Within this article we’ll take a look at some of the worst Super Bowl commercials of all time, addressing the finer details of what really didn’t click. Stay tuned for the very worst top-10!
Top 10 Worst Super Bowl Commercials of all time
Super Bowl commercials are so popular that we often see major sportsbook providers, offering odds on which adverts will be the most popular and how long the main Super Bowl ad will last. We don’t imagine many bettors won big on the following adverts.
1. Evil Beaver, 1998 (Miller Lite)
The name alone turns you off, but a giant beaver suit running around on screen is hardly the epic that Super Bowl fans expect from their commercials. Beer commercials are normally a no-brainer, but this one really did not fly with the audience. There was maybe some irony in the humour, but there was no laughter. A human eating wood really is ridiculous and not something anyone wants to see.
2. Kenyan Runner, 1999 (Just for Feet)
Just for Feet was once a thriving business, but after it stunk out the Super Bowl in 1999 there were many that suggest it was the start of its downfall. Culturally inappropriate anyone? A Kenyan man running barefoot while being chased by a group of men, only to be drugged - the Super Bowl really wasn’t the time for this ad. The ad ends with the man elated having woken up to find he’s got these great new running shoes. Who okayed this?
3. Jay Gets Big Bucks, 1990 (Doritos)
Jay Leno has gone from strength to strength over the years and now enjoys his own YouTube channel and can look back on what was a great career. Leno was dragged into a Doritos advert, which was notably annoying and really got under the skin of the football fans. Leno is a loveable character, but even he couldn’t save it from the onslaught of bad reviews released after the fact.
4. The Worst Commercial, 2000 (LifeMinders.com)
Kudos for creativity, but probably not the audience for such an advert. This text-based ad promoted the company as “geeks” who knew “diddly about making ads”. A cute idea, but this attempt to make a joke about themselves really backfired. This really was one of the worst Super Bowl commercials of all time.
5. Gerbils, 2000 (Outpost.com)
This one really stepped on the toes of the animal lovers out there. Shooting gerbils from a cannon is always going to upset a few people. But, in fact, it upset a lot of people. The concept was definitely to shock the audience, which worked. Though, credit where credit’s due, they did end with the tagline “send complaints to” - we thought this was rather funny.
6. Hotline Blind, 2016 (T-Mobile)
Drake’s presence at the 2016 Super Bowl was something that propelled this tune into the all-time most listened to songs. However, the advert was set up to attack other providers and came off as a bit tacky. For a rap superstar, Drake was actually a pretty good actor. But, ultimately, it was the marketing team that got things wrong.
7. Robot, 2007 (GM)
Next up with American Giants General Motors, who used a robot on an assembly-line getting fired for messing things up. An odd concept sure. Even stranger was that it then decided to throw itself from a bridge as an act of ending things.
We have no idea who okayed this one, but whoever made the decision was unlikely to have remained in the job. It was heavily criticized and eventually, GM changed the format of the advert.
8. Pandas, 2008 (SalesGenie.com)
Another .com site going for the big stage. This time we had giant Pandas with Chinese accents speaking in broken English. It definitely brought the shock value to our screens, though we think this one slipped past the quality control team. This has so many flags, we think this one must have been done on purpose in the hope that the term there’s no such thing as bad publicity would pay dividends - it didn’t-
9. MC Hammer and Ed McMahon, 2009 (Cash4Gold)
While we include this in our top 10 worst Super Bowl commercials, there are many viewers who claim to have enjoyed this one. The advert’s concept was geared towards making a joke of their own financial issues, with an ageing MC Hammer front and centre. The dialogue and production just seemed wrong. A very hard watch, even for the most reserved individuals.
10. Flight Accident, 2006 (Ameriquest)
This ad would not have worked in the current climate, although we’re not sure it worked back then. The ad was simple, a woman lands in a less than comfortable position on the lap of a male passenger. The tagline then read “Don’t just too quickly… We Won’t”. Certainly a little tasteless and wasn’t one that sat well with the kind of family vibe expected on the day of the Super Bowl.
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