Best and Worst Super Bowl Commercials – 2011

Welcome to the fifth annual roundup of the best and worst Super Bowl commercials here on The T Dog Media Blog. To see the ads, click on the links on each review:

Forget the DVR. Don’t skip these ads!

1. Chrysler – Imported From Detroit. A gripping, emotional ad spotlighting Detroit pride in its automobile and the city itself with local native Eminem. Awesome.

2. NFL – American Family. This sixty second spot thanking fans for a great NFL season featured an homage to classic TV, with the Fonz rightfully wearing a computer-imposed Green Bay Packers jersey.

3. Bud Light –  Product Placement. Movie producer decides to put Bud Light signs everywhere to score free beer, complete with a beer truck crashing the set. Works for me!

4. Bridgestone – Reply All. Office worker tells other co-worker he accidentally send e-mail reply all which sends guy around the world to prevent anyone from seeing it. Turns out he didn’t, resulting in wasted gas, time, and money. But the important thing is – his Bridgestone tires held up.

5. Volkswagen – The Force. Awww…. Little Darth Vader couldn’t use the force on anything – until he uses it on a Volkswagen – and it actually starts! (well, the lights just come on – thanks to his Dad.)

Skip these with your DVR.

1. Skechers. Kim Kardashian has sex with a guy and then dumps him – for shoes? (but at least the pair of shoes has more talent than Ms. Kardashian.)

2. Groupon – Tibet. The Chicago-based Internet company came up with an ad which spotlights the hardships of Tibet – and mocking it  at the same time. Hey Timothy Hutton, how was the food? I guess his date Kim Kardashian was in the bathroom while this was filming.

3. Stella Artois – Crying Jean. Adrien Brody makes the girls cry – and peers at their beer. What a dumb ad.

4. Mini – Cram It In The Boot. The only commercial to ever parody a Price Is Right pricing game and do it poorly. Too bad Bob Barker wasn’t there to smack the host with his microphone.

5. Doritos – House Sitting. So a guy knocks over an urn containing someone’s Grandpa at a friend’s house and he magically comes back to life? What is he, Frosty the Snowman? Please, no more Doritos Super Bowl ads from these amateur “filmmakers”.

Halftime Show: After years of being treated to past-their-prime acts, this year’s Super Bowl Halftime Show  returned to the 21st Century with a performance by The Black Eyed Peas (aka The Ultimate Sellout Band) featuring Slash (from Guns ‘n Roses) and Usher.  Looking at this, it brought back memories of Up With People, and that’s not a compliment.

Other thoughts:

–  New ad slogan: Pepsi Max: The cola you don’t want to get hit with. Two commercials for Pepsi Max showed the products being used as weapons. And if that’s wasn’t enough, there was Roseanne Barr getting hit with a log. For next year’s Super Bowl Ads, I suppose will see Tim Allen getting hit by an Audi.

Most improved Super Bowl Advertiser (by default, of course): Go Daddy’s two ads – one revealing with Joan Rivers as the new “.co” girl – were actually clever – but that’s not really saying much.

At least the baby on “Raising Hope” doesn’t talk – yet: Enough of these stupid E*Trade talking baby ads – they weren’t funny when they first came out.

Wait… that’s was who? That was Richard Lewis (Anything But Love) in this Snickers commercial? I thought it was David Letterman.

Tell us something we already don’t know: Verizon is coming out with its own version of the iPhone. Wow, didn’t know that.

Worst Buy. Ozzy Osbourne and quality music repellent Justin Bieber together in a Best Buy commercial. Throw in Rick Astley and we’ve got a party!

Ahhh! My ears! – Was Fergie of The Black Eyed Peas screaming or singing into the microphone?

– Not surprisingly, the ads and the Halftime Show were not received well by critics, which has been the case for several years now. Even Christina Aguilera’s singing of the National Anthem didn’t come off scott-free, as she botched up the lyrics in a major epic fail. But what the NFL wants is what the NFL gets, and the unbearable musical performances will continue at halftime for sometime to come – unless someone has another wardrobe malfunction.

Further reading:

– For the fifth year in a row, YouTube is rating the Super Bowl ads with its Ad Blitz. You can vote for the ads until February 14, and the winning ad gets its own homepage when its announced February 19.

– USA Today has its annual Super Bowl ad review with its 23rd annual Ad Meter, which always trumps popularity (i.e. animals and kids) over quality.

– Ken Wheaton (who takes over from Bob Garfield) reviews this year’s ads for Advertising Age. But seriously… four stars for the Best Buy and Groupon ads?

– Want a Chicago angle? (or at least a review written by a member of the local press?) Lewis Lazare provides it for the Sun-Times in his annual review.

– Looking for past Super Bowl Ad reviews from this blog? I’ve got them here from 2007 (best) , 2007 (worst) , 2008 , 2009 , and 2010.

– And if you’re looking for Super Bowl Ads from beyond those years, the Museum of Broadcast Communications has a tribute page which pays homage to those Super Bowl ads from years past, from Mean Joe Greene to the Apple runner whose swing of a hammer changed advertising forever.

Updated at 10:50  (added Skechers YouTube video)