The only thing more hyped up than the biggest football game of the year are the commercials that air during it. While the title of the "best" Super Bowl ad is often hotly debated the day after the big game, it's clear that the beer commercials of the past 25 years have been the crowd-pleasers.
The main producer of the beer ads you giggle at between wings and drinking games? Budweiser. You'll notice on our list that it's Anheuser-Busch that rules the airwaves during the Super Bowl; back in 2011, AB-InBev sealed the deal to be the only national beer advertiser for the Super Bowl through 2014. And that kind of airtime doesn't come cheap. Last year, the St. Louis Dispatch reported that Anheuser-Busch's airtime during the Super Bowl cost $30 million (when 30-second ads cost $3.5 million). But the cost to be the official beer sponsor of the NFL, we suppose, is pricelesss.
What to expect this year from Anheuser-Busch's plethora of ads at Super Bowl XLVII? Two 60-second ads, called "Journey" and "Lucky Chair," both set in New Orleans; two 30-second ads, "Coronation" (the Black Crown official debut into the world), and "Celebration"; and one 30-second ad, "Serenade," for the new Sapphire Beck's beer that came out in January. (You'll also notice some convenient ties between AB-InBev and PepsiCo ads; the two giants teamed up to get Doritos, Pepsi, and Bud Light all in commercials together.) Of course, that doesn't mean that some MillerCoors commercials won't also sneak in some air time in regional markets.
Of course, these ads have much to live up to: the beer ads from the past are just, plainly put, outstanding. You know you've become a success when a trio of croaking frogs is imitated for years after, or when a true bro-ism — "Wassup" — becomes part of the national dialogue (for better or for worse). Everyone loves a good animal in a beer ad, whether it's the Clydesdale horses, an adorable "streaking" lamb, a clever dog called "Weego." But perhaps we should give all credit to Spuds Mackenzie, the product of a 1987 ad that inspired every dog to take up skateboarding (kidding!) and outraged parental advocacy groups.
Check out the best Super Bowl beer commercials from the past to gear up for the big game, on the next page.
Before there were the frogs, and way before the Weego pup, there was a hip skateboarding dog named Spuds Mackenzie. From 1987’s Super Bowl XXI, the Bud Light dog created a whirl of controversy when it was discovered that this party alpha dog was in fact a girl. And of course, it should be noted that a dog hacking beer caused many parental groups, like Mothers Against Drunk Driving, to be angry.
You have to admit, this Budweiser commercial from the 2003 Super Bowl XXXVII is that much funnier after the replacement refs debacle. After all, most referees are jackasses — and not zebras.
Not at all misogynistic… we girls would freak out just as much about the walk-in Heineken closet in this 2010 Super Bowl XLIV commercial.
Perhaps the Old Milwaukee commercials weren’t such a stretch after all: It’s always fun to see Will Ferrell in character, and we sure do love Jackie Moon in this Bud Light commercial from 2009 Super Bowl XLIII. "A lot of sweat goes into every bottle" of Bud Light… and will refresh your loins, if need be.
We love this oldie-but-goodie Super Bowl commercial: a Norm from Cheers cameo? A Charo cameo? Coochie, coochie always seems to do the trick in this Miller Lite commercial.
Again, not at all misogynistic… right? We think plenty of dudes may like a wine and cheese party on occasion, but at least this 2008 Super Bowl XLII shows us how to hide a Bud Light creatively.
When a good idea goes really, really wrong: This 2006 Super Bowl XL ad shows chaos at the office when workers find beers hidden all over the office. (Or, what The Daily Meal offices look like when a new beer comes in.)
Now that we know that crustaceans can feel pain, we can totally understand why this little guy would need a Budweiser to defend himself. This 1998 Super Bowl XXXII ad is definitely a giggle for anyone who ends up with the steak at dinner.
Not that anything can top the original Wassup commercials, but this 2001 Super Bowl alien take on "Wassup" still makes us giggle.
Mother of God, it’s the commercial that spawned the most annoying catchphrase of the century: the "Wassup" commercials that premiered in 2000 cleaned up at the Cannes advertising festival and bolstered Budweiser’s stocks (really). Said the director of the commercials Justin Reardon to Business Insider in 2011, all he got from the commercials was a $250 bonus and a baseball hat. All we got from the commercial was a bro-ism dudes wouldn’t stop saying for the next five years — but that’s a sign of a good freaking commercial.
Oh, Cedric: we feel your pain, dude. Nothing like a smooth move with the ladies gone horribly wrong, in this 2001 Super Bowl XXV Bud Light commercial.
"The world of light beer… just got a little darker": the perfect premise to an otherwise innocent football game in this 2006 Super Bowl XL Michelob ad. Maybe it’s the masochist in us, but who doesn’t love a little chuckle at getting a good tackle on someone? (And at least the girl got her revenge at the end.)
For more dog cameos, you have to love beer-serving, DJ-spinning, dish-washing, and even gambling pooches starring in a Super Bowl commercial. This Bud Light ad aired at the 2011 Super Bowl XLVI.
You have to admit, it’s the most genius way to win the last beer in the bucket. From 2007 Super Bowl XLI, we can’t totally condone this behavior for a Bud Light — but it’s clever.
The Budweiser Clydesdales, part of the Anheuser-Busch family for 80 years, have made lots of appearances in Super Bowl commercials over the last two decades. One of our favorites? "The Streaker," from the 2006 Super Bowl XL, featuring an adorable lamb without his wool coat — one who’s quite eager to show it all off. If only all football game streakers were this adorable.
Let’s be real, this ad (from last year’s Super Bowl) has everything we want from a commercial: an adorable, perky-eared pet that willingly fetches us beer wherever we go. Sure, the Bud Light commercial isn’t the most original we’ve seen — but again, did you see the dog? Rolling on a keg?? Here we go, Weego.
When you put Will Ferrell in a beer commercial, you get a hilariously weird cameo, confusion, and well, Old Milwaukee. When Ferrell first premiered his Super Bowl debut last year, no one could quite believe it — and then they really couldn’t believe the German versions of the commercial. Those living outside of South Platte, Neb., may not have caught a glimpse of Ferrell’s ad during the game, but we still find his slow-mo walk to be quite hilarious.
Could anyone really leave the Budweiser frogs off the list? The Budweiser frogs first debuted at Super Bowl XXIX in 1995, and instantly became a hit. If you can ever get the "Bud…. Weis…. Er" unstuck in your head, you may recall the spinoff version of the frogs, the chameleons Frankie, Louie, and the Ferret who want in on the Bud action. (You know you’re a hit when your little Super Bowl commercial demands a spinoff.) "The Budweiser lizards! We could have been huge!" said one sad chameleon in a commercial — but nothing will ever top those wisecracking, Budweiser-loving frogs.