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Super Bowl

#TBT: These Expensive Super Bowl Ads Told You NOT to Buy

By Published on .

The Super Bowl isn't only about selling: Frequently enough, its expensive ad time goes to a crusade against something or another. Most often that "something" has been cigarettes, and "another" was drugs.

The results have sometimes been powerful. In the fight against smoking, for example, American Legacy Foundation's Truth campaign and Arnold Worldwide delivered the guerilla-video "Ratman" to the 2002 game:

Truth also deployed humor and sarcasm to great effect in Super Bowl ads such as "Squadron" and the new classic "Shards O' Glass" from 2004:

An earlier American Legacy Foundation shocker, "Electrolarynx," resembles more closely the harsh tone of anti-drug ads from the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Those included "I Helped," 30 seconds of unsparing linkage between "harmless" partying and drug violence:

Other dead-serious ONDCP big-game trips included "AK-47," "Rewind" and the twist-ending "Pregnancy Test":

But don't forget "Text Talk," Super Bowl 50's powerful ad advocating against a different ill (admittedly, and thankfully, not a product).

From the files of the Super Bowl Ad Archive. Previously: Remember When the Super Bowl Had Beer Wars?

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