There are a few things you can always expect to see on a Super Bowl broadcast: a star-studded halftime show, a disputed call or two, touchdowns, and great commercials. Of these, these Super Bowl commercials, it’s a safe bet that you’ll see a few beer commercials, a few car commercials, some snack-themed media, maybe a candy commercial, and, during most Super Bowl shows, there’s a fast-food commercial or two.
Given that the Big Game of 2023 is Super Bowl LVII, or 57, that’s a lot of games in which fast food commercials have aired. Like the games themselves, most Super Bowl fast food commercials haven’t proved so memorable, but there are a few standout commercials that have proven far more culturally enduring than the on-field game. In this way, these awesome fast food commercials can rightly be called true winners of their respective Super Bowl.
The 2020 McDonald’s Super Bowl ad was a last gasp of happy, normal times before the COVID-19 pandemic effectively shut down the world. The brilliantly simple ad, titled “Famous Orders”, simply showed different trays with McDonald’s foods on them and a notable name below, some real, some just for fun.
For example, we see fries, a Big Mac, and iced tea and learn it’s Whoopi Goldberg’s order, while later we see a Caesar salad billed as Julius Caesar’s favorite. We see Dracula’s go-to as a tray of ketchup packets. And, among the other names, we see orders from Kanye and Kim Kardashian West.
The biggest runs scored in the 2018 Super Bowl weren’t the 41 runs the Eagles scored against the Patriots’ 33, it was the runs Wendy’s scored on McDonald’s with a fun commercial called “Iceberg.” The name refers to a call for McDonald’s frozen burgers, as the on-screen text reads: “The iceberg that sank the Titanic was also frozen… (just saying).” The ad then goes on to tout Wendy’s fresh and never frozen burgers and show glamorous photos of the food. The ad built Wendy’s while bringing down a competitor.
The 2013 Taco Bell Super Bowl ad was just plain fun. It featured a group of old people sneaking out of their retirement home at night for a wild party of dancing, drinking, tattoos and other debauchery, which ends like any good night should. do it: at the Taco Bell. The ad managed to be both funny and, the age of its protagonists aside, surprisingly relatable.
Jack in the Box ads have a checkered history of going overboard. But the channel’s 2018 Super Bowl ad was a perfect hit. It featured Martha Stewart and the character of Jack competing over sandwiches, with Stewart happily playing the role of Jack’s rival and even accidentally ripping Jack’s nose off.
Subway’s 2015 Super Bowl ad was seriously funny and works both as an ad for the chain’s sandwiches and as a just plain fun little vignette. A man tells his significant other that he eats a turkey sandwich from Subway as part of his training routine for a Tough Dodger, a triathlon with dodgeballs, and, as you might guess, we see then bombarded repeatedly with bullets in a comedic fashion.
In 2010, Denny’s ran a decidedly weird but impossible to forget ad that featured screaming chickens all over America. They shouted over Mount Rushmore, they shouted over the Golden Gate Bridge, they shouted over Old Faithful, and it went on. For what? Because on the Tuesday after the Super Bowl, the chain was giving away free Grand Slam breakfasts to anyone who wanted them, and that meant lots of eggs.
After the launch of Wendy’s advertising campaign in 1984, “Where’s the Beef?” would become a slogan heard across America and beyond, with “beef” referring to everything from meat to merit to money. The ad, featuring three older women examining a burger with an undersized parry and asking that famous question, is a bit dated now, but the ad is still well-known, as Super Bowl VXII is rarely noticed these days. this.
“The Showdown” might be the best fast food Super Bowl commercial of all time. It aired during Super Bowl XXVII and saw NBA legends Michael Jordan and Larry Bird compete to win a Big Mac and fries, with the loser watching the winner eat. They challenge each other to harder and harder “nothing but clean” shots, and as they string together basket after basket, the challenges get harder and harder, as in: “On the floor, off the dash, off the panel, no rim… off the highway, on the river” etc. It’s a simple and perfect announcement.
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