With all the excitement mounting to watch the Eagles play in the Super Bowl, it’s time to recall the brilliant advertisement tradition that goes hand-in-hand with the game. During the Super Bowl, TV stations sell 30-second advertisement spots for as low as $3 million. According to a BBC news report, the Super Bowl is the only television event in the United States that promises a potential audience of 135 million viewers. Charlene Li of Forrester Research asserts that half of the audience watches the game for the ads. The Super Bowl commercials have become a part of collective memory of Americans. As Michael Rosen-Molina of UCLA puts it, “People may forget the game – but inventive commercials live on.” Let’s take a walk down the memory lane and recall commercials that strike nostalgia.
Probably the most famous commercial ever, Apple introduced its Macintosh in 1984 with a 60-second spot directed by Ridley Scott of Blade Runner. It was unusual in those days to have a 60-second spot as most ads were only 30 seconds long. A blond woman running in red shorts and a tank top with the Apple logo throws a sledge hammer at a screen showing a speech by Big Brother (IBM) and shatters it, introducing the new MAC. The voiceover said, “On Jan. 24, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh, and you’ll see why 1984 won’t be like ‘1984’. ”
This Apartment 10G Pepsi commercial was so popular that countries all over the world copied the format. According to ESPN News, this commercial, which was first introduced during the 1987 Super Bowl, was aired again in 2000 for the final episode of Spin City. Who doesn’t remember Michael J. Fox jumping out of his window in the rain, dodging the traffic and buying a Diet Pepsi for that beautiful woman? “I hope it wasn’t too much trouble,” says the woman. The tag-line caught on and so did Diet Pepsi.
Pepsi’s Dancing Bears commercial from Super Bowl 1997 where the grizzlies dance to YMCA is rated by ESPN News as one of the best. Pepsi’s 1996 “Security Camera” ad where the Coke man gets caught stealing a Pepsi has also joined the memory of ad-freaks.
From their 1999 Dalmatian brothers advertisement to Rex the dog, Budweiser manages to outdo itself every year. Its 1995 “Frogs” commercial was especially famous, where backwater frogs croaked “Bud-Weis-Er.” The frogs instantly became famous.
According to superbowl-ads.com, Warner brothers, Sony pictures and Paramount pictures have purchased spots to promote their upcoming movies. Expect to watch promos of Batman Begins, The Dukes of Hazard, Vin Diesel’s The Pacifier, War of the Worlds and The Longest Yard on television this Sunday. Sean “P. Diddy” Combs and Eva Longoria join forces to promote Pepsi along with six other celebrities.
Among the other ads to watch for should be the new Budweiser ad where this time, a robot promotes the beer and Cedric the Entertainer returns. Careerbuilder.com enters the realm of Super Bowl advertising this year by enlisting monkeys to promote their Web site, and introducing the new trend of Internet companies using broadcast advertising.
Amidst the celebration and the cheering for Eagles, watching the commercials has become a new sport in itself.
Jinal Shah can be reached at email@example.com.