The Super Bowl just wouldn’t be the Super Bowl without two things: scantily clad, beer-drinking babes and a veritable menagerie of critters, talking and otherwise, parading (or galloping, flying and hopping) across television screens during commercial breaks. In fact, according to a 2010 Nielsen Company survey, 51 percent of Super Bowl viewers enjoy the commercials more than the gridiron showdown itself. And among these commercial-loving viewers, we’re going to assume that a majority of them go particularly wild over wildlife, whether it involves beer-hawking frogs or flavored water-guzzling lizards hitting the dance floor with a supermodel who sometimes behaves like an animal herself.
Below you’ll find 12 of our favorite animal-centric Super Bowl commercials. The tone of these Super Bowl adverts ranges from uproarious to poignant to just plain weird, but one thing’s for sure: Product-pushing animals are cheaper, less demanding and frequently less messy than celebrities. Do you have a favorite animal-starring commercial from Super Bowls past?
Bud Light — “Spuds MacKenzie”
D’Arcy, Masius, Benton & Bowles (1995)
Nissan — “Pigeons”
DDB Needham Worldwide (1998)
EDS — “Herding Cats”
Fallon McElligott (2000)