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Wassup! The Most Memorable Super Bowl Ads

As the economy improves, companies are returning to the days of producing high-priced, high profile Super Bowl ads. Jennifer Collins' story on Marketplace examined why companies are deciding now's the time to again spend millions of dollars on Super Bowl commercials.

It got us here in the Marketplace newsroom thinking: What's the most memorable Super Bowl ad ever?

The best person to ask is Joe Pytka, an advertising industry guru responsible for dozens of the Super Bowl's most memorable commercials. "I think I've done between 60 and 75," Pytka told us.

Marketplace's Bob Moon quizzed Pytka about the business of making Super Bowl commercials so we asked him about his favorite: "I think the ones that I did with Michael Jordan and Larry Bird called 'Nothing but net,'" Pytka said.

Top picks from the Marketplace staff
My pick for the most memorable Super Bowl commercial is Reebok's ad from 2003 featuring Terry Tate the Office Linebacker. It's hilarious, and if you've never seen it you don't know what to expect. I also love the line: "You know you need a cover sheet on your TPS report Bridgett, that's nothing new..."

Here's a collection of more of our favorites:

Budweiser "Wassup"

"The first Super Bowl commercial I remember actually making me laugh." - Megan Larson, Marketplace producer

Pets.com "What goes up..."

"Prescient, no?" - John Haas, Marketplace editor

E*Trade Baby

"I like it because of the nice surprise ending." - Nancy Marshall Genzer, DC reporter

E*Trade Monkey

"It stands out because they basically blew 2 million and did one of the dumbest commercials, yet I remember it and remember it was E*Trade." - Jeff Peters, Marketplace audio engineer

Jordan/Bird McDonald's

I like it because of all the crazy shots." - Emilie Mutert, Web production assistant

Doritos "Laundromat"

"I don't know that I liked it, but I remember it!" - Eve Troeh, sustainability reporter

Apple's 1984

"It's even more amusing now seeing that Apple's market cap is something like two times IBM's and it runs the most authoritative regime in the tech world." - Steve Henn, tech reporter

Doritos' 'Snack Attack Samurai'

"It stands out for me because I know Mike (the guy in gray) and he worked really hard on the commercial. It was the most watched commercial of all time... but it didn't make me want Doritos though." - John Moe, Marketplace Tech Report Host

Betty White's Snickers commercial

"I love it... It heralded the return of Betty White, not as a nostalgic relic but as a relevant comic force, willing to get dirty and talk dirty." - Avishay Artsy, Marketplace producer

Hulu's 'TV rots your brain'

"A funny commercial featuring Alec Baldwin." - Alexis Diao, Marketplace intern

Doritos' 'Hands Off'

"I like it because I secretly like Doritos. And because the kid is adorable and hilarious!" - Preeti Upadhyaya, Marketplace intern

Pepsi Max's 'I'm good'

"They do a great job illustrating the tagline "Men Can Take Anything." Being a power-tool lover, I can relate to the scene where the guy is cutting a board on the table saw and it goes flying through the air and hits his buddy in the back. Ouch!" - Matt Berger, Sr. Web Producer

About the author

Millicent Jefferson is the director and an associate producer for Marketplace.
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I did not see the service members returning to US in the airport as one of the best super bowl commercials. The interview said it would be on this website? I'd like to see it again, as I think it is one of the most memorable too.

I came here looking for it also. As a Vietnam Vet, it brought tears to my eyes just listening to them talking about it on Marketplace. It was one of the most unselfish, patriotic, 'we're not here to sell anything' commercials I've ever seen. Dig your freedom? Thank a Vet! Bully for you bringing this up! I'm sure it's on Youtube somewhere and that's where I'm heading next.

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