Super Bowl: Top 10 banned TV ads

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Super Bowl 2014 commercials are almost set for the BIG event next year. Although a 30-second spot costs around $4million, this doesn’t always mean that a network is going take money readily.

For the past years, many commercials were banned for some reason. One is that a certain ad may be offensive to certain groups. Another reason is the lack of decency of some ads, or not child-friendly. Some are meant to be rejected so they can have free publicity and go viral online.

In 2010, the almighty Tim Tebow was also not spared from the Super Bowl controversy. That year, the conservative Christian organization Focus on the Family created a pro-life spot featuring Pam Tebow and her "miracle baby," whom doctors had urged her to abort due to complications from dysentery. Despite many protests from women's groups, the Tebow commercial was aired , which ultimately turned out to be quite sweet and a bit humorous.

Here are some of the other ads that didn't make it to the Super Bowl:

  • Ashley Madison starring Savanna Samson (2011)
With the fairly tame Super Bowl commercial rejected by NBC in 2009, Ashley Madison, the online dating site, steps its game up in the previous year with a more daring ad that conveys messages about cheating. While the commercial didn't use the company's slogan "Life is short. Have an affair", the ad featured porn star Savanna Samson. This is why Fox had to ban it from the Super Bowl. But what may have put the ad out were the appearances by a guy in a bunny suit and a capybara – since giant rodents are always sexy.

  • Airborne starring Mickey Rooney (2005)
Advertisers always wanted to flirt with nudity during Super Bowl commercials, which often involves famous actresses, athletes, or a Kardashian. However, in 2005, the immunity supplements company, Airborne, had its commercial rejected as it featured the 84-year-old bare ass of Mickey Rooney. The concept was that Rooney is sitting in a sauna when a woman coughs. Horrified, he runs out and drops his towel. Luckily, Betty White and Abe Vigoda have higher standards.

  • (2011)
Fox News has no problems with guests bad mouthing the president, but to have Jesus do it during the Super Bowl was definitely too far. Within the said commercial a condescending Jesus Bobblehead sneer at an Obama doll with "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" playing in the background. When little Obama falls headfirst into a fishbowl, Jesus smiled in approval and flashed his unloving message. The ad was produced by the conservative tchotchke-selling website 

  • PETA: Veggie Love (2009)
In 2009, NBC had many reasons for denying the spot to PETA's "Veggie Love" commercial where women wearing lingerie did awful stuff to broccoli, asparagus, and—worst of all—a pumpkin. As the tagline explained, the animal rights organization just wanted to point out that "studies show vegetarians have better sex." Then in the following year, PETA went back to the cue teasing with an ad that’s supposed to show "auditions" for the original Veggie Love spot.

  • KGB: "In the Hole" (2010)
The of men having their heads up their asses isn't exactly that innovative (or arguable), but when KGB, the text messaging company that answers questions for a fee, produced a Super Bowl commercial actually depicting it, they went too far… up. As if the anatomical painful imagery weren't bad enough, it was perhaps the ad's punch line after a golfer drains a putt —"it's in the hole"— that sank this ad.

  • Bud Light: Skinnydipping (2007)
Although Anheuser-Busch is one of the largest Super Bowl sponsors, its 2007 Bud Light commercial didn’t make the cut in the event. The concept of the ad was something that seemed agreeably clich├ęd at first—a wholesome couple decides to go skinny dipping in a pool on a beautiful, moonlit night. The only problem was that the ad takes a Percy twist at the end.

  • ManCrunch (2010)
In the same year that Tim Tebow's controversial commercial was permitted to air during the Super Bowl, the network refused an ad by ManCrunch, which is a gay dating site. The setup for the ManCrunch commercial resembled to the famous Letterman-Leno ad that was aired the same year were  a couple of guys were sitting on the couch watching the game. Unfortunately, a bowl of chips had somehow ignited their true feelings.

  • Bud Light: Clothing Drive (2010)
Three years after Bud Light attempted to put its skinny dipping spot on the air, the company decided to show more skin with an ad that rewarded office mates with a free beer for each item they donated to a clothing drive. By the end of the commercial there are black bars everywhere protecting viewers' innocent eyes—especially from the maintenance guy replacing a light bulb.

  • Rolling Rock: Ricochet (2007)
The Super Bowl may be the biggest game on the planet, but when the last whistle blows, baseball fans know that spring training is just around the corner. In 2007, Rolling Rock had some fun with America's national pastime with a wonderfully sophomoric ad showing fans (and a horse) getting hit in the crotch by a foul ball that wouldn't stop ricocheting. But what made the ad strike out with Fox was the final visual that was paired with the tagline: "Remember your cup."

  • Smart Beep: Blind Date (1999)
In an interview with Rolling Stone last year, George Clooney was asked what really makes him laugh. He didn't hesitate: fart jokes. He said that it's one of the funniest things in the history of mankind. "Even the idea of a fart makes me laugh. Saying the word 'fart' makes me laugh. I have iFart on my phone. I have remote whoopee cushions. Farts. To me, there's nothing funnier." So there's little doubt Clooney would love this 1999 commercial by Smart Beep that will make you feel better about the worst blind date you ever had in your life.


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