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Lifestyle launches pop culture poll

This week's question: What's your favorite Super Bowl ad?

This week's question: What's your favorite Super Bowl ad?

January 11, 2009

The Super Bowl, the Oscars - these are just two subjects we will broach as The Herald-Mail starts its weekly pop culture poll.

To kick off the poll, we start with the biggest football game of the year, Super Bowl XLII, which is just 21 days away. Actually, it's not the game we're interested in, but the commercials that air in between all that gridiron action.

We want to know what your favorite Super Bowl commercial ever is.

Tell us which Super Bowl commercial was your favorite by clicking here. You'll need to register before you can leave comments.

Describe the commercial and tell us why it's your favorite. We want to print some reader comments, so please register with an e-mail address that you check regularly.

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We'll print the best responses from Tri-State area residents the following Sunday with another question. For your reply to have a chance to make the print edition, it must be posted by 5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 12.

We'll post all responses online as long as no one breaks Internet etiquette. No cussing or libelous claims. Keep it on topic and PG.

So which Super Bowl commercial is my favorite?

In my younger years, I was enamored with the nostalgia of Coca-Cola's 1979 ad featuring a young boy who offers first help and then his Coke to Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle "Mean Joe" Greene. Greene drinks the soda, then tosses his jersey to the kid. Search for it on YouTube; or type the Web address www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lc0izCGKxP8.

As a child I received a Steelers sweatshirt complete with "Greene" on the back. It was a big deal because the big guy's name even had the "e" on the end like mine. Plus it was sappy. I've always liked sentimentality as long as it isn't too much.

Technically, I believe that commercial first aired before the 1980 Super Bowl, whereas these days most Super Bowl commercials make their debuts during the big game.

As an adult, I find myself drawn to Budweiser's Super Bowl commercials - the ones with the horses playing football or the ones featuring the noble Dalmatian. So when Budweiser combined the horses, the Dalmatian and the theme to "Rocky" in a Super Bowl commercial last year, I loved it. Mind you, it did not get me to buy any Budweiser. I just don't drink beer. (see it at www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGx4E8w5VHg)

the right amount of sap and a great storyline as the Dalmatian helped train a Clydesdale that kept coming up short in making it to "the show" - becoming part of the hitch team for the Budweiser wagon. Granted, I was a little put off by the horse-dog high-five at the end.

Assistant Lifestyle Editor Crystal Schelle likes the original Budweiser frog commercial with the three frogs on the lily pads, who croak "Bud," "weis," and "er," eventually in the proper order (see it at www.youtube.com/atch?v=pVcbasIb8lQ)

"It was simple and they looked like Muppets. They tried to make them look real, but they had the allure of Kermit," Schelle says.

My editor, Chris Copley, is partial to Apple's "1984," which came out in that year. A female athlete carrying a large sledgehammer runs through a crowd of brainwashed people while being pursued by helmeted guards. The woman, who represents the new Macintosh computer, throws the hammer into a screen that bears the image of a brainwashing dictator, who represents IBM's monopoly on personal computers (see it at www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYecfV3ubP8).

"It's great theater, a great little movie," Copley says.

What I didn't realize until I did research for this story was that the Apple ad was directed by Ridley Scott. That's right. The same guy who, at that point, had directed "Alien," and would go on to direct the Oscar-winning "Gladiator." To see Scott talk about the making of the commercial, go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjiRErZBC8I.

So which is your favorite and why?

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