DePaul’s College of Communication Presents: The Top 5

Super Bowl Ads!

State rivalries? Achievements in athleticism? How many times the game feed will cut away to Taylor Swift? At DePaul, we know what the Super Bowl is really aboutthe ads!

We asked four professors from the College of Communications’ Public Relations and Advertising department what their favorite Super Bowl ads were. Whether you know and love them or are just seeing them for the first time, take it from DePaul’s experts that these are exceptional ads.  

#1. Nothin’ But Net, McDonalds, 1993

McDonalds’ 1993 ad features Michael Jordan and Larry Bird. Michael is about to eat his Big Mac and Fries for lunch and Larry challenges him to a game of HORSE, and they play for the Big Mac. This spot features the greatest basketball players at the time competing for the greatest sandwich, The Big Mac, and McDonalds’ World Famous fries. This is what great Super Bowl advertising is all about. Simple story, fun to watch, entertaining, culturally relevant and product as hero.

As an aside, Michael Jordan is not only the GOAT in basketball, but is arguably the GOAT for celebrity advertising. A natural in front of camera, a great actor playing himself. An advertiser’s dream player. 

Nina Abnee, Advertising Professional in Residence 

#2. Parisian Love, Google, 2010

My favorite of all time? It’s easily Google’s “Parisian Love!” Why? Simple – it’s quiet when everyone is shouting. It tells a story, keeps you wanting to follow all throughout, and yet no words are spoken, only shown. Meanwhile, everyone other commercial yells and doesn’t get the consumer’s attention.

Daniel Azzaro, Professional Lecturer

#3. “You’re not you when you’re hungry” ft. Betty White, Snickers, 2010

The phrase, “You’re not you when you’re hungry” has become synonymous with the nutty candy and was first introduced during this 2010 spot featuring the immortal actress. Plus, Betty White, saying, “That’s not what your girlfriend said” is priceless. This commercial solidified Snickers’ new position “as a food” and not “a candy.” And 14 years later it still is sticking to this amazing strategy and reposition. I use this example in my class because it is such a great ad. (I just can’t recommend Apple’s “1984” because, as great as it is, it’s become a “cliche” for the greatest ad spot!)

Marshall Goldman, Professional Lecturer & Faculty Advisor, DePaul Ad Society

#4. Loretta, Google, 2020

Super Bowl ads are all about the laughs, the “awws,” and the endless parade of celebs. But Google’s 2020 “Loretta” ad aims straight for your heartstrings with a heavy dose of nostalgia. And no, it is not the kind of downer that leaves you feeling like you just watched a dead boy talk, like in that bleak 2015 Nationwide commercial. Sure, calling it emotionally manipulative might sound harsh, but let’s be real—aren’t all ads? They tug at our emotions because, as Aristotle hit the nail on the head, feelings are incredibly powerful in getting a message across. The trick with “Loretta,” though, is its focus on the good kind of tears. It is about crying because you are touched, not because you are sad. It is a reminder that sometimes, ads can do more than just sell us stuff; they can make us feel something real, leaving us a little happier for having watched.

Tao (Tony) Deng, Assistant Professor

#5. BONUS: Always Like a Girl, Always, 2015

I did not make this my first choice because it wasn’t initially created for the Super Bowl. However, I am hard pressed to think of another Super Bowl spot that has had the same impact on culture and language. In 2014, feminine hygiene brand Always launched the “Like A Girl” campaign to boost confidence in young girls at the age when their confidence takes a dive. It started as a three-minute viral film that broke all global viewing records and forever changed the meaning of “like a girl”.  

Procter and Gamble decided to put a :60 version on the Super Bowl to expand its impact like only the Super Bowl can do. Among other things, it inspired first lady Michelle Obama to lobby tech companies to expand emojis to include women in all professions. Imagine that. A female doctor emoji!

Nina Abnee, Advertising Professional in Residence