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Best and worst of Super Bowl commercials

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Jan 21, 2017, 11:55 AM | Updated: Mar 20, 2017, 1:40 pm
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Every year America sits down to watch the Super Bowl, but some people aren’t in it for the football.

Super Bowl commercials have been something to look forward to for years, as advertisers do their darndest to promote their brands in a catchy or meaningful way.

Here are some of the most memorable Super Bowl commercials in the history of the game, both good and bad. To make sure you don’t miss any of the ads throughout the game, make sure and record the action with CenturyLink’s Prism TV with Find-It-Fast Navigation.

Funniest

Doritos hosted 10 editions of its Crash the Super Bowl ad contest, ending in 2016. Over those years, it handed out cash prizes to entrants with the most ingenuity. The “Doritos Ultrasound” commercial was one of two finalists in the contest’s final edition. Featuring a mother and father at an ultrasound appointment, the commercial shows just how far even a baby would go to get a bite of Doritos.

Most controversial

Groupon took America by storm when it launched in 2008, offering a marketplace where business owners can gain new customers and consumers can save money on goods and services. In 2011, however, the online deal marketplace company’s first attempt at a Super Bowl ad flopped big time.

The commercial begins with actor Timothy Hutton seemingly pleading for awareness of the plight of the people of Tibet. By the end, though, Hutton left viewers wondering if Groupon had just used the injustice in Tibet to sell a deal on fish curry.

Most inspiring

Powered by the singular genius of Steve Jobs, Apple has changed the world with its penchant to think differently. That’s exactly what it suggested to viewers in 1997 with its “Think Different” ad. Featuring black-and-white footage of some of the most innovative thinkers of the 20th century, it ends with the narrator proclaiming, “Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones that do.”

Most memorable

Budweiser has arguably been one of the most successful Super Bowl advertisers over the years. In 2002, though, the beer company did something unexpected. Just four months after the 9/11 attacks, Budweiser ran a commercial entitled “We Will Never Forget,” with its famous Clydesdales paying homage to those who were lost in the tragedy. What’s more, in an attempt to acknowledge the victims without profiting from them, the company decided to run the ad only once.

People still talking about it

Old Spice used to be the deodorant your grandpa wore, but with its 2010 ad, “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like,” the brand remade itself entirely. Starring Isaiah Mustafa, the commercial targets women instead of men, encouraging them to buy Old Spice body wash for the men in their lives. The commercial launched a massive campaign, with several similar ads featuring Mustafa and fellow actors Terry Crews and Fabio.

Weirdest

To advertise its Kickstart beverage, Mountain Dew wanted to emphasize the drink combines three great things: Mountain Dew, juice and caffeine. The weird part comes with its attempt to illustrate it. Combining three of the internet’s favorite things — puppies, monkeys and babies — Mountain Dew created a monstrosity.

Biggest fail

Bud Light is typically one of the better advertisers on Super Bowl Sunday, but in 2003 the brand failed. Its ad features a clown doing a handstand, which is harmless in and of itself. For some reason, though, this clown can drink a beer through his buttocks. What’s more, he suggests something else you may not want to explain to your kids.

This year, the Super Bowl is bound to give us a few more memorable commercials with Wix working hard to follow up from last year’s Kung Fu Panda parody and Intel giving us a preview of Tom Brady making anything look sexy.

Watch the game and easily record the ads and the action with CenturyLink’s Prism TV, so you can view them over and over again … or not.

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Best and worst of Super Bowl commercials