That classic Super Bowl ad you love so much may not be a Super Bowl ad at all. Some of your favorite ad campaigns may have debuted close to the big game, but actually arrived the year before. Here are five examples.
The commercial with Pittsburgh Steelers great “Mean” Joe Greene giving a young fan his jersey after the boy offers him a Coke got major play during Super Bowl XIV in 1980, but it actually debuted on October 1, 1979.
This is nitpicking just a little.The commercial that launched Macintosh, set in a replica of George Orwell’s dystopian society, got its largest audience during Super Bowl XVIII. But the ad actually aired in ten test markets such as Twin Falls, Idaho, late in the evening of New Year’s Eve 1983, according to Adweek Creative and Innovation Editor David Griner.
“This was a pretty common trick to slip great ads into award shows for the previous year. Most award shows require proof an ad was paid to run, so agencies will often spend money from their own coffers to cover a small media buy,” Griner said.
Wassup is that this ad didn’t actually make its first run during Super Bowl XXXV. It debuted on Monday Night Football the year before. A version called “Girlfriend” ran during the Super Bowl, but Griner said most incorrectly remember the original spot as airing during the big game.
Griner said this ad never ran as a Super Bowl ad at all, but debuted so close to Super Bowl XLIV that people still confuse it for being a Super Bowl ad.
The ad was a big hit during Super Bowl XLIX, but it was actually seven months old when it ran during the game. Griner said it debuted online as a three-minute video in June 2014 and already had 80 million views before the 60-second version appeared during the Super Bowl.