The Super Bowl became the must-see event for advertisers during the third quarter of the telecast of Super Bowl XVIII on CBS, when Apple Computer debuted a one-time-only advertisement for their Macintosh computer titled 1984, directed by Ridley Scott. As the Los Angeles Raiders routed the Washington Redskins, 38-9, the Apple commercial, not the game, was the most-talked about item around water coolers the very next day. Since then, major advertisers have used the game, paying as much as seven figures (averaging US $4 million for one 30-second slot as of 2013[update], excluding production expenses) to showcase their work and generate buzz that many people tune into television's biggest event of the year just to watch the commercials, not just the actual game. For those reasons, USA Today started the Ad Meter, a poll that gives live responses per second of each commercial. According to the newspaper, ads by rule are limited to those shown during the game - from opening kickoff to the end of the game, excluding those shown at halftime or local commercials - are officially qualified for consideration in the Ad Meter survey.
A new element was added for 2012, as users of Facebook and those logging onto the USA TODAY website were involved in a second survey that lasted until February 7 at 6:00 pm US EST. The online element was added to the regular meter for 2013.
Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny (calling himself "Hare Jordan") go to Mars and team up to take on an evil basketball team fielded by Marvin the Martian, with the fate of Earth at stake. The spot served as the inspiration for the movie Space Jam.
A lab chimp turns into a party animal at the beach after drinking soda.
A boy on the beach tries to suck the last drop of Pepsi out of a bottle with a straw, sucking so hard that the backlash pulls him through the straw and into the bottle. His little sister then yells, "Mom, he's done it again!"
A fictional Coke driver takes a can of Pepsi and the whole shelf of cans tumbles onto the floor in a simulated security camera footage, with the Hank Williams song "Your Cheatin' Heart" in the background. This commercial was chosen as the best ever ad in the twenty year history in a special survey of the previous poll winners in 2008.
Cedric the Entertainer's dream date is ruined when he accidentally shakes a pair of Bud Light bottles which explode all over his girlfriend.
A girlfriend entices her beau into bed with Bud Light, but he slides on the satin sheets and flies out the apartment window.
Spoofing the instant replay challenge rule, a real zebra reviews a disputed call, holding up a football game between Clydesdale horses. One of the two humans watching calls the "official" a jackass, while the other, apparently oblivious to the epithet, seriously responds that it's a zebra.
A frightened skydiver (Jonny Lee) making his first jump is enticed with a six-pack of beer, but it only makes the plane's pilot jump after it.
A guy stocks his refrigerator full of Bud Light, and to keep his friends from drinking it, he installs it on a turntable. However, the turntable rotates into the apartment next door, and the guys inside are extremely happy to see the "magic fridge" return, even to the point of worshiping it.
Computer-generated crabs idolize a cooler filled with Bud.
Paying tribute to the 1976 Academy Award Best Picture Rocky, a Clydesdale is inspired by a rather unusual personal trainer to become a member of the hitch team for the iconic horse-drawn wagon: its dalmatian mascot.
In the first ever fan-generated commercial to claim top ranking, two men use a snow globe to grant their wishes. One throws it at (and breaks the glass front panel of) a vending machine and gets his wish for "free" Doritos. The other wishes for a promotion, but accidentally throws it at his boss's groin. The ad makers, Joe and David Herbert of Batesville, Indiana, won US $1 million in a promotion sponsored by Doritos owner Pepsico.
Dog sitting. A guy sits intelligent dogs with a refrigerator full of Bud Light, and gets the intelligent dogs to cater a party for him serving said product. In a last shot, the dogs are playing cards with the guy picking up after them.
A boyfriend teases his girlfriend's pug with Doritos, closes and stands behind a glass door, causing the pug to run towards him, the pug knocks down the glass door to be on top of the boyfriend and gets the Doritos. This ad, because of the tie, was awarded $1 million from Pepsico, the second time in three years an ad created by online users won.
Doritos (panel; online)
Another low-budget dog ad from Doritos won the creator, Jonathan Friedman (who lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia), the third $1 million bonus offered by Pepsico in four years by having the owner of a cat bribed by his dog with a small bag of the sponsor's product in the panel voting. Cost of the ad was $20. The online winner, announced February 7, was another fan-made Doritos ad called "Sling Baby", created by West Los Angeles resident Kevin Willson. The ad featured 17-month-old Jonah Folk, who was used by his grandmother to steal a bag of Doritos from a boy who was taunting them with the bag. They achieved this by using the baby's chair as a slingshot. The prize money of $1 million was divided among cast and crew, including Folk's father, who worked on the special effects.
A Clydesdale is born. Three years later, the Clydesdales come to town. The owner has an emotional reunion with the Clydesdale born at his farm. (The real life foal was born eighteen days before the ad aired.) The ad is set to "Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac.
A puppy from an adoption agency runs off to a farm to play with a Clydesdale horse. Every time he does that he goes back to the adoption agency. When he is adopted by a customer, the Clydesdales run out and take the puppy and the horse owner decides to keep it. The ad is set to "Let Her Go" by Passenger.