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The 10 Best Commercials of the 2012 Super Bowl

By Dustin Rowles | Lists | February 6, 2012 |

By Dustin Rowles | Lists | February 6, 2012 |

Giants 21. Patriots 17.

Having lived in New England for 15 years now, I suppose I should feel some sort of regional affection for the Patriots. On the other hand, I’ve lived around New England fans for 15 years, so I don’t feel too bad. Still, New England fans after a Super Bowl loss are only slightly less insufferable than New England fans who have won the Super Bowl, so it’s not like I’m gaining much.

As for the game: As Super Bowl goes, it was entertaining. I’ll leave the rest of the prognosticating to the blowhard experts, who will spend the next three days saying the same thing with many, many more words.

As for the halftime show? Whatever. It was fine. For a 53-year-old woman, I thought she acquitted herself nicely, although I cannot say the same for the thousands of old lady jokes that flooded Twitter during her performance. Christ, people. Why is it a 53-year-old woman is mocked for her age while the likes of Jagger, Petty, Prince, and Springsteen are spared geriatric jokes. You’d have thought it was Betty White on stage if all you had to go on were the remarks from social networks. Fifty-three years old or not, she could still wipe the floor with most of us, and steal a lot of goddamn husbands.

And what of the commercials? They might have played better a decade ago, but most Super Bowl commercials are hitting the same tired notes year after year, and as far as creativity goes, the Internet is far superior. But if you’re paying $4 million for 30 seconds, I suppose you wouldn’t want to risk alienating consumers with “interesting” commercials. There was a lot of 80s and 90s nostalgia, but I reckon that’s a step up from 70’s nostalgia. There were no risky commercials; there was nothing edgy. There were no 1984 ads; hell, there were no ads that even approached last year’s “The Force” spot by Volkswagen. However, overall, I was more impressed with those that played up sentiment over humor, in part because the humor fell so flat this year. What was missing was a good Chrome ad.

Here are, for better or worse, the ten best spots of the Super Bowl. Quibble away.

10. Audi — Vampire Party: What appeared initially to be an ad that cashed-in on the Twilight/vampire craze ultimately sent it up in a lightly humorous fashion.

9. Career Builder — Monkeys: For the most part, the monkeys outplayed the dogs this year, although the Bud Light “Here We Go” dog might have placed if that ad weren’t for Budweiser. That’s disqualifying.

8. Camry — The Camry Effect: I am a sucker for sentiment, and this one tried to push all the same buttons the Chrome ads do, only not as well. Not bad, though.

7. Honda CRV — Ferris Bueller: What do you want? It was a bad crop of ads. Yes, it sucks to see Ferris Bueller shilling for Honda, but then again, it’s kind of cool to see Ferris Bueller. This one might have played better had it not been all over the Internet a week ago, however.

6. Chevy Silverado — The Mayan Calendar Apocalypse — I had the unfortunate experience of being forced to watch the Super Bowl this year with honest-to-God senior citizens. None of them understood this ad, or what this whole Mayan calendar thing is. In fact, this ad kind of pissed them off, which of course made me appreciate it even more.

5. Oikus Yogurt — John Stamos headbutt — Plus 10 points for head-butting John Stamos; another 10 points for the element of surprise.

4. Volkswagen — The Dog Strikes Back — The dog was cute, and it didn’t talk or fetch beer or run in a silly race. Darth Vader put it over the top.

3. Samsung — The Darkness — The Darkness should not be doing Super Bowl commercials, and no one will be fooled by the ad into actually buying a Samsung phone, but it was fun and Brian Urlacher sealed it.

2. Chrysler — Eastwood — Not as good as Eminem’s ad, but damn if Eastwood can’t prey upon my latent patriotism. However, I wish the senior citizens I’d watched it with hadn’t suggested that the ad should’ve ended with “This message was approved by Mitt Romney” because, f*ck you, that’s why.

1. Kia — Dream Car — If you’re going to insist on 80s/90s nostalgia, I at least appreciate that they used Motley Crue.