McDonald’s: Larry Bird vs. Michael Jordan (1993)
This McDonald’s ad ushered in some seriously heavyweight celebrities to the tradition of Super Bowl commercials. Two of the greatest names in basketball — Michael Jordan and Larry Bird — were recruited to help sell the goodness that is McDonald’s fast food.
Double the celebrity means double the price, so the budget for this one was at least twice the budget of a celebrity that features just one celebrity — if not more.
But with two of the greatest athletes in the history of sports appearing together on screen in a commercial airing during arguably the biggest night of the year for sports, McDonald’s marketing strategy was full-proof.
Budweiser: Frogs “Bud” “Weis” “er” (1995)
Budweiser has aired a lot of successful Super Bowl commercials over the years. But this 1995 example is probably the first time that the beer company ventured into somewhat obscure territory.
The three frogs start out with one croaking “Bud” by itself, the second chimes in with “Weis” after the first, and the third frog caps off the trio by repeating “er” after the first two.
Are the frogs simply saying the beer company’s name? Or are they saying that the “Bud” is the “Weiser” choice when it comes to choosing your brand of brew?
Who knows? And that’s seemingly what the company wanted to do with this commercial. They wanted to get people talking about it. Budweiser turned their commercial into a conversation piece, and to this day people still remember and talk about the weird, yet effective ad.