As football games go I think I am justified in saying: Nice Super Bowl, 2011. Commercials? I hate to be harsh, This Year, but things have been better. The beer companies who carried the art of the Super Bowl ad through the nineties have clearly run out of steam—"Here we go!" is one of the most unbearable tag lines in recent memory—and the car companies (and Eminem) have only just begun to pick up the slack. So it's time to look at the best and the worst Super Bowl commercials of 2011. Programming note: All commercial commentary has been imported from Detroit.â†µ
The Best: I couldn't get enough of Audi's Old Luxury Prison ad. Everything great about Super Bowl commercials was put to full use here: A hilarious, inventive crushed-velvet-jail set; enormous production values; and a cinematic chase scene that was blocked much better than the average Michael Bay chase scene.â†µ
Chrysler's "Imported from Detroit" ad—video here—worked in another classic Super Bowl tradition: The Super-patriotic ad. They went completely over the top, even ending with a firm-but-strict Eminem insisting that luxury is what Detroit—and by extension America—does. And even though I know the Chrysler 200 to be a firm-but-limited refreshing of the much-maligned Chrysler Sebring, I totally went for it anyway. America!â†µ
Finally, Teleflora's Faith Hill / "Nice Rack" was the best deployment of the aging Stupid Guy trope. Not only did Faith Hill show off some of the best comic timing of the night in confirming that Demographically Appropriate Slacker had actually sent his girlfriend a message that said "Nice Rack"; Teleflora managed to target a florist's ad at men without coming off as incredibly condescending toward all men.â†µ
The Worst: GoDaddy has had a monopoly on terrible Super Bowl ads ever since they decided that leering takes at half-naked c-list celebrities was the right brand-building exercise, but their Joan Rivers ad might have been the worst yet. Aside from the other one, in which Danica Patrick and company are naked for some reason, and you're advised to go on their website to learn that they aren't, in fact, naked. Register a domain name, too!â†µ
A Lifetime Achievement award needs to go to Skechers, whose ad characters have for years now connected every part of their lives to their choice of shoes. This time, a woman in impeccable shape leaves her trainer for Shape-Ups, which are proven to do nothing except make your back hurt.â†µ
What were your best and worst? Let us know in the comments.