While most Super Bowl ads tout products you can eat, drink or drive, the smattering for tech products have been among the game's most memorable commercials. This year Best Buy, Time Warner Cable and Cars.com will continue their Super Bowl ad traditions, while BlackBerry will run its first game time ad - a bit of a Hail Mary for the struggling smartphone manufacturer.
Here are 10 groundbreaking tech ads of past Super Bowls, including one that was too risqué for its time to be aired.
No talking animals or scantily clad girls, just a sweet animated spot that wordlessly showed the power of Google Search as an American in Paris finds true love. This was Google's first and as yet only commercial to run during the Super Bowl.
The talking baby made its debut in 2008, showing how easy it was to use E-Trade, one of the first DIY online stock services. The company has released a teaser for this year's spot, "Baby Burp-Up," but you don't have to wait until Sunday - he regularly tweets his "pearls of wisdom," including: "As soon as you retire, you immediately and spontaneously become awesome at golf. It's science. Real science."
Seven years ago, watching TV on your phone was a marvel of new technology. Sprint touted its new TV service in a spot that ended with a guy getting knocked out when his friend hurls a smartphone at him. Now, in addition to watching TV on your phone, you can use your smartphone as a remote for the TV, participate in fan sites during the game and watch endless replays.
Go Daddy's first Super Bowl ad never made it to game time. The Web hosting company's commercial was rejected by Fox for being too sexy - as Danica Patrick spoofed Janet Jackson's wardrobe failure during the previous year's halftime show. Since then, Go Daddy has had more clashes with network censors, but promises to tone it down this year. One of two Go Daddy ads will include Patrick as an airline pilot. It will run right after the two-minute warning.
The online jobs service swung into the Super Bowl ad fray in 2005 with a troupe of chimps - while promising that you don't have to work with a bunch of monkeys. The ads were wildly popular with most viewers but criticized by animal rights activists. CareerBuilder will not run any ads during Sunday's game. "We're sitting this one out," a spokeswoman told AdAge.
Yahoo made its first and only appearance back in 2002, with an ad in which a man says he used Yahoo search to find an island and a dolphin says that's how it learned to speak, too. At the time, Yahoo's search engine had nearly as many users as Google. How things have changed. In 2012, Yahoo's search share dropped by more than half to just 13 percent of searches, while Google handles around 65 percent of all searches, according to Hitwise data.
Monster's first ad featured a bit of dark humor. In the ad, kids say they long to push papers, file endlessly and perform other menial tasks when they grow up. Monster hit a nerve with viewers and made a lasting impression. With today's gloomy job market, the time could be right for a throwback airing of the iconic black-and-white ad, updated for a tech-based world that can still be profoundly dull. Monster won't be participating in this year's Super Bowl broadcast.
Apple spoofed the Y2K disaster that never was in its 1999 Super Bowl ad, a takeoff on the movie "2001: A Space Odyssey." In Apple's ad, HAL explains why it was necessary to take over the world's computers. Apple's claim that it made the only bug-free computers went undisputed until 2006, when Sophos detected the first Mac malware, OSX/Leap-A. Apple has not run a Super Bowl ad since then.
In what is now considered the most successful American ad of all time, Apple introduced the Macintosh personal computer as a contrast to its portrayal of IBM's drone-like dominance of the computer industry. (Can a company with $36 billion in annual revenue still be considered a tool for nonconformists?)
This ad takes us back to a time when a copy machine was considered high-tech, showing the plight of a monk who is ordered to make 500 copies of a manuscript by hand. Sadly - at least for Xerox - paper copies are nearly obsolete. Nowadays the monk probably would just share a Google Doc.
Republished from Tech News Daily