Thursday, February 03, 2011

Super commercials

During the days leading up to Super Bowl weekend, Advertising Age has been polling folks to determine the greatest Super Bowl commercial of all time. Here are the two finalists:

After what appears to have been a gruelling gridiron contest, Pittsburgh Steelers defensive lineman Mean Joe Greene gets "a Coke and a smile" from a young fan (Tommy Okon). Believe it or not, this 1979 spot (directed by Lee Lacy) was so phenomenally popular, it actually spawned a 1981 TV-movie about its production: The Steeler and the Pittsburgh Kid, directed by Lou Antonio, featuring a pre-E.T. Henry Thomas as the youngster who offers a soft drink to his favorite football star.

Two years after he unleashed Blade Runner, director Ridley Scott went all retro-futuristic again for this classic TV spot that launched the Apple McIntosh personal computer. Taking his cue from 1984, George Orwell's dystopian novel about surveillance and repression in a totalitarian tomorrow, Scott -- working from a concept developed by Steve Hayden, Lee Clow and Brent Thomas -- pits a hammer-wielding heroine (Anya Major) against the despotic Big Brother (David Graham) in a battle meant to symbolize the notion that owning a Macintosh (as opposed to, say, an IBM personal computer) was a great way to triumph over conformity and assert your individuality. Or something like that. Appropriately enough, the commercial first aired on Jan. 22, 1984 -- during the third quarter of Super Bowl XVII.

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