If your team isn’t playing, then the best part of the big game is the ads. Of course, you care about the game (there were a few great plays) and want great performances (Christina messed up a line of the National Anthem but still sounded good; Black Eyed Peas were one of the better halftime shows in a long time, though my predictions were off).
Here’s my take on the best and worst commercials of this year’s game…
#1 NFL – Best Fans Ever
Simple, and simply awesome. Hits every demographic by including clips from nearly every popular show of the last 40 years: “Full House,” “90210,” “The Brady Bunch,” “Family Matters,” “The Office,” “Happy Days,” “South Park,” “Seinfeld.” Genius. (Anyone else find it odd that the best commercial was for something that we’re all already watching?)
#2 Pepsi Max – Love Hurts (aka The Jealous Girlfriend)
The girls loved this one the most, and it was pretty funny – no explanation required, just watch. All the Pepsi Max ads were good, but this one was the best.
#3 VW Passat – The Force
This plays on the sympathies of every Star Wars fan who ever tried the Jedi mind trick, but it’s cute, and you can’t help but love the little Darth Vader kid. I wonder how much George Lucas got paid for it. See what the kid looks like without the helmet – cute (and a little like Mark Hamill, oddly enough).
#4 Bridgestone – Carma with a C
This was easily the best commercial that also inspired you to actually buy the product – a driver dodges a beaver, saving his life (thanks to his great tires) and then when the bridge is washed out, the beaver returns his favor, saving his life by chomping down a tree and blocking the driver’s path (as his same tires easily stop in the bad weather). I liked the little hip-hop heart pound, too. Ha, I also dug Bridgestone’s “Reply All” ad, too, but that didn’t inspire buying tires quite as much.
#5 Doritos – Pug Attack
Great buildup – at first you think the cute little pug’s going to get hurt, and then VICTORY! That dog is our hero.
And the ads that we hated?
It was sad to see Adrien Brody, an Oscar winner, stoop to a cheesy beer commercial for Stella Artois. It’s also disappointing to see E*Trade, Snickers and GoDaddy regurgitating the same ads they did last year, and a lot of people were unimpressed with Carmax‘s buildup to a joke that wasn’t funny. It costs $3 million for 30 seconds in front of an audience of 100 million people, so make it count, folks.
But the worst thing you can do is make an ad so bad that it offends your audience -so bad it makes them hate your product and never buy from you again.
Chrysler/Eminem – “Imported From Detroit”
A lot of people liked this two-minute commercial, but those people weren’t paying attention to the last ten seconds. The ad leads you to believe that Eminem is supporting Detroit’s motor industry, and then BOOM – it turns into a cheap ad for a luxury car that is so off-base with Eminem’s image it’s insulting. Almost as insulting as the Brisk commercial he appeared in during the first half. I lost pretty much all respect for Slim Shady, who’s said before he would never do commercials. Sellout.
And the WORST ad of Super Bowl XLV? Get ready to be offended:
Groupon – Tibet
Wow, Kenneth Cole must have written this one. Exploiting the situation in Tibet to promote a discount on buying Tibetan food? Tasteless. And then another nail in the coffin aired during “Glee” directly after the Super Bowl – a second Groupon ad showed Elizabeth Hurley comparing the disappearing rain forests to a discount on a Brazilian wax. Horrible. I’m never buying Groupon, ever. Hello, LivingSocial, you’re looking pretty good right now.
What Super Bowl commercials did you hate/love the most?