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Episode Seven: Man And Machine
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In commemoration of the Super Bowl's 50th anniversary, Ad Age is counting down the top 50 big game ads of all time. This is purely a subjective list cultivated by the editors that will undoubtedly be debated. But these are the spots that have endured in the creative consciousness long after the final flag went down.
This weekly feature picks up with 20-11. Look for the final top 10 on Feb. 4.
20. Snickers, Betty White. There have been a number of great celebrities in BBDO's "You're not you when you're hungry" campaign, but none more memorable than Betty White displaying true gridiron grit in this 2011 appearance.
19. Xerox, "Brother Dominic." It's no miracle this spot from the 1977 Super Bowl has stood the test of time. Demonstrating the merits of the Xerox 9200 by a monk was a delightful stroke credited to Allen Kay and DDB Needham.
18. Pepsi "Security Camera." The beauty of this 1996 BBDO spot is its simplicity. Coke driver gets caught trying to grab a Pepsi when cans come tumbling out. In an interview with Ad Age Editor-in-Chief Rance Crain, director Joe Pytka said the commercial "was easy. I turned the camera on, turned the camera off. That was it."
17. Budweiser, "Puppy Love." After a three-year run, A-B InBev pulled its puppy lineup from the Super Bowl on the grounds that the pups did not sell beer. It's a shame, considering the tearjerkers were often the most popular and touching in the Super Bowl. It's tough to single one out as best, but we're going with 2014's "Puppy Love" from Anomaly. "Brotherhood" from 2013, showing the relationship of a Clydesdale with the man who raised him, was a close second.
16. McDonald's," The Showdown." This 1993 Leo Burnett commercial showcases the craziest hoops this side of the Sears building in a battle for the Big Mac by Michael Jordan and Larry Bird.
15. E-Trade Baby, "Clown." There have been a lot of wonderful E-Trade baby spots, but in our opinion none as drolly delightful as this spot from 2008 -- we can't underestimate the hilariousness.
14. Budweiser, "Applause." This touching tribute to our returning troops from DDB still gives us goosebumps 16 years after its run.
13. Chrysler "Imported from Detroit." This Wieden & Kennedy spot was a game-changer. Two full minutes extolling the resilence and beauty of a downtrodden Detroit, it stole the thunder of most advertisers in the 2011 Super Bowl.
12. Coca-Cola, "America It's Beautiful." Another Wieden & Kennedy triumph, this 2014 commercial artfully weaves together "America the Beautiful" sung in different languages. Not everyone loved it -- in fact, it became controversial in some quarters -- but in the words of Ad Age reviewer Ken Wheaton: "#AmericaIsBeatiful. Damn right it is."
11. Google, "Parisian Love." The only spot on this list to be created in-house, the 2010 Super Bowl spot took a potentially dry topic -- search -- and turned it into a charming romance.