Super Bowl ads reveal the economic tenor of our times, MSNBC reports. Boom times spark creative commercials, like Apple's famed Ridley Scott-directed "1984" plug, which aired as economic confidence was rising. “Every year it really does mirror the biggest trends that year—what’s happening in the economy and what’s happening in the culture,” says an Adweek critic.
Morally and socially cautious times produce unfunny and forgettable ads, like 2005’s lame offerings or 2002's reaction to the Sept. 11 attacks. The best year of all? 2001, opines MSNBC, when dot-commers went wild with ads like E*Trade's infamous, "“We just wasted $2 million bucks." How does this bode for ads in '08? Ben Bernanke will no doubt be watching.