The Most Controversial Super Bowl Commercials Of All Time

There's more to Super Bowl Sunday than tackles, touchdowns, and beer. While a lot of football fans tune in to see the NFL's top teams compete for the ultimate title, other viewers are much more interested in the commercials that air between plays. The Super Bowl is often where companies' best commercials make their debut, and snagging one of those prime spots is not cheap. Maybe that's why the companies behind these controversial Super Bowl ads went for crazy, outlandish, or offensive themes - at least it guaranteed their commercials would be talked about!

Among the many funny and innovative ads that have aired during the big game, there have also been some serious clunkers. Some controversial Super Bowl commercials even sparked huge backlash on social media, and prompted companies to pull the spots. There have even been a handful of banned Super Bowl commercials that were either too risque or too shocking to air during the nation’s most watched show of the year.

From not-so-funny ads that just fell flat to spots featuring off-limits topics or offensive stereotypes, these are some of the worst Super Bowl commercials of all time. Vote up the ones you found most controversial!

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  • 1
    168 VOTES

    Nationwide Insurance Dead Kid Commercial

    Nationwide Insurance Dead Kid Commercial
    Video: YouTube

    During Super Bowl 2015, Nationwide Insurance shocked everyone by debuting a commercial about a dead child. Instead of being poignant and impactful, it shocked and depressed a nationwide audience and became one of the most controversial Super Bowl commercials of all time.

    Get a sneak peek of 2016's commercials here
  • 2
    122 VOTES

    Ashley Madison Helps You Have an Affair

    Ashley Madison Helps You Have an Affair
    Video: YouTube

    Another banned Super Bowl commercial is this 2011 ad from dating website Ashley Madison, whose goal is to help married people have affairs. Fox refused to air this ad starring porn actress Savanna Samson and a bunch of animals in an office conference room.

  • 3
    67 VOTES

    Sales Genie Pandas

    Sales Genie Pandas
    Video: YouTube

    Using every bad Asian stereotype in the book, this 2008 badly animated commercial from Sales Genie offended Asians and panda bears alike. 

  • 4
    77 VOTES

    General Motors Robot Suicide

    General Motors Robot Suicide
    Video: YouTube

    GM didn’t get the memo that a Super Bowl commercial should entertain the nation, not depress it. This disturbing 2007 ad depicts an unemployed robot committing suicide. OK, it’s just a dream, but still. Unemployment and suicide are not subjects people want to watch on Super Bowl Sunday.