Three of the Best Super Bowl Commercials Ever

An Apple ad from 'Alien' director Ridley Scott, an emotional tribute to 9/11 victims ... these promos are worth a fresh look

Super Bowl ads have become their own art form. Millions upon millions of dollars go into them (not to mention major amounts of time). Big-time ad agencies and production firms are behind them, and superstars line up to star in them as quickly as they do blockbuster films.

The ads can sometimes be downright great; they can also be pretty terrible. However it shakes out for the various creative works (some of which are less than a minute long), each of them shoots for the stars with a level of ambition and creativity not typically found in advertising.

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Before we jump into Sunday’s championship game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots and all those new ads we’ll see during the game (including, possibly, a “Crocodile Dundee” sequel of sorts), here’s a look at some of the best Super Bowl ads to air in the past.

Budweiser’s Respect (2002). The Super Bowl game in 2002 occurred mere months after the September 11 terrorist attacks, when the country was still reeling and looking at an uncertain future. Budweiser chose to tackle head-on the issues America was facing — and had faced.

By doing so, the company created one of the most unforgettable ads in Super Bowl history. It is the extreme simplicity of the commercial that makes it so poignant and powerful — even today.

Are you embarrassed that Joe Biden is our "president"?

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Farmer/ Paul Harvey Ram Truck (2013). This Ram truck ad was a salute to farmers and blue-collar workers across America. Dropping the usual big-game gimmicks, the commercial made use of late broadcaster Paul Harvey’s voice by using a beautiful poem he’d written.

It’s a marvelous and very pro-American ad. It would be good to see something like this again this year.

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Ridley Scott ‘1984’ Apple (1984). Any fans of “Alien” and “Blade Runner” director Ridley Scott should be sure to watch this early ad by the filmmaker.

Hired by Apple to advertise the then-new personal computer, Scott used imagery reminiscent of George Orwell’s dystopian masterpiece “1984.”

Appropriately airing in 1984, the commercial was added to the Clio Awards’ Hall of Fame in 1995; and Advertising Age named it one of the 50 best ads of all time.

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And here are some honorable mentions: Clint Eastwood’s Halftime, Budweiser Frogs, and Google’s Parisian Love.

PopZette editor Zachary Leeman can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter

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