Budweiser is a perennial favorite when it comes to Super Bowl commercials. Anheuser-Busch aired six ads in last year’s big game, and as the only beer sponsor in the commercial showdown, they have plenty of room to entertain us every year. They put out a lot of ads during the game and throughout the year, which gives them advantages and disadvantages.
The biggest advantage? They frequently make a great ad, and everyone remembers it. The biggest disadvantage? Their ads get repetitive and old really fast. And if you don’t believe me, check out an old entry, our top 5 most overrated Super Bowl ads: They get named twice in a list of five. If you still disagree, watch all 160 “Real Men of Genius” ads. I did, and I don’t think they’ll ever be funny to me again.
So here’s a list of the best ads they’ve ever run for the Super Bowl (and didn’t run into the ground afterword):
5. The Budweiser Frogs (1995)
One of the first great Budweiser ads for the Super Bowl, the Budweiser Frogs campaign still ranks among the best. Whenever I think of all the great Super Bowl commercials, the first ad in this campaign always rises to the top. Why? It has no real bearing on the brand (aside from repeating the name throughout the commercial) and it’s not very funny compared to today’s commercials. But what it does have is universal appeal: People like talking animals. Today, we might see talking animals more frequently on TV, but in 1995, this commercial struck a chord for a lot of Americans. It’s still talked about today and still considered one of the greats.
4. The Magic Fridge (2006)
This is a simple story of a man trying to protect his beer. His friends are coming over and he doesn’t feel like sharing his stash. So, like many of us wish we could do, he installs a revolving wall to conceal his fridge. Unfortunately, he shares the wall with the house next door: a group of guys who quickly raid his fridge as it appears because, “The Magic Fridge is back!” Playing to our creative sense of humor, The Magic Fridge lands in the fourth spot for the Budweiser Top 5.
3. Hidden Bud Light (2006)
Another play on hiding beer, this ad shows what happens when Bud Light is used as an office moral booster. An ambitious employee spends his weekend stashing bottles around the office for others to find, but the plan quickly elevates to anarchy as employees destroy the office in their search for the brew. I’m pretty sure the ambitious employee won’t be faulted for his backfired plan; after all, he just donated Bud Light to his coworkers and probably earned himself some powerful friends.
2. Wild West Tiny Dancer (2011)
An outlaw walks into a saloon and orders a Bud. The people in the saloon watch nervously as the barkeep tells him he’s out of Budweiser. As the outlaw reaches for his gun, the Clydesdale team arrives with a shipment of Budweiser. The outlaw sips it and breaks into the first lines of Elton John’s feel-good anthem, “Tiny Dancer.” The surprised patrons in the saloon join in after two lines, and peace is restored. The abrupt change in the tone of this ad, as well as an unexpected song choice for the Wild West made this a favorite for the 2011 Super Bowl and earned second place in our Top 5.
1. Eternal Optimism (2012)
Eternal Optimism shows a montage of cultural swings in American history with Budweiser at the center of the action. While most of Budweiser’s commercials involve humor or sex appeal, sentimental and patriotic commercials like this one are a breath of fresh air. The sentimentality and creative cinematography make this the number one pick for Budweiser commercials because it reminds us, “Great times are always waiting.”