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The 10 Most Memorable Super Bowl Commercials Ever

This year, a 30-second commercial during the Super Bowl will cost three million dollars. At that price, any company hawking its product during the big game better hope its ad makes a big impression.

We’ve compiled a chronological list of 10 Super Bowl commercials that went over like a flawlessly executed touchdown. By lodging themselves in our collective consciousness, these ads made the commercials breaks almost as big a part of the Super Bowl experience as the game itself.

1. Noxema, Joe Namath, 1973

The in-your-face sexual innuendo in this spot, featuring Joe Namath and Farrah Fawcett, makes most modern-day commercials seem tame.

2. Xerox, Monks, 1977

This ad generated a ton of buzz when it ran during Super Bowl XI. Yes, television ads (and copy machine speeds) have really improved over the years.

3. Apple , 1984, 1984

Probably the most famous Super Bowl ad of all, this ode to Orwell only ran once, but went a long way toward establishing the cult of Apple which still exists today.

4. Diet Pepsi, Michael J. Fox, 1987

Michael J. Fox executes some impressive moves while getting a Diet Pepsi for his attractive neighbor. If the voice at the end of the ad sounds familiar, that’s because it’s Martin Sheen.

5. McDonald’s, Jordan and Bird Play HORSE, 1993

This extreme game of HORSE between Larry Bird and Michael Jordan could be the most memorable commercial of both Hall-of-Fame pitchmen’s careers. But the real star is Jordan’s of-the-moment outfit.

6. Budweiser, Frogs, 1995

Budweiser has produced many great Super Bowl ads, but this iconic spot that featuring a bunch of frogs ribbit-ing their brand name is probably their most impressive effort.

7. Monster.com, When I Grow Up, 1999

This spot, in which children utter depressing job aspirations like, “When I grow up, I want to file all day,” probably made a lot of folks want to drop out of the workforce altogether. But it was still a big hit for employment website Monster.com.

8. Reebok, Terry Tate Office Linebacker, 2003

Terry Tate does the impossible and makes office efficiency entertaining. (While the ad may be memorable, the product is less so – many viewers failed to associate the spot with Reebok.)

9. E*Trade, Talking Baby, 2008

It’s hard to say if he’s more creepy or cute, but either way it’s hard to take your eyes off the wide-eyed E*Trade baby. This was the first offering in an ad campaign that continues to crank out entertaining spots.

10. Snickers, Betty White, 2010

Snickers rode Betty White’s career revival to Super Bowl ad success last year. The spot also offered definitive proof that Abe Vigoda is still among the living.

– Contributed by Jeremy Taylor

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