Let's start with this year's random, unexpected trends, like women being tackled. Betty White was knocked through the mud in a funny ad for Snickers, which emphasized that "you're not you when you're hungry."
Tim Tebow took his mother Pam down in an ad for Focus on the Family. This ad never outright mentioned its pro-life message; instead, it directed viewers to Focus on the Family's Web site to watch the Tebow's full story. It's tough convincing eyeballs to transition from the TV to the computer. GoDaddy offers scantily clad women and faces an uphill battle.
What happened to men's pants this year? Everyone was pantless. A user-generated ad for Careerbuilder.com took casual Fridays to a bra and underwear level. This ad was swiftly followed by a Docker's ad where pantless men walked proudly through a field.
I thought the pantless hump was finished until I saw an ad for Coca-Cola with a man sleepwalking in the jungle to his refrigerator of Coke. At least this guy was pantless and asleep.
There were a few decent Super Bowl ads. Here are the highlights. Google. Proof positive that simplicity works. A sweet love story is told through Google's search function. The ad begins with queries for a study abroad program in Paris. Local cafes are researched, words are translated from French to English, advice for long-distance relationships is found, a career change takes place, as does a wedding and crib assembly.
CBS gave viewers 15 seconds of comedic bliss. The ad was a take on a 2007 Super Bowl ad where Letterman and Oprah buried the hatchet. This year's Super Bowl viewing party had an additional guest: Jay Leno. "This is the worst Super Bowl party ever," quips Letterman to Oprah. "Well, he's just saying that because I'm here," responds Leno, a man in need of image repair. This was a good first step for him.
TruTv packaged Pittsburgh Steeler Troy Polamalu into a groundhog named Punxsutawney Polamalu who saw his shadow, thereby offering football fans six additional weeks of football.
Hyundai aged Brett Favre 10 years, had him still playing football, and still indecisive on retirement plans, in an effort to promote Hyundai Sonata's 10-year/100,000-mile warranty. Score!
Who wasn't rooting for Monster.com's fiddle-playing beaver to break out of his rut and find a new job? I know I was.
Why did so many ads portray men, the majority of their Super Bowl Sunday audience, as weak, spineless and almost pathetic?
The two worst offenders were Dodge Charger and Flo TV. Dodge Charger has a running narrator detailing the sacrifices a man makes on a daily basis, which allows him to drive the car of his choice: a Charger. He will listen to your opinion of his friends, be civil to your mother, put the seat down and carry your lip balm, among other duties.
Then there's Flo TV. Boasting a name on par with the iPad, the company follows Jim Nantz as he trails a couple shopping at the mall. According to Nantz, our character had his spine removed by his girlfriend, rendering him incapable of watching football, but capable of smelling candles.
Bud Light, Coca-Cola, Doritos and Bridgestone, I expected so much more out of you.
The only Bud Light ad I really enjoyed was the "Lost" parody, where those stranded chose between leaving the island and drinking the Bud Light from the beverage cart.
I love "The Simpsons," but this Coca-Cola ad didn't do it for me. I was expecting ads on par with "Heist" and "It's Mine." Even Coke's most recent, non-Super Bowl spot, "Finals," fared better with me.
The novelty of user-created Doritos ads has run its course. It's time to move on.
Megan Fox in a bathtub for Motorola did nothing but give me traumatic flashbacks to the season finale of "Dexter." Just the sight of a bathtub brings me back to the finale.
What were your favorite and least favorite ads?