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January 30, 2014

VIDEO | 10 memorable Super Bowl commercials

Super Bowl Sunday is America's unofficial holiday, and the buildup to the game is matched only by the anticipation of the commercials during the game. Here is our list of 10 of the most memorable spots in Super Bowl history.

McDonalds Showdown (1993)

The NBA was arguably at the height of its popularity when the fast food giant aired this spot during Super Bowl XXVII. The premise was simple: the game's biggest stars -- Larry Bird and Michael Jordan -- in a game of H-O-R-S-E, with a Big Mac for the winner.

Pepsi: Your Cheatin' Heart (1996)

A classically clever spot in which a Coca-Cola delivery man tries to swipe a Pepsi from an adjacent cooler. Comic touch: The inclusion of Hank Williams Jr.'s iconic country ballad. Oh, and the security camera view.

Coke: Mean Joe Greene (1980)

This spot, which actually premiered during the Major League Baseball playoffs in 1979, won a Cannes Gold Lion for advertising excellence and has consistently been voted among the best Super Bowl commercials of all time. It also changed "Mean" Joe Greene's image. "I was suddenly approachable," Greene recalled recently. "Little kids were no longer afraid of me, and older people would come up and offer me a Coke."

Budweiser: Frogs (1995)

The commercial itself was simple enough: Three frogs in a swamp each croaking a syllable of the beer company's name. But the ad in many ways defined Super Bowl advertising in the 90s and became a cultural phenomenon.

Apple: Macintosh (1984)

Many still consider this not only the best Super Bowl commercial ever, but the best commercial ever, period. Directed by Ridley Scott, the spot aired only once, during the third quarter of Super Bowl XVIII, and is widely credited with helping make advertising during the big game must-see TV.

Monster: When I Grow Up (1999)

Monster.com's first Super Bowl ad paid off for the jobs website in a big way. Having small children recite such hackneyed business jargon as "I want to claw my way up to middle management" resonated in a big way with many viewers.

Budweiser: Welcome Home (2003)

With the memory of 9/11 still fresh in many people's minds, and with the US less than two months away from invading Iraq, Budweiser tugged at the heartstrings of many viewers with this memorable -- and wordless -- one-minute spot during Super Bowl XXXVII.

E-Trade: Talking Baby (2012)

This was the first commercial in the financial services company's famed "Talking Baby" franchise, featuring a toddler in front of a webcam discussing the particulars of online investing and stock trading in an adult voice -- usually with a deadpan delivery.

Doritos: Man's Best Friend (2012)

Doritos has aired its share of racy Super Bowl ads, but this one used a simple comic premise -- a Great Dane covering up evidence and using Doritos to quiet the sole witness to his crime -- to score big with viewers.

Dodge: Farmer (2013)

Dodge used radio broadcaster Paul Harvey's "God Made A Farmer" speech, together with compelling still images depicting farm life, to great effect in this two-minute spot that was shared nearly two million times via social media during and following the game.

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