The 10 Best and 10 Worst IT-Related Super Bowl Commercials of All Time (So Far)

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The Gist: Include a link in your e-mail to a friend about a business or its promotion, and if your friend buys, you get paid. It was as simple as that—just doing what you normally do, and getting some cash for it. Unfortunately for Epidemic.com, it didn’t do a good enough job marketing itself, and just a couple months after its first and only Super Bowl commercial in 2000, it closed shop. (The math was fascinating: Epidemic raised $7.6 million in its first round of funding, spent $1.6 million for the 2000 Super Bowl ad placement and shut down in June 2000.) 2000

The Company: LifeMinders.com

What It Did: E-mail reminder and information service. For free.

The Super Bowl Ad: The Worst Commercial

The Gist: Claiming to have made “the worst commercial on the Super Bowl,” LifeMinders.com tried to go the self-parody route. “But we don’t know diddly about making ads,” the company states in the commercial, while background “music” consists of someone butchering “Chop Sticks” on the piano. And you were going to be sending us reminders? Well, yes, you don’t know diddly. LifeMinders.com’s whereabouts are unknown. 2000

The Company: OurBeginning.com (Ashton Worldwide now owns and uses the site name.)

What It Does: Online stationary site

The Super Bowl Ad: Life’s An Event...

The Gist: Brides-to-be in their wedding gowns fight over invitations and other wedding-related stuff, just moments before their big day. The message: Don’t wait until the day of your wedding to pick up your invitations. Because that would constitute a problem—kind of like the thinking behind OurBeginning.com’s 2000 Super Bowl participation. 2002

The Company: Gateway

What It Does: PC and home electronics maker

The Super Bowl Ad: The Computer-Literate Cow

The Gist: Talking cow talks up the new Gateway 700 XL, “the nation’s most advanced personal computer,” in one yawner of an ad. After seeing the new computer, the talking cow says of the PC, “Daddy like.” We say of the ad: Daddy no like. Surely $2 mil could get you something better? 2004

The Company: AOL

What It Does: Internet connection provider and Web portal

The Super Bowl Ad: Supercharge Your Internet!

The Gist: If you have a couple of mean-looking mechanics, and you attach the glowing “AOL 9.0 With Topspeed Technology” box to anything—say, a car, a motorcycle, even a Rascal scooter—you’ll go really, really fast. OK. But the lingering question remains: Even if I have the “AOL 9.0 With Topspeed Technology” box, what happens if I’m still hooking in to the Internet through a dial-up connection? What happens then, AOL?

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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