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Super Bowl

Throwback Thursday: You Bought a Super Bowl Ad for What?

By Published on .

Dennis Rodman pitched bath and counter surfaces in the 2005 Super Bowl.
Dennis Rodman pitched bath and counter surfaces in the 2005 Super Bowl. Credit: Silestone

From the files of the Super Bowl Ad Archive.

There's almost no kind of product that hasn't advertised in the Super Bowl once.

While the vast majority of inventory on advertising's most expensive stage goes to automakers, beverage marketers and snack makers, they have always been accompanied by other products taking a less-expected chance on the game.

In 2005, the same year that Burt Reynolds pitched FedEx in the big game ("Top Ten") and Cedric the Entertainer delivered a safety message for Bud Light ("Dance"), Dennis Rodman and members of the Chicago Bears appeared in a Super Bowl ad for Silestone quartz bath and counter tops ("Diana Pearl").

A scene from a 2009 Super Bowl for Cash4Gold.
A scene from a 2009 Super Bowl for Cash4Gold. Credit: Cash4Gold

The world's biggest and most expensive stage for branding has also hosted direct-response ads you might more often expect in late-night TV. Nestled among the big branding extravaganzas of 2009 (see Coca-Cola's "Avatar" for example), Ed McMahon and M.C. Hammer hawked Cash4Gold, which offered to buy viewers' jewelry ("One-Up").

In 1985's Super Bowl XIX, the likes of Apple, Bud Light, Hyatt and the Marines were accompanied by a 1-800 pitch for Soloflex ("Work of Art"). Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man was more or less the celebrity endorser.

But perhaps the least conventional Super Bowl ad of all time, also from 1985, was the futuristic "Brilliance," from The Canned Food Information Council. "Even in the year 3000," it begins, "the question will be: What's for dinner?"

See its Super Bowl Ad Archive entry for more on "Brilliance."

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