Super Bowl ads don’t come cheap.
To secure a mere 30 seconds of precious airtime, advertisers will have to shell out a whopping $4.5 million dollars this year (that’s $150,000 per second, but who’s counting?). And with over 100-million people expected to be watching, it’s fair to say the stakes are high.
Especially since networks have been known to veto ads every now and then. That’s right: That video you just spent millions upon millions to produce, won’t make it to air if the broadcaster doesn’t like it.
But don’t feel too bad for those poor, sad ad men; in fact, some brands have been accused of having their commercials banned on purpose, just for the publicity. After all, “too hot for TV” makes for a pretty irresistible tagline. Right, guys? (How are you enjoying this article so far, BTW?)
We’ve rounded up the very best ads that didn’t make the cut along with an explanation as to why they didn’t make the cut.
Ashley Madison, 2011
In this commercial created by cheater-cheater-pumpkin-eater website Ashley Madison, a woman (played by porn star Savanna Samson) discovers that her husband is – wait for it – cheating. So, what does she do? She cheats, too! (Duh.) Bonus: It’s got bunnies, sex, explosions and girl-on-girl action, but it was Samson’s involvement that reportedly made Fox nervous.
Bud Light: The Swear Jar, 2007
Aren’t swear jars $%&#*&! awesome? Especially, when there’s a case of beer in it for you. Unfortunately, the network disagreed.
Rolling Rock: Ricochet, 2007
You’ll probably watch this entire Rolling Rock ad without realizing why it was banned. Its fatal flaw appears right at the end and it’s super subtle (scroll below the video for the scoop). Nonetheless, watching a series of people being hit in the groin by a rogue baseball is more entertaining than you’d expect.
Fast-forward to 0:44 and look at the screen. What do the bottles and two baseballs resemble? Mmm-hmm. And…it’s…outta there!
Bud Light: Apology Bot 3000, 2007
So, you accidentally sold a sex tape of you and your girlfriend. What’s a guy to do? Don’t worry: Bud Light and Apology Bot 3000 are here to get you out of this and any other horribly atrocious jam you might get yourself into. (Not surprisingly, network execs weren’t super into promoting the sharing of sex tapes, and the racy ad was shelved.)
KGB: In the Hole, 2010
No big shocker here: KGB’s rejected Super Bowl ad features men with their heads literally crammed up their asses. Needless to say, it didn’t meet CBS’ decency standards.
PETA: Veggie Love, 2009
This banned ad just wanted to make one thing perfectly clear: “Studies show vegetarians have better sex.” How, you ask? By getting models to do very, very dirty things with vegetables. Among NBC’s concerns: One woman “screwing herself with broccoli” and another seen “rubbing her pelvic region with pumpkin.” Oh, PETA…
You know who isn’t happy with the current US president? Jesus. At least, that was the word from conservative website JesusHatesObama.com, which proposed a commercial showing an annoyed Jesus bobblehead sneering at a toy Barack Obama. So, what does the plastic son of God do? He smites that foul president by sending him headfirst into a fishbowl. According to the site’s creator, the whole thing was a joke. Either way, Fox deemed it unfit to air.
Airborne: Mickey Rooney, 2005
Does wrinkly old-man butt make you want to buy vitamins? Supplement company Airborne apparently thought it would. Fox disagreed and rejected the ad on account of Rooney’s naked derriere.
Bud Light: Bottle Opener, 2006
We’re not really sure what the message is here but we definitely won’t be stealing from our bartenders anytime soon. A man tries to do just that in the ad below…and let’s just say he ends up being used as a human bottle opener. Eww…
Durex: Our Protection, 2012
Last, but certainly not least, is a twisted ad from Durex. We wouldn’t call this commercial “entertaining” as much as “insane” and “extremely dark” but thought it foolish not to include it here. Critics felt the use of scare tactics to promote contraception was inappropriate. You’ll want to brace yourselves for this one.