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Super Bowl XLV Commercials in Review: Top 5 Best and Worst

The 2011 Super Bowl ads were dominated by cars, TV shows, and movie trailers. Overall, I was disappointed with the quality of the commercials. It was obvious that advertising budgets have been slashed. Social media let me down, too. Only 2 commercials drove people to continue the commercial online, while a handful of brands displayed a Facebook and/or Twitter logo. I expected brands to promote their social media sites with calls to action in the commercial, much like the “Greatest Salesman in the World” from last year that drove viewers to continue viewing the story online. Chevy Cruze’s “Status” featured the new OnStar feature allowing you to check your Facebook status directly from the car. This is as good as social media got for the big show.

Did you notice Christina Aguilera’s flub during the National Anthem?

Here’s how the commercials break down:
2011 Super Bowl Commercials Breakdown

Most people agree that Doritos and Chrysler stole the show. Between “Pug Attack” and “The Best Part,” Doritos showed off the outskirts of humor in the first half. Trivia: Doritos was the most tweeted about brand during the Super Bowl, according to Tweet Beat. Chrysler’s “Imported from Detroit” featuring Eminem tugged at the heartstrings of anyone that’s been down on their luck or has gone through a hard time. I imagine that Detroit dwellers felt it the most.

Volkswagen and Chevrolet topped the charts for automakers through creativity and humor. The “Black Beetle” was a creative blend of “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” using beetles at ground level overlaid with Ram Jam’s “Black Betty” tune, introducing the new VW Beetle. “The Force” was a popular pre-Super Bowl Day ad released about a week ago and made a Twitter top tweeted brands before the big day. Chevy showed who’s boss with the Silverado “Tommy” commercial and “Misunderstanding” which debuted a Chevy Cruze at a retirement home.

Both E-Trade and Career Builder know that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is the way to go, leveraging the baby and monkeys in its commercials. The E-Trade commercial featuring the cat left the room laughing when the baby said, “I told you to get a flu shot.” Career Builder’s “Parking Lot” may have been the most satirical of the night. We’ve all been stuck between a job and a hard spot.

Bud Light hit home runs with several commercials, notably “Hack Job” and “Dog Sitter.” On the other hand, Budweiser didn’t live up to usual standards and had relatively flat ads that I don’t think I even remember. Let’s not even mention Stella Artois’ dismal “Crying Jean.”

The Coca-Cola vs. PepsiMax showdown was evident. Each took totally different directions in messaging this year. Coca-Cola’s “Border Crossing” was my favorite of those to choose from. I thought it was funny, but others thought it was stupid. Go figure. PepsiMax won the battle this year, in my opinion. “First Date” and “Love Hurts” were a hoot! Come on ladies, how many times do you wish you could shove a bar of soap in your mans’ mouth, or attempt to throw a can of soda at him for wandering eyes? Yep, thought so. “Torpedo Cooler” was great, too!

A few more commercials worth mentioning are Bridgestone’s “Carma” featuring a beaver who chops down a tree to stop a driver from continuing on a road into raging waters, Teleflora’s “Help me Faith” demonstrating how hard it is for men to come up with something heartfelt on Valentine’s Day, and NFL.com’s “Super Bowl Celebration” which included television highlight reels of shows featuring football snacks, jersey’s and games. Another commercial liked by many was Motorola Xoom’s “Empower the People.” And I can’t leave out HomeAway.com’s “Smush” (which I didn’t care for). I totally didn’t get Best Buy’s “Ozzy vs. Bieber” commercial, either.

Top 5 Best Commercials

Pepsi Max “Love Hurts”

Career Builder “Parking Lot”

eTrade “Cat”

Volkswagon “Black Beetle”

Bud Light “Hack Job”

Top 5 Worst Commercials
Stella Artois “Crying Jean”
Audi “Release the Hounds”
Snickers “Logging”
Groupon “Tibet”
Sketchers “Hello Shape up”

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