Taco Bell courted controversy this Super Bowl season with an ad telling people who bring vegetables to parties that everyone secretly hates them (they’ve since decided to pull it). Bleh. Let’s revisit a simpler fast food advertising era, when Super Bowl commercials didn’t try to shame people into eating Doritos-flavored tacos and instead enticed us with catchy jingles and Carson Daly and dancing burger women.
1. Burger King’s creepy Technicolor acid trip of a Super Bowl XL ad // 2006: A chorus line/Busby Berkely spectacle featuring singing women dressed as Whopper toppings, some of whom are forcibly hauled onto a giant burger at the end and smashed with a bun-woman.
2. Denny’s Nanerpus Super Bowl XLIII ad // 2009: Clearly going for the Adult Swim crowd, here.
3. McDonald’s Alaska-mocking Super Bowl XXIV ad // 1990: McDonald’s ties burger prices to Super Bowl XXIV results and makes fun of Alaskans.
4. Pizza Hut’s Jessica Simpson/Super Bowl XXXVII ad // 2004: Remember when Jessica Simpson said something funny about buffalo or tuna or something? I think this is a play on that, and a reminder that Simpson has always been more of a brand than an artist.
5. McDonald’s Big-Mac-fetishizing Super Bowl XXXIII ad // 1999: In which McD’s promotes secret binge eating, fat stereotypes and the sexualization of beef.
6. Pizza Hut’s super-Millennial Super Bowl XXXIV ad // 2000: Carson Daily hosts a beach party while simultaneously pushing Pizza Hut’s new “Big New Yorker” pizza and a website called CD Now.
7. Wendy’s Catchphrase-Launching Super Bowl XVIII ad // 1984: The origin of the infamous “Where’s the beef?” is this Wendy’s television commercial that first aired in January 1984.
8. McDonald’s Far Out Super Bowl IX ad // 1975: The song that hooked a generation on Big Macs…