Ronn Torrossian
Ronn Torossian

The Super Bowl, with its massive audience and sky-high ad cost, creates intense pressure to deliver. But when they hit the mark, these ads can become cultural touchstones.

Here are ten of the most amazing ads which became full-blown marketing sensations.

Apple - 1984

The dystopian masterpiece that Apple created went beyond just selling computers, offering a powerful commentary on individuality and rebellion against conformity. Its Orwellian imagery and stirring music stayed with viewers long after the ad ended.

Volkswagen - The Force

This ad featured a heartwarming tale of a child using the force to control his dad's new VW. It wasn't just funny, it tugged at viewers' heartstrings with its innocence and celebration of imagination. It perfectly captured the childlike wonder associated with cars and fueled a long-running, beloved campaign.

Google - Loretta

The tearjerker ad had an emotional impact and highlighted a real-world issue. It showed the potential of technology to provide support and connection. The ad sparked discussions about caregiving and the influence of technology on our lives.

Chrysler - Imported from Detroit

Clint Eastwood's iconic voice and the ad's focus on American manufacturing resonated deeply during a time of economic struggles. It rekindled national pride and helped revive Chrysler's image as a symbol of American resilience.

Snickers - You're Not You When You're Hungry

This campaign's genius lay in its simplicity and humor. Celebrities acting out of character when hungry was relatable and funny, creating a memorable tagline and a long-running series of hilarious ad spots.

Amazon - Alexa's Voice

This ad cleverly subverted expectations and showcased the versatility of Alexa with a touch of humor. Using unexpected celebrity voices coming from everyday objects kept viewers engaged and sparked imaginations about the possibilities of smart home technology.

Coca-Cola - America the Beautiful

This inclusive ad featuring a diverse cast singing the national anthem challenged traditional portrayals of America and sparked important conversations about representation and unity. It showed how brands can use advertising to promote positive social messages.

Dodge - Charger

This ad relied on tired stereotypes and offensive humor, portraying women in a derogatory light. It failed to connect with modern audiences and reinforced negative gender norms, ultimately hurting the brand's image.

GoDaddy - Rickroll

This ad's attempt at pulling a prank on the viewers used humor that felt outdated and offensive. It missed the mark almost completely, showing how relying on common internet tropes can misfire when a brand its trying to promote itself in today's climate.

Pepsi - Jump In

The ad's attempt to profit from the Black Lives Matter movement failed. It was seen as lacking sensitivity and awareness. The incident served as a reminder of the pitfalls of cultural appropriation and the need to fully comprehend the social context before utilizing it for marketing.

Squarespace - John Malkovich Presents John Malkovich

This visually striking ad was ultimately confusing and lacked a clear message. While it aimed to be artistic and self-referential, it failed to connect with viewers or promote the Squarespace brand effectively.

Mountain Dew - Do the Dew

This ad relied solely on nostalgia and failed to offer anything new or engaging. It showed how simply using a popular celebrity and referencing the past isn't enough to create a successful ad, especially when the connection to the brand feels forced.


Ronn Torossian founded 5WPR, a leading PR agency.