Ranking the Top 10 Super Bowl commercials

By Lynn Jacobson | The Seattle Times Published:

Every year, the Super Bowl is a showcase for the best that the advertising industry has to offer. Everyone will have their personal favorite commercials; here's a Top 10 compiled by one very rowdy group gathered at a viewing party:


Laurence Fishburne reprised his role as Morpheus in this tongue-in-cheek sendup of "The Matrix," with a (literally) operatic climax.


The old-school technology shop enlisted a passel of '80s personalities -- including gymnast Mary Lou Retton, Hulk Hogan and the TV puppet Alf -- to clear out dated inventory and update its image.

Beats Music

Ellen DeGeneres is immensely likable to begin with. Team her with a family of dancing bears, boogying to the new subscription-based music-streaming service, and she's irresistible.


Soccer star David Beckham ripped off his shirt and then (off-camera) lost his underwear. Every woman (and a few men) at the party wanted to know where to buy whatever he was selling.

Bank of America and (Red)

Love the band U2. Loved the exploding-sparks-and-flashlights effects in this music-video style ad, directed by filmmaker Mark Romanek. Especially loved the fact that a big old bank is raising money to fight AIDS.


James Franco's epic weirdness brought our high-decibel Super Bowl party to a hush, as everyone strained toward the TV to figure out what the heck was going on. And after all, isn't that the point?


The global soda-pop company won the sincerity sweepstakes, with a multilingual version of "America the Beautiful," accompanied by images of cross-cultural family bonding. Pepsi's competing attempt to turn NYC into a collection of giant instruments was clever enough, but didn't pack the same emotional punch.

Wonderful Pistachios

There was something inspired about the pairing of Stephen Colbert and pistachios: Two nuts together.


This ad went for the heart and the funny bone with equal success. It started as an earnest plea from Bruce Willis for car safety. It ended with a goofy twist as Fred Armisen ("Portlandia") clinched Willis in a bear hug that wouldn't quit.

Chevy Silverado

Hands down the best commercial about bovine lust we have ever seen.

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  • Ok, but I can't believe your "rowdies" left the Budweiser Puppy Love Horse ad off the list. Certainly one of the top 10 at least.