It is that time of year again. Bring out the seven-layer bean dip, throw on a jersey: It’s Super Bowl Sunday. I’ve heard there is a football game…but, for those of us in the Ad-world the real showdown, the competition that separates the weak from the witty exists within the walls of the commercial breaks. The world waits with bated breath for these creatively mastered commercials. In our excitement for this epic battle of wit we shall take this space to appreciate the heroes who have come before. That’s right folks…here comes some of our favorite Super Bowl ads through the ages.

1) Apple "1984"

Let’s start in 1984. This classic groundbreaking advertisement paved the way for EPIC thinking when it comes to commercials. It feels more like a movement than a spot.

2) VISA "Donkey"

And now for something completely different.  Visa’s 1994 ad….with a Donkey.

Who trades a camera for a donkey?

3) VISA "Elephant" 

Continuing on the “cool animals in Visa ads” kick, my next choice for the 1998 Super Bowl is the cutest stinking ad around.

“I wish I had an Elephant.” Me too kid, me too.

4) Nuveen "Christopher Reeve Walks

Year 2000: it was the turn of the century and the potential for human progress was promising. Nuveen’s ad tells a poignant story of advancement that is incredibly uplifting.

5) EDS "Cat Herders"

In the same year, we were given “Cat Herders”…A very different type of celebration. It's awesome.

6) Google "Parisian Love"

This one’s for all the romantics out there. Put down the wings and pick up a tissue. You did it again, Google.

Anyone up for a trip to Paris?

7) E*TRADE "Girlfriend"

Talking Babies. Could there be anything more delightful?

Addendum: Talking Babies in a love quarrel: MOST delightful.

8) VW "The Force"

This spot is for every kid who cried when they didn’t get a letter from Hogwarts; who were never able to open that poke-ball; who have at one point believed they were a Jedi.

Way to go, little Darth. We were all rooting for you.

9) Doritos "Goat 4 Sale"

What can I say? The Goat loves Doritos.

10) Budwiser "The Clydesdales" 

This last selection is totally goose-pimple inducing. It melts my tiny Grinch heart every time.

An ode’ to the love between a man and his horse.

There you have it: our tribute to a handful of spots that have helped to feed the buzz surrounding this national stand off. Good luck to those who will enter the gladiator’s ring of advertising this coming Sunday. May the odds be ever in your favor.

What are some of your favorite Super Bowl ads of all time? Comment below.