This year, companies will spend roughly $5 million per 30 seconds for a televised ad during the Super Bowl. This is a notable sum, even for the biggest advertisers. But what makes an ad a hit? Here’s a look at the best and worst ads over the years, and what made them a hit with viewers:

They’re creative and one-of-a-kind

The best ads are creative enough to be distinct and attention-grabbing. For example, consider Tide's Miracle Stain Super Bowl Ad from 2013, which featured a "miracle stain" that appeared on a San Francisco 49er fan's jersey. The stain had the likeness of the beloved Joe Montana, which led viewers to a marvelous pilgrimage until the wife — a Baltimore Ravens fan — washed away the stain. Not only was it an attention-getting ad, it was a great story that highlighted the two teams actually playing in the game.


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