Super Bowl ads have a super-big job: To make a lasting impact in 30 seconds or less. Over the years, some of the ads have lasted longer than the companies that placed them (looking at you, Pets.com).
The dot-com boom, back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, is especially guilty of going all out for our viewing pleasure, dumping millions of dollars into commercial spots, and with questionable results. Clearly, it's pretty gosh-darned difficult to get a good return on a $2 million, 30-second investment. Here are some of the most over-the-top ads from back in the days of the dot-com bubble.
E-Trade, "Wasted $2 Million" (2000)
This self-mocking gem from E-Trade was, well, blatantly honest. The ad features a monkey wearing a company T-shirt dancing on a trash can between two guys. The company still exists, but the investment firm is no longer wasting millions on Super Bowl ads and dancing monkeys.
Pets.com, "Please Don't Go: If You Leave Me Now" (2000)
The sock pocket pooch became the poster child for bad business ideas. Here, a sock pocket croons, while a sad-eyed dog, an resentful fluffy cat, and a crying lizard watch mournfully as their owners leave them to go off to "a lot of stores" to buy pet supplies.
Monster.com, "When I Grow Up" (1999)
Children express their lowered hopes and dreams to "file all day," "be underappreciated," and "be paid less for doing the same job" when they grow up. Introduced in 1999, the popular spot continued to appear over the years.
EDS, "Cat Herding" (2000)
You've probably never heard of EDS, a "data services" company founded in 1962 by H. Ross Perot. Before being acquired by Hewlett-Packard in 2008, it gave us the "most memorable ad of 2000."