The Godfather aired in 2008, during Super Bowl XLII. It features a spoof of one of the most iconic scenes in cinema history, from the Academy Award winning film, Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather. The scene in the movie revolves around The Godfather, Don Vito Corleone, sending a message to film director Jack Woltz, who is not cooperating with the Don. The message is the severed head of Woltz’s beloved horse, Khartoum, which he finds in his bed the next morning when he wakes. In the commercial, the horrifying scene features a man discovering the front end of his Rolls Royce. Apparently the Audi made him an offer he couldn’t break to.
6) Detroit – Chrysler 2011
Detroit features rapper and Detroit native, Eminem. He drives through the city of Detroit, while a narrator talks about the history of Detroit and how the city deserves respect. The song, “Lose Yourself” by Eminem, plays in the background. The video is two minutes long, which makes it one of the longest commercials in the history of the Super Bowl. It aired during Super Bowl XLV, in 2011. The commercial was critically acclaimed and was considered one of the best commercials of 2011. The ad ends with Eminem arriving at Fox Theater and says to the camera, “The is the Motor City and this is what we do.”
5) Soap – Chevrolet 2004
The commercial, Soap, puts the fear of swearing back into the hearts of young kids everywhere. The commercial features several kids with a bar of soap in their mouth. The viewers wonder, “what horrible word did they say and what made them say it?” Just then, a young kid sees a yellow Chevrolet SSR and says “Holy S—“, the scene then cuts to the young boy with soap in his mouth. Critics have praised the commercial for being clever and unique. Many consider it to be one of the funniest and best commercials to air during the Super Bowl. It aired during Super Bowl XXXVIII, in 2004.
4) Newfangled Ideas – BMW 2015
Newfangled Ideas aired in 2015, during Super Bowl XLIX. It’s considered to be one of the best Super Bowl commercials of 2015. The ad is very clever, unique and creative. Former hosts of the Today Show, Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric were featured in the commercial. First, a flashback takes us to 1994, where Bryant and Katie try to comprehend this new thing called, “the internet”. They don’t know what the strange mark @, means. Katie thinks it might be “about” or “around”. Bryant asks, “what is internet anyway?” and Katie, being the journalist she is, asks someone named Allison to explain the Internet. Flash forward to 2015; Bryant and Katie are driving in a BMW i3. They have difficulty comprehending the new all electric car and it’s cutting edge, technology. Eventually, Katie asks, “Allison, can you explain what i3 is?”
3) Dream – Nissan 1991
Dream aired in 1991, during Super Bowl XXV. Film director, Ridley Scott directed the commercial. He is best known for directing classic films such as, Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator and Thelma and Louise. In the commercial, a man tells the viewers of his strange dream. He is driving a Nissan 300ZX Turbo. He races against a sports bike, a racing car and fighter jet. He is victorious and triumphant over his obstacles. The commercial feels like a trailer for a summer blockbuster movie or an Oscar worthy film. However, it’s a commercial for a Nissan 300ZX Turbo. Critics praised the ad for its unique, original and cinematic approach.
2) Farmer – Ram Trucks 2013
Farmer aired during Super Bowl XLVII, in 2013. The commercial featured parts of a speech by radio personality, Paul Harvey. He is best known for hosting his own radio program, The Rest of the Story. The show began as news segments during World War II, before becoming its own series in the late 70s. He hosted the show till his death in 2009. The speech is titled, So God Made A Farmer. The advertisement features images of farmers and depicts the life of a farmer. The commercial is deeply moving, compelling and powerful. It takes the viewers into the world of a farmer with the inspirational words of Paul Harvey narrating. Although the advertisement features farmers, it’s actually a commercial for Ram Trucks. And now you know the rest of the story.
1) The Force – Volkswagen 2011
The Force is considered one of the greatest commercials of all time. The ad pays tribute to the iconic science fiction franchise, Star Wars. The ad features a young boy dressed up as the evil and powerful, Darth Vader. He attempts to use “the force” on items around the house, such as the washer and dryer, but fails. Finally, he uses “the force” to make his dad’s Volkswagen Passat start. Of course, his father started the car with a remote control. Critics have praised the commercial for its unique, simple and original story. It was aired during Super Bowl XLV, in 2011. However, it was released a week before online. Before the commercial aired during the game, it already had over 8 million views online. It is one of the most watched viral ads of all time. It is also one of the most shared videos online.