At Super Bowl XLVI, car companies clearly ran over beer companies. Anheuser-Busch—normally the King of Commercials—fumbled in 2012. The Budweiser brewer tossed off a couple of forgettably nostalgic spots before bottoming out with the introduction of Bud Light Platinum, which ... has a higher credit limit than other beers? I have no idea. Car companies, however, pulled out the stops with a string of notable ads. Hot babes made a good showing, as always, hawking cars, more cars and domain name registration. Dogs also had their day, starring in five spots (six if you count Snoopy in the MetLife commercial). Monkeys, bears and babies, on the other hand, seem to have worn out their welcome. Good riddance to them.
Audi “Vampire Party”—A gathering of annoyingly Twilight-esque vampires is broken up when Audi’s new LED headlights prove to be as powerful as daylight. A funny joke that drives home the point quite clearly.
Doritos “Man’s Best Friend”—Maybe it wasn’t a favorite of cat lovers in the audience, but Frito-Lays’ ad about a dog covering up his murderous misdeeds by bribing a human witness with Doritos was good for a chuckle.
Honda “Matthew’s Day Off”—The company probably shouldn’t have hyped this with so much pre-Super Bowl airing, but the spot is a nostalgic winner—watching actor Matthew Broderick pull off a “sick day” with countless references to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
Pepsi “King’s Court”—Super Bowl commercials are about star power, and this flashy soft drink spot starring Elton John as a selfish king is filled with glittery cameos. The Flavor Flav appearance at the end is the kicker.
Acura “Transactions”—Jerry Seinfeld going to desperate lengths to become the first owner of the new Acura. Funny and realistic. Jay Leno swooping in and stealing from fellow comedians. Equally funny, equally believable.
GE “Power and Beer”—At GE, we make industrial turbines. Don’t you want to rush out and buy some industrial turbines? Somewhere down the line, industrial turbines help make Budweiser cold. You like beer, don’t you? Ergo, you must love GE. ... Huh?
TaxACT.com “Feel the Free”—Kid pees in pool. Use our free tax software. ... Huh?
GoDaddy.com “Body Paint”—Danica Patrick body paints slogans on a naked model. Go online to see not much else. Seriously. It’s time to knock it off with the blueballing ads, GoDaddy.
Cars.com “Neck”—A man grows a hideous, snakelike parasitic twin out of his back. This doesn’t make me want to shop Cars.com. It makes me want to run away screaming. Or rent Basket Case.
Coca-Cola “Superstition”—Once upon a time, these CGI polar bears were kinda cute and cuddly. Now they’re hanging out on the couch watching TV. Just like us. Bor-ing.