What was your favorite Super Bowl commercial?

Four Corners

February 09, 2010

Dodge flexes its muscle
Steve Johnson

Chicago Tribune

The best ad was for the Dodge Charger. The clever, self-mocking script listed the many accommodations domesticated men make: "I will put the seat down," "I will watch your vampire TV shows with you," and so on. And because of this, it concluded, "I will drive the car I want to drive," positing the reborn Charger muscle car as "Man's Last Stand."

Why it worked: It was cleverly written, and the visuals - a series of men staring blankly at the camera - were arresting.

Honorable mentions: Volkswagen neatly spun a spot off of the "Punch Buggy" car game, in which a kid who spots a Beetle gets to punch his car mate. And Audi's "Green Police" spot had droll plays on common environmental-police scenarios. When's the last time the usually pro forma car-advertising category had three of the top ads?


Letterman ad is spot-on
Keith Groller

The Morning Call

The best Super Bowl commercials combine celebrity, comedy, surprise and a hot topic. Using those criteria, the one that stood out was the surprise of David Letterman, Oprah Winfrey and Jay Leno sitting on a couch with the moping Letterman setting the scene perfectly in his Colts jersey, muttering among Leno's nacho-crunching.

It's also nice to get a blast from the past - and the Snickers spot with Betty White and Abe Vigoda delivered that, although it took one rewind for me to get that White was supposed to be a broken-down male player and not herself.

I also got a chuckle out of Larry Bird showing up at the end of the dunking duel between LeBron James and Dwight Howard in an ode to his famous McDonald's battle with Michael Jordan.


Shocking bit of history
Paul Doyle

Hartford Courant

It was all of 15 seconds, with no special effects, talking babies or titillating subtext.

Yet the spot for "The Late Show with David Letterman" was the best commercial on Super Bowl Sunday, and there wasn't even a close second. Putting Oprah Winfrey on a couch between show business rivals Letterman and Jay Leno was a piece of a pop-culture history that transcended a simple commercial.

And the most startling part of the entire story was the surprise. The Letterman spot was filmed five days before it aired and somehow was kept under wraps. So when we all caught it for the first time, there was the initial shock of seeing Leno and Letterman together before the joke delivered.

All the other attempts at humor seemed contrived next to the kings of late night partnering in the name of comedy.


A welcome truce
Hal Boedeker

Orlando Sentinel

The David Letterman spot for CBS was the night's stunner. Super Bowl ads are so heavily previewed that it's great to see something come out of nowhere and get everyone talking.

When I first saw the ad, I thought it might be a trick. Could longtime rivals Letterman and Jay Leno have been in the same room? Why, yes. Leno wore a disguise to sneak into the Ed Sullivan Theater and pull off Letterman's idea.

Letterman has delivered before: His 2007 ad with an affectionate Oprah Winfrey was the best one that year. She was back this year, mediating between a bickering Leno and Letterman.

The spot represents a great moment for show business, a fun bit of TV lore and a welcome truce in the late-night wars. Johnny Carson would be proud.


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