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Ferris Bueller is back – the all-time great SuperBowl ads!

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'Ferris Bueller' - yeah but what type of car is he driving?!

Whether you’re on a sporting lockout or not, one thing is always for sure – as an Aussie, you’re always going to miss one of the highlights of the Super Bowl.

The ads.

American and global corporations gear up for this, the most watched sporting event on the US calendar. Enjoyed by close to 100 million Americans, the game provides an advertising bonanza for those willing to part with some serious coin.

As in, close to $3 million for a 30 second spot, serious coin…

For the companies willing and/or able to contemplate such an extravagance, they’d better be making sure that there ads are (a) Really really really good, (b) Memorable, (c) Contain someone really really really famous, and, introducing new category (d) Nostalgic enough to get noticed. Really really noticed.

A difference in styles

The difference between the US and Australian versions of football is that we might get 10 ads per quarter of footy, tops! NFL takes a lot of breaks. A lot! There’s a stoppage after each play, plenty of time outs, and the 60 minute total game time is completely misleading as the clock stops whenever the ball hits the ground after an incomplete pass or if a player running with the ball or who has caught it has run out of bounds. (This happens a lot!)

So whereas Australians might pop up to stretch their legs at the end of the 1st and 3rd quarters and move completely elsewhere at half time, the ongoing stop-start nature of American football means that companies have more opportunities to hit potential US consumers right between the eyes.

It’s even got to the point where companies are putting out teasers to their Super Bowl ad. I’m not making this up! Here’s Volkswagen with a pack of dogs barking the Imperial March from Star Wars! Again – not makin it up. My personal favs are the Darth Vader and Chewbacca puppies, but that’s just me…

The ironic element is that us Aussies won’t get to see one of them. The revenue bonanza that NBC can expect to enjoy won’t transfer to Australian screens, where we* (*we = you) will, as always, receive home grown content.

A replacement

So, as we’re missing out, here’s a look at some of the classic Super Bowl ads of history and of the present.


This one hasn’t even been seen on a tv screen, but ticks categories ‘b’ – memorable – and ‘d’ – nostalgia – particularly strongly, with ‘a’ – really really really good, yet to be determined.

What seems ridiculous, but is true, is that I watched this earlier today, yet can’t off the top of my head recall what brand of car Bueller is pushin…

Anyway, enjoy this trip down memory lane…

Fed Ex!

Short and sweet and to the point – this one from ’06 still has people talking…



The best of all time!

The team at Grantland had their own opinions on the greatest Super Bowl ads ever. I’ve pulled some out to highlight, but if you want their full list + (unedited) comments, click here!


The Pepsi ad featuring Cindy Crawford

I include this because of how dated it now looks as they’re trying to portray her as the ‘it’ girl. You see, at that time, she was! No comment on the coincidence that it was about exactly the same time that I got into watching the Super Bowl.

Spuds McKenzie – 1987!

I honestly don’t get how this was popular, even at the time. The idea of a dog as a desirable sex object… Go figure.

Google’s ‘Parisian Love’

This is cool. Very cool.

I’m sure you’ve seen variations of the Google search playing out to different results, but this 2009 original set the tone that stood out against the other loud, ‘glamorous’ options out there on Super Bowl Sunday.

Tell me which one you would prefer – that or Cindy or Spuds?!

Michael Jordan vs Larry Bird McDonald’s commercial

For a young, impressionable generation of teenagers, Jordan epitomised cool. The baggy shorts (on the court) on the swaggering, gum chewing, dunk throwing juggernaut.

(Unfortunately he clearly chose his outfit for this commercial. You see, Jordan is a fashion victim, as the matching whatever-that-is proves. It continues today, with ‘Michael Jordan’s awful style’ now owning its own web site.)

Still, the Jordan vs Bird shootout did wonders for both their images as well as for McDonald’s. Yes, the acting is bad and the director should have been fired for close-ups on Bird’s mug… – ‘When I grow up’

This was’s first Super Bowl ad in 1999. You think it’s clever now?! 13 years ago, this was transcendent!

Missing the Super Bowl

I am still getting over missing the New England Patriots seek revenge over New York in this year’s Super Bowl – Monday our time, with the salt being rubbed in deeply by the fact that it coincides with my students’ first day back at school.

The post on missing the Super Bowl struck a chord, with it being the most widely read piece in the entire 8+ months of this journey without sport, that was, until we decided to look at the issue of ‘equal pay’ for men and women in professional tennis!

Either way, I wouldn’t have seen the ads unless a generous YouTube and Google ensued. And you know I wouldn’t do that. That would be cheating…!


About petek8

Pete Evans has just finished going 12 months without watching any sport. The journey stemmed from a sense that the balance was out-of-whack with my time and my priorities. Everything seemed to revolve around creating enough time and space to fit in the last game, games, recap shows or space to surf the net for the latest numbers and analysis. The cycle never ends - one season leads into another, seasons overlap if you follow various sports and the media's insatiable appetite for a new 'story' means that even the greatest of achievements aren't heralded for more than 3 days. So I stepped away from the machine for awhile and intentionally engaging with the journey by writing about it.

2 responses »

  1. The Bueller ad is truly woeful….


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