COVID-19 is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation.

Get the latest information from CDC ( | NIH Resources | NIDA Resources

Drugs & Health Blog

Super Bowl Commercials: Which Do You Remember?

This blog post is archived and is no longer being updated. For the latest content, please visit the main Drugs & Health Blog page.
Sara Bellum

Each year, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl are particularly memorable. They ought to be! Did you know that 30 seconds of ad time during the 2012 Super Bowl cost approximately $3.5 million? Most of us will never see that amount of money in a lifetime—let alone in half of a minute!

The Drug Free Action Alliance surveyed approximately 40,000 6th–12th grade students in 42 states to find out which commercials shown during the game between the New York Giants and New England Patriots were their favorites, as well as which commercials they could best remember.

Cheesy Chips and Dancing M&Ms

Commercials advertising snack foods fared well in the “favorites” category. Both middle and high school students ranked M&Ms and Doritos ads as their top three picks.

More concerning than processed cheese and sugar-coated chocolate: Both groups also ranked a Bud Light commercial as their next favorite. Not surprisingly, high school students ranked Bud Light commercials in second place as those they could remember the best. For middle school students, Bud Light ranked third for being remembered the best.

Stay Media Savvy

What does this survey tell us? It indicates that teens remember advertising about snacks and alcohol, and that these ads are clearly appealing to the teen audience. They often feature humor and animals, as one of the year’s Bud Light commercials did—depicting a rescue dog fetching beers for his owner and other partygoers.

As SBB reminded you after the 2011 Super Bowl, every commercial is trying to sell you something, whether an actual product or an idea. As viewers, we need to stay alert to media messages so we don’t get hijacked by a media blitz. Whenever you see a commercial, ask yourself these questions:

  • What’s the purpose of the ad—who created the message and why?
  • What words, images, or sounds are used to make the message appealing?
  • How does the message make me feel?

Now you tell us: What Super Bowl commercials do you remember most, and what do you think their intended messages were?

Comments posted to the Drugs & Health Blog are from the general public and may contain inaccurate information. They do not represent the views of NIDA or any other federal government entity.


I remember the commercials that were entertaining. The m&ms commercial was hilarious. I didnt go out and buy m&ms afterward. The bud light one was really funny too. So was the one with the singing head. To say that teens only like commercials that promote junk food and booze is manipulative. had a very entertaining and creative commercial. Thats why teens liked it. thats why anyone likes any commercial. I didnt see the doritos one but i promise you i dont care about the chips. I care about the entertainment value and the creativity

what does marjuana come from and why doe it make people so high that get arrestede and also how long has it bin around.

Marijuana is the common name for the plant Cannabis sativa. People get high because marijuana contains compounds that over-stimulate receptors in your brain. People get arrested because marijuana is illegal. It has been around a very long time (no one knows exactly how long). A quick search on the Web shows references to marijuana as far back as 6000 B.C.

Ads always attract mostly teenagers so what type of add are the television showing should be monitored by the broadcasting team

[commercial link removed, per guidelines]

very very annonying they are to remember.

The doritos commercial with the slingshot baby

I agree ^ that was the best commercial

My favorite one was the kia sorento dream commercial where a man was racing around the track with girls in the stands

Super Bowl ads are aiming at teenagers but not in the way you think. Companies want kids to remember there beer when they grow up so when they go to buy alcohol they think of that of that certain product. These companies aren't telling kids to go buy alcohol there just training future buyers. Those who think the still are telling kids to buy alcohol are ignorant. People who runs these companies are parents too.

I remember the M&M commercial the most. I remember that one because it was so funny. I also remember that there was a beer commerical first, and there were a lot of funny beer commercials, even on days other than during the superbowl. We've been seeing advertisement for beer commercials since we were really little, whether it be on billboards, on tv, on the radio, or online. I believe that exposing people to alchohol from a young age can effect our opinions on it, and sadly usually it makes us think positively about alcohol.

how does one choose a favorite commercial. with all the flying babies, beer fetching dogs, and racecar minivans it feels inappropriate to choose which has the best message. why do companies go all out for the super bowl? if one comercial per year was cut it would feed a third world country.

Thank you for one more great weblog.Wherever else could I get this kind of facts written in such an incite complete way? I have a project that Im just now working on, and im sure this will support me a lot..and Ive been trying to find this kind of facts because from number of days.Thanks!!!!!