Looking back at some memorable Super Bowl commercials

Here are 14 factoids and vignettes of some of the more intriguing Super Bowl commercials:

1. Commercials in Super Bowl I cost $42,000 for a 30-second spot in 1967. In Super Bowl XLVIII, the price is at least $4 million; that’s approximately $133,000 per second in 2014. My, how times have changed. Show me the money.

2. During Super Bowl VII in 1973, quarterback Joe Namath said in a Noxzema shaving cream commercial, “I’m so excited; I’m going to get creamed.” Sexy actress Farrah Fawcett then creamed him with Noxzema.

3. The price of the new gas-efficient Chrysler K-Cars advertised during a Super Bowl XV commercial was approximately $6,000 in 1981.

4. Star race-car driver Danica Patrick will appear in her 13th Super Bowl commercial for GoDaddy.com in Super Bowl XLVIII.

5. In a Super Bowl XXVII commercial in 1993, NBA superstars Michael Jordan and Larry Bird played a game of horse for a McDonald’s Big Mac and fries.

6. Remember this popular commercial: One frog utters “Bud”; a second one says “weiss”; a third finalizes it with “err.” Get it? It’s Budweiser. The scene was Super Bowl XXIX in 1995.

7. Want a classic from Super Bowl XIII in 1979, and not just the soft drink — Mean Joe Greene of the Pittsburgh Steelers slowly limps to the locker room when he is stopped by an admiring young fan, who hands Greene a bottle of Coca-Cola. As Greene chugs the bottle, the sheepish fan anxiously awaits the massive lineman’s reaction. Greene, feeling energized, then tosses his jersey to the kid, who gushes, “Thanks, Mean Joe.” Hey, have a Coke and a smile.

8. It took 29 Super Bowls for a 30-second spot to cost $1 million. That year, the San Francisco 49ers pummeled the San Diego Chargers, 49-26, in Super Bowl XXIX on Jan. 29, 1995 in Miami.

9. According to a study conducted by market research firm Harris Interactive, 55 percent of U.S. adults who plan to watch Super Bowl XLVIII will tune in as much or more for the commercials as the game. The gender breakdown: 67 percent for female viewers; 44 percent for male viewers. Furthermore, 72 percent of the adults polled said they planned to watch the game.

10. A Super Bowl XLVIII commercial titled “Gracie” is the first Super Bowl commercial for Cheerios cereal. The commercial features an interracial family — a black father, a white mother and a biracial daughter, a rarity for Super Bowls.

11. “Where’s the Beef?” Remember that popular slogan from a Wendy’s commercial for Super Bowl XVIII in 1984? The commercial featured elderly women in search of fresher and bigger beef patties for hamburgers. It is often voted among the funniest of Super Bowl commercials and was a huge success for Wendy’s.

12. Ten years after his death, a controversial digitized version of acclaimed actor Fred Astaire dancing with a Dirt Devil vacuum cleaner appeared during a commercial for Super Bowl XXXI in 1997.

13. In Super Bowl XLIV in 2010, Betty White’s Snickers commercial was one of the most popular of the year and boosted her pop culture status. After the Super Bowl, the star of the popular sitcom “Golden Girls” from the 1980s hosted “Saturday Night Live.” The nonagenarian now stars in “Hot in Cleveland,” which airs on TV Land. Age is nothing but a number for Betty White; she turned 92 on Jan. 17.

14. It’s often been hailed as the greatest commercial of all time. Directed by Ridley Scott, the “Apple Mac 1984” commercial was the coming-out party for Apple computers. It aired only once, during the third quarter of Super Bowl XVIII.


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