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.