Most of them seemed to have been written by Sarah Palin, they were so dumb. Most of the ads were surprisingly lame, or had good premises and stupid endings. Many were quite hostile to women or suspiciously self-deprecating to men. I know it's the Super Bowl but guys, get over your hangups with women already. You are starting to sound like whiners.
I hated all the Bud Light ads except the one with the guys with the vocoder, the only funny one. The asteroid one is a total ripoff and not half as funny as an old Argentinian spot about an asteroid that's going to hit Earth and a guy decides to live it up big time (orgies included) and then the asteroid misses and he is in deep doodoo. That spot was brilliant; this one's retarded.
The one about that weird looking woman surreptitiously extolling the virtues of not having aborted her son was so weirdly creepy -- right to lifers trying to have a sense of humor -- that I had trouble wrapping my head around it. That woman was very distracting. She was like a spawn of Sarah Palin and one of the shrimps in District 9.
Here are my favorites:
• Kia: Big Game. Loved the toys getting down in Vegas, and it had a nice twist.
• Coke: Sleepwalker. Does not beat the Thanksgiving balloon spot which is one of my all time favorites, but it was among the few entertaining ads this year, plus it uses Ravel's Bolero nicely.
The Simpsons ad was funny and had some nice details (like the Warhol portrait of Mr. Burns) but we are in no mood to be nice to Mr. Burns. The Burnses of the world are not being nice to us. And as far as I can tell they are not getting any poorer. Can't make the Simpsons cloying. So can it, Coke.
• E-Trade. Although not as funny as other years, the jaded talking babies always crack me up. Milkoholic!
• Dove for men: loved the execution.
• Dr. Pepper: Little Kiss. So tacky you gotta love it.
• HomeAway: I saw the full version of the Chevy Chase/Bev D'Angelo spot in Hulu. Very funny, stupendous acting, but way too long, even for the internet.
• Career Builder: Casual Fridays. Not as good as last year's but still good, absurd deadpan. I miss FedEx.
• Monster: The beaver fiddler was sweet and funny.
• VW: Punchdub. Great execution, fun and fresh, if a tad aggressive. And the Stevie Wonder double punchline: overkill.
• Snickers. I like poor Abe Vigoda.
• Motorola with Megan Fox. I hate her but I liked the ad. A fun way to demonstrate product velocity.
• I am truly torn about the Google ad. It seems to me it inadvertently points out everything that is inhuman and intrusive about Google and everything that is bad about our interaction with computers, namely, that we don't ever see a human face interacting back with us. It does demonstrate the actual personal usefulness and potential of Google simply and powerfully, but even as it tries to tell a human story, it seemed rather cold to me.
In general, it was pretty underwhelming. But so happy that the Saints won.