The 50 Worst Commercials in Super Bowl History

Sam WestmorelandFeatured ColumnistJanuary 20, 2011

The 50 Worst Commercials in Super Bowl History

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    With Super Bowl XLV (that's 45, for those of you whose Roman Numerals aren't up to snuff) just around the corner, many people's attention turns to the commercials involved in that biggest of big football games. 

    After all, as the most expensive advertisement space on the face of the Earth, and a potential consumer base numbering in the hundreds of millions, the Super Bowl is when all companies bring out their A-Game-level stuff. 

    Or at least that's the idea. Sometimes a company or group drops a commercial that bombs miserably: An ad so terrible, so offensive, so stupid that it makes people stop buying their product. 

    That's where we come in. These 50 ads are the worst in the history of Super Bowl advertising. They are the ones remembered with wailing and gnashing of teeth in the ad industry, even if we, the general public, think they're funny because they're so bad. 

    Be warned: the ads may cause nausea and an urge to break something, so those with weak constitutions should leave now. 

    Let's get rolling!

50. Miller Lite Product Testing

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    I don't know why you need a beer that can survive a drop off of a building; but apparently, this commercial thinks' it's important to you. 

    This is why it's a bad idea to let a guy named "Dick," who looks like the guy in the picture at the beginning, come up with your ads. 

49. GoDaddy Pulls a Bribe

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    Nothing like a bit of bribery to get the blood pumping. Sure, I'm as much a fan of hot chicks as the next guy, but what this has to do with web hosting is beyond me. 

48. Elijah Wood Wavy Lays

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    Yep. We all knew that 12-year-old was smarter than Dan Quayle. But Troy Aikman? This was even before the concussions!

47. Bud Light Plays Chicken

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    Don't let the video title fool you. Chickens are wearing feathers. And have nothing to do with beer, pool or bowling. 

46. Outpost.com Fires Gerbils

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    I don't know what gerbils being shot at a wall has to do with electronics. But I do know that outpost.com no longer exists. 

    Perhaps this commercial has something to do with that. 

45. SoBe Strikes Out

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    I don't know what lizards dancing with Naomi Campbell have to do with SoBe Life Water. I mean, sure, Campbell can still bring the heat, but the lizards are a bit odd. Are we supposed to know what's going on here? 

44. Yes. Yes He Did

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    The unintentional comedy here is literally off the charts. Simply a terrible commercial, given how things went for the Juice. 

43. Evil Beaver

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    Miller Lite went through a weird phase with their commercials in the late 90s. They stopped making sense, and they haven't really gotten back to their previous levels of greatness. 

    You know, kind of like the beer itself. 

42. Gillette Fusion

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    This commercial forgets one simple fact: They're talking about a razor. It's not some sort of high-tech laser that zaps the hair off your face. It's just five razors on one handle. 

    Someone give them a Nobel Prize. 

41. Cheetos Gets Creepy

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    This one's got it all. Annoying girl, creepy cartoon/clay-mation cheetah who loves pigeons, and a just a hint of anarchy tossed in. 

    Some of the others in this series were funny. This one? Just grated on my nerves. 

40. Snickers Swings and Misses

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    The funny part is, it's not that funny to begin with. It's mostly just offensive. 

39. Ed McMahon Sells Out

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    This might be the most depressing Super Bowl ad ever. Ed McMahon and MC Hammer are trying to steal your gold through some scam company. 

    My heart weeps for them both. 

38. A Hummer Is Born

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    Is anyone really surprised that Hummers are made like this? 

    The scary part is, imagine how bad the fuel mileage on his father must be. 

37. Spuds Mackenzie

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    "Drink Bud Light! It's good enough for a dog in a suit!"

    Yep, that was the whole premise. 

36. Fred Astaire

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    Fred Astaire is a legend, best known for his dance numbers with Ginger Rodgers. So, Dirt Devil brought him back in 1997, and used one of their vacuums in one of Astaire's most memorable scenes, the ceiling dance. 

    Astaire fans have yet to forgive them for it. 

35. Sierra Mist Bagpipers

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    No one wants to see that, especially during the Super Bowl. I think the kid at the end sums this one up best. 

34. T-Pain and Beer

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    Yeah. Auto-tuning is annoying enough in music. Don't infect my Super Bowl commercials with it. 

33. Cream Your Face

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    Again with the unintentional comedy. The hits just keep on coming, don't they?

32. Power Of The Crunch

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    "Eat Doritos and you can commit felonies! And look! They're only 99 cents!" 

    Nice to see corporate America sending the right messages to our impressionable youth. 

31. Follow Your Heart

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    Yikes. This one scares the crap out of me. I feel like that lady's not going to be looking for a new job, considering her heart just burst from her chest and walked out the door of the office building, which was then crushed by the CareerBuilder logo. 

30. Atari's Little Boy Commercial

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    Don't you just love commercial jingles?

29. Jay Leno and The Berlin Wall

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    I can't stand Jay Leno. He's never been that funny and as a Doritos pitchman, he's borderline intolerable. 

    Which makes this ad almost unwatchable.

    Plus, what does the Berlin Wall have to do with running out of Doritos? 

28. Horse Flatulence

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    Typically, horses farting is hilarious. A guaranteed victory. 

    Here? Not so much. 

27. MacGruber

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    This one would have barely been funny, had someone not beaten Pepsi to the MacGyver angle a couple years before. 

    MacGruber was a sort of funny skit that turned into an extremely un-funny movie and this monstrosity of a commercial. 

    At least MacGyver was in it. 

26. GoDaddy Demeans Us All

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    Sure, Danica Patrick is the hottest NASCAR driver of all-time. But that's not exactly a tough feat to accomplish. 

    Plus, the whole voyeur thing is a little creepy. 

    Way to drop the ball again, GoDaddy. 

25. The U.S. Census Wastes Taxpayer Funds

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    If someone could explain how this $2.5 million ad was worth it to the American taxpayer, I'd really appreciate it. 

    Does it make you want to fill out your census? Me neither. 

24. Volkswagen Rabbit

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    The idea that anyone would use a Rabbit as a squad car makes this one a lock for the top 25 worst Super Bowl ads of all-time. 

    Even the other driver doesn't believe it.

23. What's In a Big Mac

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    Apparently, they didn't even know back in 1975. When your consumers can't say your tag-line, it's not a great endorsement for your ad agency. 

22. LeBron and Dwight

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    How sad is it that two of the NBA's biggest stars don't recognize one of the greatest players in basketball history? 

    Otherwise, this is a good commercial, but that moment kills it. 

21. Energizer Do Run Run

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    In 1987, Energizer Batteries didn't have the Bunny yet. 

    Want to know why they came up with it? 

    Because of this

20. Gillette Gets Creepy

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    A point for future reference: when your razor talks like this, please seek help immediately. 

19. Bud Light In Space

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    I don't even know where to begin with this one. How do beer companies keep making these ads?

18. Mc D.L.T

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    Do you know why this sandwich isn't around? Because the commercial made absolutely no sense whatsoever!

17. Everyone Loves Marketing

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    Here we see why GoDaddy.com keeps insulting us with ads like this. It's because the marketing department is run by rednecks ogling women all day. 

    While that definitely sounds like a fun job, even sexy ladies can't save their commercials from this list. 

16. Hyundai Gets Mad

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    Yes, because the executives at Lexus and BMW are going to be that mad when Hyundai wins car of the year. 

    Plus, Hyundai goes and undoes all the progress they may have made in the public mind with that little "It's Hyundai, like sundae" quip at the end. 

15. Future Sport

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    If the future of sports is this, I'll stay in the present. Thanks. 

    What's going on, anyway? If you figure out how this sport is played, let me know. 

14. Sales Genie

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    Nothing like pandering to the lowest common denominator for salesmen, eh SalesGenie? 

    This one bombed with just about everyone, including salesmen, who found out that the sports car didn't come with the website. 

13. Mott's Clamato Juice

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    Yes. This is a real thing. The fishiness of clams, with the zing of tomato? Who wouldn't want to drink that?

    Even this brilliant ad couldn't save it from being one of the worst ideas in human history.  

12. The Canned Foods Information Council

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    If you believe the sexy robot lady in this one, then in the future, people will still be using aluminum cans for food storage.

    Apart from the awesome graphics, she does have a point. Since canned food lasts more or less forever, we'll still be eating peaches canned in 1950.  

11. Danica Patrick Enhanced

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    Leave it be... Just don't say anything. Not a word about Danica being "enhanced". 

10. The Creepy Clown

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    Don't believe everything YouTube tells you. This one's not funny. Just slightly terrifying, and not funny at all. 

9. The E-Trade Monkey

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    Yes, E-Trade. You did waste $2 million on that spot. Too bad you hadn't found commercial gold with the talking baby yet. 

8. Just For Feet's Kenya Mission

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    I don't think I need to explain why this one's here. It seems self-explanatory to me. 

7. Herb The Nerd

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    This wannabe Rick Moranis was the focal point of one of the biggest ad bombs in history. Burger King chose to unveil their nerdy albatross during the Super Bowl, but pulled the spots just a couple months later because of the cold reception. 

    Maybe it's the glasses. 

6. Lemmings

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    By now, most people know the story behind this one. After their smash hit ad in 1984, Apple tried to follow it with another breaking free from the monotony of daily life commercial for Macintosh Office. 

    As you can see, the imagery of businessmen and women jumping off a cliff wasn't the best way to go on this one. Yikes. 

5. Wag The Dog

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    "Gatorade: If it's good enough for the dog, it's good enough for people!" 

    Or, not so much. 

4. Lizard Lake

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    The first SoBe commercial barely worked, thanks  to Naomi Campbell. By replacing her with the characters from Monsters vs Aliens and a trio of NFL players, plus more obnoxious SoBe lizards, the company crashed and burned in a major way. 

    This one just gets trippier and makes less sense the more times you watch it. 

3. Holiday Inn Confuses, Offends America

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    Nothing like a little bit of transgendered fun to get your Super Bowl party off to an awkward start. 

    This one offended all of the groups you'd expect it to, while simultaneously forcing millions of Americans to explain the joke to their kids in one of the most awkward conversations imaginable. 

2. GM Shows Us Why They Declared Bankruptcy

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    Nothing funnier than suicide, right? Then you wonder why GM filed for bankruptcy. Talk about a disaster of an effort on that one. 

1. The SalesGenie Pandas

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    Wow. Congrats on this one, SalesGenie. Not only is your commercial not funny on any concievable level, it also manages to offend a massive chunk of the population. 

    Way. To. Go. This disaster area of a commercial is definitely deserving of the top spot on our list, don't you think?