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Core Memories Unlocked!

February 2024

Our Favorite Super Bowl Commercials of the 80s & 90s

Disclaimer: Though this month’s blog post is Super Bowl related, please keep in mind that this article was written before Super Bowl LVIII aired.

For some of us, the Super Bowl is something we look forward to all year long. We get in on the office or bar pools, place our friendly wagers, and try our best to watch every play. And while the game itself is the centerpiece of Super Bowl Sunday, what makes the Super Bowl so great is the celebration of it all! From the parties, to the food and the halftime show, it’s the ultimate sensory spectacle. And the viewing experience would not be complete without the unique commercials that companies pay obscene amounts to air for us. This year, it’s roughly $7 million for a 30-second ad!

So, in honor of Super Bowl LVIII and all the commercials it brings with it, we’re taking a look back at some of our top Super Bowl ads of all time!

Miller High Life - "Welcome To Miller Time" (1983)

Miller High Life - It's Miller Time Super Bowl Commercial

Miller’s “Welcome to Miller Time” commercial was the epitome of 80s advertisement. From the hair, outfits, and general good vibes, to the jingle itself, everything about this ad is meant to stick in your head and make you remember that a good time was Miller time. This commercial aired during Super Bowl XVII, before Super Bowl ads became the huge deal they are today, making the High Life commercial a trendsetter, whether it was meant to be or not. If you now have “Welcome to Miller time/ It’s all yours, it’s all mine…” stuck in your head for the rest of the day… us too.

Apple - 1984 (1984)

Apple "1984" Super Bowl Commercial

During Super Bowl XVIII, Apple ran their 1984 commercial for the first and only time. Some might say it aged well, because their message is just as, if not more, relevant than it was 40 years ago. Others would say it’s aged poorly, because it’s Apple making it a little too relevant. But regardless of how it looks now, none can deny that this ad made the splash it meant to in the 80s. As a new brand at this time, Apple was fighting against the larger powers that be, like IBM. Steve Jobs wanted to let the world know they didn’t have to submit to just one power, but that Apple was going to shake things up, and Ridley Scott helped him make that happen. All without ever even showing the product they were advertising.

Nike - Hare Jordan (1992)

Nike "Hare Jordan" Super Bowl Commercial

Next on our list is the iconic Hare Jordan/ Air Jordan crossover when Space Jam unofficially began and the stolen Casablanca line “this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship” became more prophetic than Nike may have intended. The Nike ad features some local gym rats waking up and bullying Bugs Bunny aka Hare Jordan. Through the help of MJ and Bugs’s Jordans, the gym bros are defeated at what they think is their own game, with the addition of some pies and anvils of course. The ad became so popular that it sparked a series of commercials following this dynamic duo, as well as, of course, Space Jam. With two 90s icons, as well as a great new colorway for the Jordans, it’s no wonder this ad became a fan favorite!

Budweiser - Frogs (1995)

Budweiser Frogs Super Bowl Commercial

The “Bud Weis Er” commercial became an instant classic for its creative simplicity. Much like the Apple 1984 commercial, the product itself is never shown, only a neon sign lighting up the frogs’ night. This Super Bowl commercial became so popular that the spinoff ad campaign became one of the most iconic beer advertisements to this day. If you go up to someone who was around in the 90s and simply say the “Budweiser frog commercial”, they’ll definitely know what you’re talking about! This commercial might not have the classic 80s jingle, but “Bud Weis Er” is sure to get stuck in your head just the same!

This year’s Super Bowl has some great ads coming according to their pre-released warm up commercials, such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito in State Farm’s commercials, Michael Cera and CeraVe’s cross over, and whatever the Nerd’s Candy commercial is. But nothing quite beats the creativity and simplicity of the Super Bowl commercials of the 80s and 90s. 

We know this isn’t a complete list, and there’s so many other great ads in Super Bowl history! Feel free to email us which ad of the 80s and 90s was your favorite!


- Maddy


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