3 Worst Super Bowl Commercials of All Time

In every Super Bowl, there is a winner and a loser. One team goes home a champion, smiling and celebrating as they enjoy the fruits of their labor. The other team goes home deflated, all their blood, sweat and tears for naught. That’s true of both the players on the field and the advertisers on TV.

Of course, it’s one thing to lose and another thing to lose big. Coming up a few yards short of victory sucks pretty bad. But getting dominated in historical fashion is devastating. Translated to the advertising world: Having a Super Bowl ad that flops is bad. But having a Super Bowl ad that’s historically awful is much worse.

Today, we shine a spotlight on the worst that Super Bowl advertising has to offer. These are the brands that spent millions only to inspire anger, disgust, or outrage among the very people they were trying to reach. These are the all-time worst commercials in Super Bowl history…

3. Suicide Robot (2007) – GM

There are some questions that just have no answer. Like why on earth anyone at GM thought it was a good idea to air this Super Bowl commercial where a robot from one of their automotive plants gets fired and attempts suicide? And no, GM, revealing it was all a “robot dream” in the last few seconds does not make it any less weird.

2. Perfect Match (2013) – GoDaddy

It’s never a good thing when a TV commercial makes you want to physically move away from the TV. This one does. The close-up image of two people making out paired with the amplified sound effects of their smooching create a truly off-putting experience. And, more importantly, one that’s not funny. Or creative. Or clever. Or sexy. We just get two stereotypes uncomfortably swapping spit for pure shock value. It’s all show with no substance. It’s also the ad that signaled the end of GoDaddy’s “sex sells” Super Bowl advertising.

1. Make Safe Happen (2015) – Nationwide

This ad begins in a lighthearted, almost surreal tone before taking a dark turn. A really dark turn. Like dead child dark. Amidst the joy and excitement of Super Bowl Sunday, this commercial landed with a resounding thud—taking the air out of living rooms everywhere. It’s well made and maybe its intentions are good, but an insurance company talking about dead children during one of the funnest events of the year definitely did not sit well with people. It felt cold, manipulative, and depressing. That earns it the title of worst Super Bowl commercial of all time.



Hear our podcast picks for best and worst Super Bowl commercials of all time