Idiot Box: We Examine The Best And Worst Of This Year’s Super Bowl Ads

Super Bowl Ads 2011

Devin D. O'Leary
3 min read
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What did we learn from this year’s Super Bowl, class? That turnovers are key to the game. That Christina Aguilera doesn’t know the words to the national anthem. That the Black Eyed Peas sound like ass outside of a studio. That the economy has obviously affected major advertising.

Seriously. This year’s big Super Bowl ad blowout was more like a quiet pop. There was some fun stuff. There was a bit of crummy stuff. But there was hardly anything worth getting worked up over. No Apple Macintosh “1984.” No Bud Light “Farting Horse.” Just a lot of average, unexciting TV commercials. (Jeff Bridges droning on about Hyundai. … Starting to nod off.) Come back, Bud Bowl! All is forgiven!

The Best

Volkswagen: “Imperial March” The cutest little Darth Vader ever tests out his Sith powers on a series of uncooperative items before surprising himself with the new Volkswagen (and his dad’s auto-start key chain). Priceless. And nerdy to boot.

Bridgestone: “Carma”—A motorist avoids a beaver on the road thanks to Bridgestone tires. Later, the beaver does him a solid. Not only was this one cute, it actually related to the product at hand. Something of a rarity.

Chevy: “Tommy” Kia crammed a lot of money into its “One Epic Ride” commercial, but the simple humor of this spot—a Chevy Silverado acting like Lassie to rescue stupid, hazard-prone Tommy—was fast, funny and memorable.

Best Buy: “Justin and Ozzy” Bagging on Ozzy Osbourne for being old and making fun of Justin for being a little girl? These guys have surprisingly good senses of humor. Plus, that bald dude calling Bieber “a girl”? That was Bieber in makeup. Good laughs and it makes a point about how quickly our technology is being replaced.

Groupon: “Tibet” This one wins for the ballsiest ad of the night. Actor Timothy Hutton makes an impassioned, social-guilt plea for the poor, oppressed people of Tibet. Then he totally switches gears on us to brag about the $30 worth of Tibetan food he got at for $15.

The Worst

NFL: “Best Fans in the World”—Fonzie in a CGI-retrofitted Green Bay Packers jersey? Not cool! “Joan Rivers”—These skeevy, faux porn commercials are increasingly tired and pointless. Now the company has got us salivating over the hot bod of … Joan Rivers. Ick, I say.

Pepsi Max: “Love Hurts” Nagging wives, domestic violence and assaults on random strangers? So funny!

Pepsi: “Torpedo Cooler”—Honestly, I didn’t think Pepsi would be the one to break out the “crotch shot” joke.

Skechers: “Kim Kardashian”—There was a lot of pointless celebrity spotting this year (Diddy, Taylor Swift, two Eminems and a baby, but Kim is the ultimate “who cares?” celeb. We get it, Kim: Your bootie is huge. Can we move on now? Plus, who really believes this woman would ever be caught dead in Skechers?
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