The Weirdest Super Bowl Commercials of All Time

The Weirdest Super Bowl Commercials of All Time

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EDS – 2000

What makes a classic commercial? A pun is a good place to start! This “Cat Herders” commercial, a riff on the classic phrase, was a pretty funny way to advertise the IT company Electronic Data Systems. The spot ends with a shot of herders and tons of meowing kitties running together with the text “In a sense, this is what we do.”

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Pepsi – 2001

You can’t deny the production value Pepsi crammed into this short spot starring pop superstar Britney Spears, transporting her from 1958 to 2001 with a catchy theme that also changes to an appropriate musical style with each time jump.

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H&R Block – 2003

This commercial was a parody on infomercials that had been running rampant in this time period, showing beleaguered people turning to an automated Willie Nelson Doll for financial advice.

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FedEx – 2004

An alien is trying to blend in as an office worker, and the impressive rendering of the extraterrestrial against its flimsy disguise is pretty funny. It’s hard to decipher how sells you on shipping with FedEx, though, maybe they had overnight specials flying on a UFO.

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Budweiser – 2007

In this odd Budweiser TV spot, we see the formation of a religious crab monarchy when some beach crabs mistake a cooler filled with beer bottles as some sort of Crab God.

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SoBe Water – 2008

This ad featured a group of CGI lizards act as backup dancers for Naomi Campbell while dancing to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” They really threw a lot of concepts at the wall with this one, and it’s memorable at the very least.

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Audi – 2008

Parodying a classic movie scene is a solid setup to get people onboard for a short commercial, and this homage to The Godfather suggests you may very well make you sleep with the fishes if you consider buying from Audi’s competitors. This ad starred Alex Rocco, who actually had a small part in the film as Moe Greene.

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Doritos – 2009

Doritos loves to get over-the-top with their commercials, but they’ll never beat the simple of elegance of this deranged office worker throwing a snow globe into a vending machine. Makes you hungry for Cool Ranch, but watch out for broken glass.

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Snickers – 2010

This ad was the epitome of the “eat a Snickers” series which showed people who were so hangry they’ve morphed into someone else and then revert back once they get a Snickers. Showing Betty White get tackled into a muddy puddle in a football game is a pretty hilarious place to take this concept.

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Oreo – 2013

Okay, this one’s genuinely funny. A debate between two friends in a library as to whether the cream or cookie part of an Oreo is better quickly devolves into an insane fight. Whoever decided that the characters should keep whispering in the library even as they destroy it is an absolute genius.

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Go Daddy – 2013

The concept of this ad is mean-spirited at best, with the tagline being “sexy meets smart” and showing the model Bar Rafaeli making out with a dorkily-dressed guy played by the actor Jesse Heiman. There isn’t anything wrong with kissing, but the lack of any sound or music besides the kissing, and the way they cut closer in during the smooch makes this commercial pretty uncomfortable.

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Skittles – 2017

If you haven’t seen this Skittles ad, yet, we don’t even want to spoil how far it takes this seemingly simple idea, but just know it’ll feature an unexpected animal puppet cameo.

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Budweiser – 2020

Budweiser tried to put a new spin on their classic “Whassup” commercial for its 20th anniversary, but decided to do a revival by way of Black Mirror for some baffling reason. Instead of the natural and endearing delivery of the friends in the old one, we see automated home fixtures like a virtual assistant and a talking Roomba doing the lines. We can definitely file this one under “uncanny valley” and hope they don’t try to remake it again.

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FTX – 2022

This ad is particularly bizarre given that cryptocurrency exchange FTX, which is the product being advertised here, is now in bankruptcy just months after the ad aired. Its co-founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, is also facing fraud and money laundering charges from the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York.

The context here makes David’s feigned skepticism over the company in these sketches even funnier.

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Bonus! 2004 Super Bowl Streaker

streaking, super bowl xxxviii

Bill Frakes//Getty Images

Okay, this obviously doesn’t count as a traditional “commercial,” but this advert gets points for creativity. This streaker, Mark Roberts, made his way onto the field in Super Bowl XXXVIII’s second half, with an ad for the online gambling site Golden Palace on his chest. Roberts is actually an infamous streaker who has done this at hundreds of sports events.

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