The Good, Bad, Ugly Super Bowl XLV Ads

Super Bowl XLV: Game Day For Movie Ads

(Live-blogging; refresh for updates): Christina Aguilera can’t remember the words to America’s National Anthem, the Super Bowl XLV was a great game that ended with controversy, and the Green Bay Packers won over the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25. (As for that awful halftime show, I know where all the Tron: Legacy jumpsuits went to be recycled.) But now we can start judging this year’s crop of $3 million-for-30 seconds Super Bowl ads.

The car and tire ads are back with a vengeance, and Kia’s Optima commercial looked like an Indiana Jones movie on steroids with all those cool backdrops and special effects. The Doritos ads are great, especially the gross one where a guy sucks Doritos crumbs off his co-workers’ fingers and pants. But the Pepsi Max commercial sucked. Really, there are people who think hit-him-in-the-nuts gags still generate yucks?

The Coca-Cola ad was ridiculously over-the-top with dragons losing their firepower. I was surprised by the fabulous Volkswagon Passat ad featuring a pint-sized Darth Vader (see the longer version here) as well as by that Teleflora commercial starring Faith Hill and “your rack”. But that Ericsson Android phone ad with the human thumbs was, in a word, creepy.

Snickers received a lot of ink last year with its Betty White commercial during the Super Bowl. This year its parent company Mars tried to get hit by lightning twice and … missed. The new ad campaign featured Richard Lewis and Roseanne Barr and I have to ask, Why? I’m told the candy company was at odds over which commercial to run as Snickers also produced a commercial featuring Joe Pesci and Don Rickles but only had one 30-second spot purchased. After much back
and forth, the Lewis-Barr spot won out. Well, it sucked.

On the other hand, no one couldn’t love dogs cooking and serving Bud Light. I’m clearly a sucker for animal ads. That Bridgestone commercial featuring the driver and the beaver was sorta great. And who in Hollywood hasn’t sat through a pitch meeting just like that Chevy Camaro ad spinning a story around the red-headed schoolteacher.

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