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Advertising Age Brings You the Best Super Bowl Ads of All Time

January 20th, 2014 by Michael Learmonth, Advertising Age Digital Editor, Guest Blogger (@learmonth)

With hundreds of channels, Hulu, Netflix, Xbox, tablets and smartphones, people have more access to more great content than ever before. What makes it even more amazing is that once a year 110 million of us sit down and watch the same thing — together.

That’s the Super Bowl, and that’s a big reason that the big game remains big business for advertisers. This year 30 seconds of Super Bowl time will cost advertisers $4 million. And that’s just the time. They’ll spend millions more to create their spots, promote them on the web and build marketing strategies around them that last long after the game is over. 

Here at Advertising Age, we talk about ads all year long. But this is the one time of year everyone talks about them. Indeed, the ads are part of the Super Bowl experience, and since this big audience comes just once a year, advertisers know they have just one chance to get it right. One chance to entertain YOU. 

Over the years, some have gotten it very, very right. Here are five of the top Super Bowl ads of all time, as picked by Advertising Age editors:

Apple: ‘1984’

Coca-Cola: ‘Mean Joe Greene’

Budweiser: ‘True’ (Wassup)

Volkswagen: ‘The Force’ 

McDonald’s: ‘The Showdown’


Last year brought a bumper-crop of great ads. Here five great ones from 2013:

Samsung: ‘Next Big Thing’

Budweiser: ‘Brotherhood’

Coca Cola: ‘Security Cameras’

Ram Trucks: ‘Farmer’

Tide: ‘Miracle Stain’


To keep track of who’s buying what in the Super Bowl this year, check out our handy tracker and follow along for all our coverage of the business behind the Big Game