What was your favorite Super Bowl commercial?

February 08, 2011

Bridgestone's beaver

Dom Amore

Hartford Courant

First, a confession: I've never completely bought into the Super Bowl commercials hype. I've always seen it as brilliant, but transparent, commercial-for-the-commercial, to make us pay attention instead of going to the remote, the john or the buffet area.

But rather than be left out of water cooler conversations, I do sneak a peek. Nothing Sunday really jumped out; it won't go down as a great game for commercials. Danica Patrick has no more shock value. The one ad that did get me to say, 'oh, that was cool,' was Bridgestone's "carma," in which a guy swerves to avoid a beaver, then six months later the same beaver knocks down a tree to keep him from driving onto a washed-out bridge.

It was warm, fuzzy and funny, tasteful and, most important, effective. I'm talking about Bridgestone's product this morning, am I not?

damore@tribune.com

In praise of Doritos' pug

Hal Boedeker

Orlando Sentinel

My favorite spot featured the Doritos pug, who was lovingly photographed like a glamorous Hollywood star.

The ad had a straightforward underdog story: A man behind a glass door teases the dog. The dog gets its revenge by knocking down the door and flattening the man. The dog wants those chips.

There was a good story behind the commercial too: It was part of the Crash the Super Bowl contest that allowed the public to submit spots for Pepsi Max and Doritos. There's a big payoff for JR Burningham, the web designer behind the Doritos ad. He will collect $1 million from Frito-Lay, Doritos' parent company.

Super Bowl Sunday is about winning the big prize. There's something so right about a Super Bowl commercial yielding a big prize.

hboedeker@tribune.com

McDonald's, Chrysler tie

Diane Pucin

Los Angeles Times

I have to cheat here and offer two favorites.

The first is the bear who takes her kid bears on a trip to McDonald's for fries because they got good grades. OK, that might not be the healthiest way to reward good behavior, but, heck, it's what my mom did sometimes. And the Eminem salute to his hometown, Detroit, through Chrysler, was as good as a mini-documentary. Could he expand on that? Maybe if I'm Chrysler I'd have preferred more of the car to have been celebrated, but clearly Eminem has strong feelings for his roots and that transferred over to Chrysler. And the production value? Wow. The film noir-ish mood made the spot edgy, but the chorus at the end made it feel traditional.

Most of the spots I liked had a family theme. Or animals. Or a family of animals. Might be time to take the dogs to McDonalds.

dpucin@tribune.com

Lewis best use of celeb

Steve Johnson

Chicago Tribune

With its masterful storytelling, the VW Darth Vader spot was perhaps technically more admirable. But there was no ad I enjoyed more than Richard Lewis playing a lumberjack for Snickers.

Seeing the hipster comic give Hollywood attitude — "I'm just not feeling the wood-cutting thing today" — in a Hollywood suit amid giant felled logs was an inspired example of casting a celebrity against his image for humor. It was funny again when eating a Snickers turned Lewis back into a woodsman. .

With Ozzy Osbourne, the Bieber, Faith Hill, Kenny G and Adrien Brody being trotted out, who would have thought Lewis and Eminem (for Chrysler) would be the only two celebs put to really good use?

sajohnson@tribune.com

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