A look at a few memorable car advertisements at the Super Bowl

The Baltimore Ravens took on the San Francisco 49ers this past Sunday at Super Bowl XVLII, and although this clash of the titans was one of the best championship games of the decade (including a record tieing 108-yard touchdown rush by the Ravens), the main attraction for many viewers were the commercials.

Every year, it seems that all the major automakers run at least one spot during the Super Bowl telecast – sometimes they are memorable, other times they fall completely flat. More often than not, however, it’s the car commercials that have people chatting around the water cooler the next morning.

As I hail from New England, one particularly memorable Super Bowl for me was Super Bowl XXXVI back in February of 2002. It was Tom Brady’s first season starting for the Patriots as well as the team’s first championship victory. What I remember vividly is that this was the year Cadillac went on an all-out advertising spree throughout the game as they introduced their revamped “Art & Science” design philosophy. They even paid to have the game’s most valuable player named the “Cadillac Super Bowl MVP.” The winner, Brady of course, was given an all-new Escalade EXT – the pickup version of their popular full-sized SUV – that he infamously stated upon receiving the award would be shared by every team member. In 2010, however, Cadillac ceased giving players their MVP ride – fitting, since most MVPs either already own a Caddy, or could easily buy three or four of their own.

Volkswagen is known for their Star Wars-themed Super Bowl commercials, which have been embraced and utterly rejected by fans. A few years back, they produced a famous commercial that featured a young boy dressed as Darth Vader being tricked into thinking he had gained the powers of the dark side to turn on his Dad’s Passat. However, a follow up to the commercial the next year featured Darth Vader in the famous cantina scene using his powers of manipulation – which angered many fans who found the premise ridiculous.

What were your favorite Super Bowl ads of the past few years? Leave your thoughts below: