1Focus on the Family (2010)
This much discussed Focus on the Family ad tells the story of a woman who contracted amoebic dysentery and, despite doctor's advice, chose not to terminate her pregnancy. The son she gave birth to grew up to be college football star Tim Tebow.
2Ashley Madison (2011)
I can't imagine why Ashley Madison ad was rejected by Fox in 2011. It's certainly no surprise that a company based on providing an avenue for married people to have affairs pushed the boundaries of taste a little too far. It is mildly surprising that Ashley Madison keeps trying, and has now had their Super Bowl ad rejected two years in a row. And it was quite surprising when the website attempted to buy the naming rights to the New Meadowlands Stadium last summer with an offer of $25 million.
3Fantasy Video Greetings (2010)
This commercial for Fantasy Video Greetings E-Cards didn't make it all the way to the 2010 Superbowl but it's still a great one. You can't help but feel sorry for this sports fan.
CBS rejected this ManCrunch (a dating site targeting gay men) ad in 2010 on the grounds that it was not up to their creative standards.
The ad is this: two men watching the Super Bowl. Their hands meet at the potato chip bowl, which instigates a glance. Then, that sparks a male-on-male make-out session while a friend overlooks, puzzled. The ad was rejected by CBS, sparking more controversy than chemistry, and leaving many wondering why one side of the political spectrum was given air time and the other not.
This PETA Super Bowl Ad was banned from the Super Bowl for being too explicit for television. PETA has become known for pushing the envelope when it comes to nudity in order to get their message across, and their latest advertising endeavor goes one step further. In the new PETA Commercial (called 'Veggie Love'), models are shown in lingerie getting friendly with vegetables, all while rock and roll music is played in the background and little messages are posted on the screen about how people who are vegetarians have better sex (according to studies).
NBC sent PETA a complete list of concerns regarding the commercial that included segments they felt should be cut from the Super Bowl spot. PETA posted the list on their web-site, and they include suggestions for removing scenes that depicted "rubbing asparagus on breast", "rubbing pelvic region with pumpkin", and "licking pumpkin". The commercial itself definitely was something that was meant to be provocative, and it seems that PETA was really sending a message with this Super Bowl advertisement that they just wanted to get the PETA name out there again.
Banned from the Super Bowl, GoDaddy.com's 'Lola' commercial features a former football player who follows his dream of fashion.
7Holiday Inn (1997)
When Holiday Inn planned a billion dollar overhaul of their chain back in 1997, they struggled to come up with the right metaphor to get the point across. Their answer? Comparing the renovations to a sex change procedure. While activists within the transgendered community were outraged, millions of Super Bowl viewers were left wondering how exactly that was supposed to make a stay at Holiday Inn more appealing.
8Just For Feet (1999)
With over 140 branches, Just For Feet was once one of the largest retailers of footwear in the country. But in 1999, their company decided to air a Super Bowl ad depicting a group of white hunters tagging and bagging the rarest prey of all: an African man. Viewers were appalled, the media was outraged and the giant shoe sued their ad agency; by the end of the year, Just For Feet had declared bankruptcy.
9Bud Light 2007
Apology-Bot 3000 was based on the agency's Bud Light TV commercial, in which men find themselves in undesirable situations of their own making and not knowing how to apologize. One man is wondering how to confess to his girlfriend that their private sex video got out to “friends and video stores nationwide”; two sushi chefs are debating how to tell a table of customers that they just served them a deadly blowfish. Just in time, Apology-Bot, a hunk of metal reminiscent of the robot in Short Circuit but with a fridge of Bud Light for a belly, comes to these idiots' rescue, apologizing to their victims and offering them a cold one.
The ad was considered too racy for TV most precious time.