Before we get to the commercials, we have to give credit to Madonna for putting on a well-executed half-time show -- much to our surprise. She's got quite a bit of energy for her age (or, our age) and manages to lip-sync successfully. Bonus kudos to the tech guys who made the Vogue covers dance on the ground. And the performance was filled with an eclectic group of guests from Nicki Minaj (in a somewhat toned down cheerleader outfit), Cee Lo (dressed like a giant sparkly monk) and LMFAO (as their normal dirty selves). If only MIA hadn't been so... MIA, what with flipping the bird at a cameraman and all, it would have been a smoothly run eight minutes that was memorable for the right reasons. Wish we could say the same about all of the commercials.
While there were a few standouts, most of the commercials were just there. Bud Light and all that Platinum BS? So dull. As was their Prohibition-themed spot, and we're usually a sucker for the Clydesdales. And those were trying to be clever, which is better than the GE and Chrysler ones which hit a decidedly somber note about unemployment. In an effort to be inspiring, they both brought our game day excitement down faster than Sarah McLachlan singing about orphaned puppies. The moral of the story? If you are going to do depressing, add an Eminem song. Still, that was better than that stupid Samsung ad which was trying to make that one Darkness song happen again, along with trying to revive stylus pens for phones. A decade behind isn't cool enough to be retro.
The big winner of the night was Volkswagen, which had not one, but two commercials that we loved. And not just because both involved Star Wars. The first had a motley crew of puppies doing the Imperial March. Win on all levels. Their second had a fat dog going on a diet to chase the new Beetle with a Mos Eisley-set shout out to Volkswagen's cute Darth Vader commercial at the end.
Still on the animal tip, we loved the Dorito dog that killed a cat and bribed a guy with chips. Clever. And their spot about the granny and slingshot baby was cute too, but the dog had better facial expressions than the kid.
The Skechers Go Run dog was very adorable in his teeny tiny shoes, but we know we're going to be over it by the 100th time we see it next week.
There were far too many commercials (largely from Go Daddy) about scantily clad people prancing around that didn't make an impression (even the H&M one with David Beckham wasn't all that special). The only naked commercial we wholeheartedly approved of was the M&M one. We always knew those brown ones were up to something.
On the animated front, there was the sweet Met Life one with every fondly remembered cartoon character from our childhoods (even Voltron!). And there were those Coca Cola spots that had the famous polar bears sporting team scarves and reacting to plays, which might have been more effective if the teams playing this year didn't have the same color uniforms.
As for the rest of the car commercials, they were okay, but nothing that great. Audi had vampires exploding in LED lights (which had us arguing about vampire mythology), Chevy had their trucks surviving the apocalypse and Acura had Seinfeld and Jay Leno competing to be the first to get one of their new cars. Like we're supposed to believe that Jay Leno really wants an Acura to add to his car collection. That he has a jet pack, we totally believe.
And then there were the ads built around celebrities: Elton John for Pepsi was saved by Flavor Flav (and we took points off making us to explain to everyone who the hell Melanie Amaro was); The Voice worked in a saucy Betty White (small doses is really the way to go with her); and there was the Matthew Broderick Ferris Bueller ad... which everyone had already seen in its extended form on the Internet. It would have been far more exciting if that one had been a surprise and if we hadn't watched it ten times prior to the big game.
Your favorite/least favorite ads of the game? Sound off below.
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