Super Bowl commercials are highly anticipated, even by people who aren’t particularly interested in football. With the opportunity to reach enormous audiences, companies compete to create the most memorable and buzz-worthy ads. The best commercials become part of the popular culture and are still talked about years later. In this article, we will take a look at seven of the standout commercials that featured animals from past Super Bowls.
1. Budweiser – The Clydesdales “Brotherhood,” 2013
The Budweiser beer company is famous for the teams of Clydesdale horses it traditionally used for pulling wagons of beer. This Super Bowl commercial from 2013 entitled “Brotherhood” takes viewers along on a short story of a man and his baby Clydesdale. The commercial begins by showing us the bond of friendship that is formed between a horse trainer and the young Clydesdale he is raising. The man raises the horse from bottle feeding all the way to adulthood before selling it to the Budweiser Clydesdales franchise. Three years go by and the man sees an advertisement that the Clydesdales are coming back to Chicago, his hometown. He goes to see them and to his amazement and surprise his horse still remembers him! This feel-good commercial highlights the deep mutual friendship between humans and animals.
2. Coca Cola – Polar Bears “Superstition,” 2012
Superstitions are common among football fans, desperately trying to help their teams win from home. Coca Cola showcases this in a silly way by showing its famous polar bear mascots watching a football game together. Coca-Cola’s polar bear characters are some of the most iconic and beloved mascots in advertising history. They are often depicted as playful, friendly, and energetic, and are a popular choice for use in holiday-themed advertising. In this ad, a superstitious polar bear crosses his fingers, toes, arms, legs, and even his scarf. When the second polar bear tries to hand him a Coca Cola, he cannot bring it to his mouth to drink because of all his crossed limbs. The second polar bear then helps out the first by putting a bendy straw into the drink for him. This commercial is cute, short, and highly enjoyable!
3. Doritos – Flamin’ Hot “Push It,” 2022
This Doritos commercial from the 2022 Super Bowl is one of the best! What’s not to love? Music, animals, humor … and food! The commercial opens in the jungle with a bird watcher observing birds in a tree. Everything seems to be normal until Doritos fall from the bird watcher’s bag and onto the jungle floor. Slowly, a sloth creeps forward to taste test a Flamin’ Hot Dorito. Sloths are known to move at an average speed of about 6 feet per minute, which is one of the slowest movement speeds of any animal.
Yet after tasting a Dorito, this sloth starts to pep up, saying “ahh” repeatedly, creating the bass line to popular song, “Push It” by Salt-N-Pepa. Other animals slowly join the sloth, eating Doritos, and adding sounds to add to the bass line of the song. More animals continue to join in until the entire jungle is singing, beatboxing, and jamming out. The commercial ends with the bird watcher trying to get the Doritos back, only to have the sloth climb quickly up a tree, Doritos in hand! The bird watcher then turns around to see a fox with sunglasses, a hat, and a boombox jamming to “Push It.” A hugely entertaining commercial!
4. Pedigree – Get a Dog! 2009
Pedigree, the popular dog food brand, aired this ad during the Super Bowl in 2009 to advertise their Pedigree Adoption Drive. The ad uses humor to show various pet owners trying to take care of exotic pets the same way people would normally take care of dogs! A rhino breaks through a door to go for a walk with its owner, an ostrich greets a mailman, a warthog squeezes into the back seat of a car, and a bull refuses to play frisbee in this adorably quirky commercial. At the end of the commercial an announcer tells pet owners, “Maybe you should get a dog,” and they agree. The commercial ends with an announcer encouraging viewers to join the Pedigree adoption drive by adopting a dog. This brilliant commercial entertains, sells, and promotes a good cause; a cause that will create more dog owners . . . and more customers!
5. Honda – Ridgeline, 2016
This commercial makes use of the iconic rock group Queen’s super catchy song, “Somebody to Love,” to
advertise their new truck bed audio system. The commercial shows an entire flock of sheep singing “Somebody to Love” together while the Honda Ridgeline truck driver drives away. As soon as the driver returns, however, they stop singing and baa at each other. Realizing the driver has brought back more sheep to join them, the whole flock joins in singing the chorus to the Queen hit as soon as the truck is gone again. The commercial ends with a sheepdog announcing the new Ridgeline truck and truck bed audio system and telling viewers to go to their website to learn more about the truck. The ending of
the commercial is very cute because the dog says “woof woof” in a human voice after talking.
This commercial made great use of animals, music, and plays-on-words with the dog at the end,
saying, “A new truck to love.”
6. FedEx – Carrier Pigeons, 2008
Pigeons have been used to carry messages for centuries. The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans all used pigeons to transmit messages, and carrier pigeons were decorated for their service during World Wars I and II. FedEx draws on this tradition in a hilarious commercial in which a man shows his boss how he has solved all mail and shipping issues with carrier pigeons equipped with GPS and night vision capabilities. The pigeons fly all around the office, collecting packages, flying out to deliver mail, and bringing mail back. Everything seems to be going smoothly until the boss asks about larger deliveries.
Giant carrier pigeons, equipped to carry larger pieces of mail, fly all around the city causing panic wherever they go! Humongous feathers block a bus driver’s view of the road, giant crates too heavy for the birds fall from the sky, cars crash into each other, and one bird even delivers the employee’s car right into the office by breaking through the window! Amidst this chaos the boss simply says, “Let’s switch to FedEx.” The employee looks embarrassed as he uses his keys to turn off the car alarm on the car that was thrown through the office window by a bird. Funny and dramatic, this commercial really does highlight the effectiveness of FedEx through humor.
7. Subaru – Dog Tested, Dog Approved, 2016
Ever seen a dog drive a car? Well, you can in this heart-warming commercial, which features a golden retriever driving home in a Subaru with a little puppy in the back seat of a car. Soft music plays as the adult dog drives home, glancing into the rearview mirror every now and then to check on the squirming puppy in the back seat. Slowly the lull of the car puts the puppy to sleep.
Once they arrive home, however, the sound of the door opening awakens the puppy, causing him to bark and wiggle around. The adult golden retriever, like most parents would do, simply closes the car door and backs out of the lot again, in an attempt to put the puppy back to sleep. This commercial is very relatable for a lot of parents and is very cute in how it personifies dogs in this way. And moreover, it uses a dog breed that consistently ranks among the top 5 most popular breeds in the United States. The last part of the commercial says, “Dog tested. Dog approved” as the catchphrase for their company. And of course, what higher endorsement could a car get than the approval of one of the most popular dogs?
Which of these Super Bowl commercials was your favorite? Would any of them convince you to buy their product?
Summary Of The 7 Best Animal Super Bowl Commercials of All Time
|1||Budweiser – The Clydesdales “Brotherhood”||2013|
|2||Coca Cola – Polar Bears “Superstition”||2012|
|3||Doritos – Flamin’ Hot “Push It”||2022|
|4||Pedigree – Get a Dog!||2009|
|5||Honda – Ridgeline||2016|
|6||FedEx – Carrier Pigeons||2008|
|7||Subaru – Dog Tested, Dog Approved||2016|
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Arina P Habich/Shutterstock.com
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