5 min read

5 Best Super Bowl Commercials of the 2000s

Written by
Pavlo Fedykovych
Published on
December 4, 2022
May 29, 2024

Kitcast loves Super Bowl commercials. But while the ones from the 80s and 90s may feel like quite a distant past, the best Super Bowl commercials of the 2000s hit closer to home. Probably, the majority of our readers were around to see them (or at least lived in the same era).

While this time seems like it happened just yesterday, it’s been 22 years since the year 2000 guys. Let’s get into the nostalgic mood together revisiting the Super Bowl commercials of the 2000s together.

1. Budweiser - 'NSync - 2001

Why: Budweiser went big for Super Bowl 2001 and bought not one, not two but whopping 7 ad placements. The commercial with ‘NSync stole our hearts. It’s actually a smart PSA with a comic edge. The plot is quite bizarre. The guys from one of the most popular boys' bands of all time show up (all swag and 00s hairstyle) at the door of one grumpy dad to tell him that the parents are the biggest influence on the kids. Fair enough, thanks Justin and co for this gesture of care. 

Dad takes it as a compliment and smiles. The commercial ads with him telling the daughter that some random guys came over by the names of Lance, Joey, and “something about a sink”. He finds out that the names are not that random for his daughter. She screams understanding that the chance to meet her heroes was lost.   

Definitely one of the most lighthearted and poignant Super Bowl commercials of the 2000s.

2. E-Trade - Ghost Town - 2001

Why: shots are taken in this brilliant ad that is among the best Super Bowl commercials of the 2000s. It takes aim at the dot-com crash and the companies that haven’t managed to survive like Pets.com. We follow the cute chimpanzee on a horse (that has all the human emotions and movements) as he rides through the “ghost town” of the dot-com adversaries. It ends with “Invest wisely.” note. By the way, not only E-Trade has survived the crash, but it operated to this very day.

3. Budweiser - Respect 9/11 Tribute - 2002

Why: you can’t talk about the 2000s without the 9/11 attacks. The event has shaped all the spheres of American life and the Super Bowls advertising wasn’t an exception. In 2002 Budweiser chose to pay tribute to the tragedy and NYC by showing a poetic commercial with horses that bow to the city. It’s beautiful, it's touching, and it’s not kitschy. Well-played, Bud.

4. Pepsi - Now and Then - 2002

Why: today Ms. Spears graces the headlines with sad conservatorship news, but in 2002 she was the unrivaled queen of American pop. Pepsi duly utilized her all-US appeal by crafting one of the best Super Bowl commercials of the 2000s with Britney radiating positive pop energy throughout various periods of the country’s history. It’s very colorful and cheerful, filled with catchy tunes and an irresistible Britney Spears persona. 

With a 90-second placement, Pepsi really surged on this one. But the result is truly an example of how you do an epic Super Bowl commercial. Also, it follows the canonic structure of a period of travel that will become viral with the advent of YouTube. Basically, Pepsi has been ahead of its time with this ad placement and you gotta pay respect where it’s due.

5. Reebok - Terry Tate, Office Linebacker - 2003

Why: when a character created solely for a Super Bowl commercial becomes a part of pop culture, you officially know you’ve made it. That happened to the “office linebacker” Terry Tate from Reebok’s famous 2003 ad. It has been so popular that the character still (!) has a separate YouTube channel.

The ad plays like a short movie with the corporate boss describing the advantages of “Reebok sending in Terry Tate, office linebacker” to boost productivity. All of it is supported by the hilarious footage of the new employer knocking off other employees by smashing them, grabbing them, falling with them, and shouting at them. 

It’s quite provocative for its depiction of office life, but hey, it’s a Reebok commercial and the company sells sports shoes. Why does it have to care about the boring office life anyway? 

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