Not too long ago, if you wanted to relive your favorite Super Bowl commercials and see if they were well-received, you had to wait until Monday morning and read the newspaper. There you could find the Super Bowl ad round-up, a brief article, usually in the business section, that featured clunky descriptions of the short spots you barely remembered from the night before ("A Pepsi-swilling chimp escapes the lab and heads for the beach at the wheel of a Jeep"). Chief among this coverage was USA Today's "Super Bowl Ad Meter," a ranking of the big game's commercials determined by a panel of viewers.

The first Ad Meter in 1989 relied on 60 randomly selected volunteers in Portland, Oregon who "used hand-held meters with a dial...to register how they felt about ads they watched." The viewers would also provide their thoughts to back up their numerical ranking. "I like 
the use of the animals," one 52-year-old panelist said about a 1997 Pepsi ad featuring grizzly bears doing the YMCA, "It makes me think I'm a kid again." This process more or less remained until 2012, when USA Today opened the voting to Facebook users and started combining the results the following year.

The entire enterprise seems ridiculous now. Super Bowl ads are immediately available on YouTube, often even before they appear on TV, and Twitter provides analysis and criticism in real time (and all the time, for that matter).

But there was something nice about opening a big, colorful USA Today and thinking, "Hmm, I wonder if people liked that ad with the beer-worshiping crabs." The following commercials were all judged to be the cream of their respective Super Bowl crop, as determined by a handful of dial-cranking volunteers at the time.

1989: American Express—"Jon Lovitz and Dana Carvey [are] unable to use a Visa credit card on a trip to the Super Bowl."

*

1990: American Express—"Paul Newman races a tiny scooter against a dragster."

*

1991: Diet Pepsi—"Ray Charles isn't sure the new Diet Pepsi jingle has caught on, but in fact, people are singing it around the world."

*

1992: Nike—"'Hare Jordan' featuring Bugs Bunny and Michael Jordan."

*

1993: McDonald's—"Michael Jordan and Larry Bird Play H.O.R.S.E."

*

1994: Pepsi—"A Pepsi-swilling chimp escapes the lab and heads for the beach at the wheel of a Jeep."

*

1995: Pepsi—"Boy gets sucked into bottle."

*

1996: Pepsi—"A Coke delivery man is detected by a convenience store security camera trying to steal a can of Pepsi."

*

1997: Pepsi—"Grizzly bears boogie
 to a remake of the Village People's 'YMCA.'"

*

1998: Pepsi—"A sky-surfer flies with Geese and drinks Pepsi with them."

*

1999: Anheuser-Busch—"Two Dalmatians are separated as puppies and reunite two years later."

*

2000: Anheuser-Busch—"Rex the movie star dog gleefully chases Budweiser beer truck—only to jump a hedge and leap face-first
 into the side of a parked lawn service van."

*

2001: Anheuser-Busch—"The amorous adventures gone awry of smooth-talking funny guy Cedric, whose Bud Light explodes all over his dream date."

*

2002: Anheuser-Busch—"Romantic evening goes awry with satin sheets."

*

2003: Anheuser-Busch—"Zebra referee."

*

2004: Anheuser-Busch—"Owners demonstrate how their dogs fetch Bud Light."

*

2005: Anheuser-Busch—"Pilot jumps out of plane for Bud Light."

*

2006: Anheuser-Busch—"Secret refrigerator stocked with Bud Light."

*

2007: Anheuser-Busch —"Crabs worship a cooler of Budweiser on the beach."

*

2008: Anheuser-Busch—"Dalmatian trains Clydesdale to make beer wagon team."

*

2009: Frito-Lay—"Crystal ball sees free Doritos."

*

2010: Snickers—"Betty White and Abe Vigoda in casual football game."

*

2011: TIE: Anheuser-Busch—"Dog sitter puts dogs to work."/Doritos—"Dog's revenge for Doritos teasing."

*

*

2012: Doritos—"A murderous Great Dane who bribes a human with Doritos to not tell on him for burying a dead cat."

*

2013: Anheuser-Busch—"A heart-tugging tale of the bond between a trainer and the Budweiser Clydesdale he raised."

*

2014: Anheuser-Busch—"This puppy just couldn't lose."