For a select group of people, the Super Bowl is one of the most important days of the year: advertisers. The game is one of the most watched events of the year, pulling in monster audience numbers.
Many commercials are created specifically for the Super Bowl—even if most of them get released online ahead of the game these days—and companies spend a LOT of money to advertise. A 30-second ad in 2018 for Super Bowl LII has an average cost of $5 million on NBC, about the same as the previous two years (on Fox and CBS). But that’s up 75 percent since 2005; the most expensive ad ever was Chrysler’s $12.4 million spot in 2011, featuring two minutes of Eminem driving around Detroit.
Eighty-seven percent of Americans claim the big game ads have an effect on them, according to Instart Logic. Some people tune in only to watch commercials rather than the game (especially when the teams playing are nowhere close to home, or they hate the Patriots). And every year, the big guns of the advertising world flex their creative muscle to make the most talked-about commercials, whether it’s hawking cars, beer, or chips.
Tech companies have contributed their fair share of ads for the Super Bowl, especially during the dot-com era. Although that first boom went bust, the tech ads haven’t stopped. Will they make memorable commercials this year? We’ll know on Sunday. Until then, take a look back at some of the most memorable technology-related ads from past Super Bowls.