“The Big (Advertising) Game”

There are a few days until Super Bowl LI. The biggest day for pizza, football, and advertising. In the spirit of friendly competition, let’s compare then vs. now:

In the 1990s

The 90’s wasn’t just about Scrunchies and Beverly Hills 90210. It was also a vibrant time for commercial advertising. Especially during “The Big Game.” General media advertising for the Super Bowl included television spots, print advertising corresponding to television placement, and program ad placement. We have included some of our favorite and most notable commercials from the 90’s.

Notable Super Bowl Commercials:

  • Pepsi – Cindy Crawford (1992) Watch Here
  • McDonald’s – “The Showdown” Larry Bird vs. Michael Jordan (1993) Watch Here
  • Budweiser – “Wassap” (1999) Watch Here

In the 2000s

At the dawn of the century, well after Y2K settled down, media became much more diverse and dynamic due to the growing popularity of the internet and the invention of the smartphone. Thanks Apple! General media advertising now encompasses an array of options including YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Hulu, Web, Television Spots, and more! Below are just a few that we felt paved the way into today’s advertising culture.

Notable Super Bowl Ads:

  • Volkswagen “The Force” – Premiered on YouTube prior to its primetime Super Bowl spot. (2011) Watch Here
  • Oreo – the company utilized the social media platform, Twitter, during the 2013 Super Bowl blackout – retweeted 10,000 in one hour. Interestingly, Oreo also paid for a commercial during the Super Bowl. Debate ensued over which medium was more effective.
    Oreo Super Bowl 2013
  • Gatorade – Snapchat lens during Super Bowl 2016, with 165 million views.

    Credit: Gatorade

Today, consumers view media advertising from various platforms. The move toward internet driven television and apps have changed the landscape for advertisers completely. Now over 50% of households in the US have internet streaming TV and that number is likely to continue to grow. With the trend towards entertainment on demand, the digital game has changed the market dramatically and will continue to do so in the upcoming years.

What to expect this year…

Super Bowl LI Snickers will air a commercial live. This is the first time since 1981 when Schlitz ran a live taste test during the Super Bowl. Way to go Snickers!

The Volkswagen “The Force” ad from 2011 was the foundation for the leaked ad phenomenon prior to Super Bowl kickoff. The trend continues as Budweiser, Febreze, and Skittles, to name a few, have already premiered their Super Bowl ads on the interwebs.

Can’t wait until Sunday? Check out all the leaked ads here.

We can’t wait to see what happens on Super Bowl Sunday… Who will win “The Big (Advertising) Game”?


If you have a need to touch down in new marketing mediums, Morvil would be glad to lend an assist, please give us a call at the office – 910.342.0100.