Schwefel made her experience filming the Monster.com spot and other ads a focus of her college application essays. "I even sent my clip from Monster.com to schools," she said. "I think it made a really big difference. It was nice to be able to show people that I had this thing that made me unique."
Cedric the Entertainer, played a too-eager date in a 2001 Bud Light ad.
The surprise ending of this ad — Cedric accidentally sprays his date with brew from a shaken Bud Light — ignited his career. "It was one of those things that catapulted me into pop culture," says Cedric Kyles, 44.
Before that ad aired, he had toured the country as one of The Original Kings of Comedy and co-starred in The Steve Harvey Show.
Since then he has done more Bud Light Super Bowl ads, and appeared in films such as The Honeymooners. He also lent his voice to the animated flicks Madagascar 2 and Ice Age.
He recently played songwriter/singer Willie Dixon in the film Cadillac Records. Last year, he appeared on Broadway in American Buffalo with John Leguizamo.
Out next: The first film he's directed, Chicago Pulaski Jones: The Legend of Dance Fu. Needless to say, it's a comedy.
Steven Monroe, who ate pizza topped with hot sauce in Tabasco's 1998 ad.
In Monroe's Los Feliz, Calif., home, there is a big "Salvador Dali-like" picture of a Tabasco sauce bottle. That's fitting, because ongoing payments from the Super Bowl ad helped finance the house. In the ad, a mosquito bursts into flames after biting Tabasco-imbibing Monroe.
The actor, 36, still is recognized for that role. "(People) look at me and do a double take and think I'm a long-lost cousin or they don't know where they know me from," he says. "I say, 'Mosquito, explodes and Tabasco' — and those three words tend to jar their memory."
He's acted in TV shows and movies and is earning a graduate degree in marriage-and-family counseling. "I've been blessed. The Tabasco ad has opened a lot of doors."