When you are making an advertisement that’s going to be seen by upwards of 110 million people, you have only two options: You can be heart-warming, or you can be funny. Attempts to do anything else tend to fall flat.
Here are the nine funniest Super Bowl ads of all time.
E*Trade -- “Well, we just wasted 2 million bucks”
It is impossible to discuss Super Bowl ads without mentioning how preposterously expensive the airtime is. A couple of very smart people figured they could turn the price tag into a punch line, and everybody got the joke.
Reebok -- Terry Tate, Office Linebacker
This ad probably doesn’t exist without the genius of NFL Films founder Steve Sabol, who understood the sound of the NFL’s players added to its character. But it also doesn’t make this list without former NFL linebacker Lester Speight absolutely crushing this thing in his starring role. All aboard the pain train!
Samsung -- “Next Big Thing”
The best comedic ad for a device campaign since John Hodgman and Justin Long starred as Mac and PC.
EDS -- Herding Cats
This most memorable ad was brought to us by EDS, a now-defunct IT services company founded by Ross Perot in the 1960s. There is absolutely nothing informative, technological or service-y about it, just one office phrase pushed to its limit.
Budweiser -- “I believe that’s a zebra”
The Clydesdales have been lots of things on Super Bowl Sunday, and funny is not normally one of them. But this spot gets every single detail of instant replay right, right down to the typical fan reaction. It was voted most popular the year it aired.
Careerbuilder -- Monkeys
Before people began decrying the preponderance of puppies, kids and supermodels in their Super Bowl ads, people despaired at the abundance of chimpanzees. This ad is, in some ways, responsible. It was so funny that it spawned several generations of imitators.
E*Trade -- The Baby
The E*Trade baby became one of America’s most beloved pitchmen while he was still in diapers -- so beloved, in fact, that E*Trade’s top brass decided he had to go because he’d begun, ultimately, to “eat the brand.”
Bud Light -- The Magic Fridge
Logic doesn't have to be cold and hard. Sometimes, logic is completely hilarious.
Monster -- When I Grow Up
Bitter, knowing laughter is still laughter, and this spot, filled with kids talking about clawing their way up to middle management, becoming yes-men and getting paid less than men for doing the same job still induces it in everybody stuck on the corporate ladder.