Watching the Super Bowl really means seeing the commercials

by Ben Frotscher

I say I watch the Super Bowl to see the game first, and then the advertisements. But I even lie to myself. I watch the game to see the funny and down-right stupid commercials.

Instead of making that run to the bathroom or getting more aerosol cheese spread during the commercials, many, including myself, do it during the game.

The advertisements have made broadcast networks very rich over the past 20 years or so – to the tune of nearly $1.6 billion, according to TNS Media Intelligence. Since 1986, there have been more than 1,400 ads from 227 different marketers, with Anheuser-Busch coming in as the biggest spender with $230 million. The company has also been a sponsor of all the games since 1986.

I got thinking about all of these numbers and how vital these ads are for the companies that spend the $2.5 million for this year’s Super Bowl. The small company that does this could fall flat but for someone like Anheuser-Busch, $2.5 million is just a drop in the bucket.

Regardless of the numbers, here are the ads that have stayed with me all of these years. There are four that I can still remember fairly well, even at my old age of 21. You just have to remember that these ads should be taken lightly, but we do remember them.

The Budweiser frogs

Those frogs are still vivid in my memories in the backwater swamp with crickets, fireflies and frogs croaking. The frogs start croaking “Bud,” “Weisssss,” “Errrrrr.” It’s easy to make a cuddly little kitten cute, but to get frogs to sell beers is classic. That’s just a classic advertisement, and Anheuser-Busch has been tops with the best Super Bowl advertisements, but it sounds as if the company has tamed down its advertising for this year. What a shame.

Herding cats

This one was in 2000 and it involved cowboys who were talking about their lives on the plains. But you come to find out that they don’t herd cattle, they herd cats, millions of them in fact.

The commercial goes on to show the cowboys with furballs, helping the cats get down from trees and bring them back home. They also show one of the cowboys taking a lint brush to a cat.

The commercial is actually from a company called Electronic Data Systems, I had no clue what that even was, and the commercials tagline is that they have experienced wranglers on your side.

How ironic.

The Coca-Cola cheater

From 10 years ago, this advertisement is still a good one. The security camera shows a Coca-Cola delivery guy getting a Pepsi from the vending machine and then the Hank Williams song; “Your Cheating Heart” begins to play in the background.

He takes the can out, but unfortunately, for this man, the rest of the cans come falling on him.

This was a controversial advertisement from last years Super Bowl. The ad has a woman at an indecency hearing who is scantily dressed and she is saying that she wants to do an advertisement for

As she is talking to the committee in this spoof on the Janet Jackson right-breast exposure/wardrobe malfunction incident from 2004, a spaghetti strap comes undone, causing the group to gasp and an elderly man to grab for his oxygen tank.

This advertisement is still coming up a year later after the first running of it. It’s made it a year since that time and it’s still finding its way to the newspapers.

Most people still remember the advertisement and remember the company name,, but do you even know what the company does? In the end, if it’s funny, it doesn’t really matter.