By:  Theresa Lopez

Super Bowl Sunday marks the only day of the year where standing in front of the television during commercial break poses a semi-serious threat to your own personal safety. It’s also the only day of the year where the big dogs in advertising come not just to play, but to win over viewers nationwide.

Interestingly enough ever since the advent of the Super Bowl, advertisers have always paid a pretty penny for a :30 spot.

In 1967, NBC executives charged advertisers a jaw-dropping $37,500 for a :30 spot during Super Bowl I. Even before advertisers like the late, great Jay Chiat realized advertising during the Super Bowl’s full potential, media executives had some idea that advertising during the Super Bowl was kind of – a big deal.

(In the graph, black represents viewership (in thousands) and green represents cost of :30 spot. Information courtesy of

So what made people all across America come to love and appreciate advertising on Super Bowl Sunday?

Here’s some of the major Super Bowl Ads that transformed both the course of the Super Bowl and Advertising, forever from 1973 to 1993

1973 Super Bowl VI

Let Noxema Cream Your Face by Etsy Advertising Agency (Campbell-Mithun)

1975 Super Bowl VIII

In a Word – McDonald’s by Needham, Harper and Steers-Chicago

Clydesdales, the Foal – Budweiser

1976 Super Bowl IX

Brother Dominic – Xerox by Allen Kay @ Needham Worldwide

1980 Super Bowl XIII

Mean Joe Greene – Coca-Cola by McCann-Erickson

1982 Super Bowl XV

Hopscotch – McDonald’s

1984 Super Bowl XVII

1984 – Apple Inc. by Chiat/Day

Where’s the Beef

1987 Super Bowl XX

The Choice of a New Generation – Pepsi by BBDO

1992 Super Bowl XXV

Cindy Crawford Celebrity Endorsement – Pepsi by BBDO

1993 Super Bowl XXVI

Michael Jackson v. Larry Bird Nothin’ But Net – McDonald’s by Leo Burnett


Written by Ad Buzz

The American Advertising Federation Illinois Chapter brings to you Ad Buzz, a blog dedicated to all things advertising related, from our favorite campaigns to trends going on in the industry.

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