Monday, February 7, 2011

My Top 5 Favorite Super Bowl Ads of 2011 -- Plus, The First Avenger!

Personally, I find the whole concept of the million-dollar Super Bowl commercial spot way overblown. I mean, they're good . . . but they're not that good. Still, every year I do something very un-Batista like when I'm watching the big Sunday game, and that's: not using the Tivo buffer to fast-forward past all the commercials. Fast-forwarding through the commercials is a time-honored tradition in the Batista household. It's been going on since we got our first Tivo box back in 2001. This is up there as one of the best inventions of all time! And ever since I've been unable to watch normal, un-DVR'd tv again.

But on Super Bowl Sunday I revert back to the prehistoric agony of the 1990s. I actually force myself to watch every single commercial break. Like I said, it's not because I think that Super Bowl ads are God's gift to television or anything. No, I do it just so I can stay abreast and relevant of pop culture. Because, invariably, some of these commercials will be the talk of the office for the next week or so.

Now, with all that in mind then, allow me to present what I personally thought were the Top 5 commercials that aired last night. That's 5 out of a whopping 68 unique commercial spots! Some of these aired for the first time in America, while others were leaked onto the Net a few days prior. The top spot, for instance, was released an entire week before the big game. Wow, talk about impatient! Or maybe they just knew they had hit a home run out the park with this one, and realized that it wouldn't hurt to generate a little pre-game buzz?

Whatever the case may be, listed below in descending order from great to superior are my Top 5 picks.

5)  The NFL's "Best Fans Ever."
I'm always a sucker for nostalgic commercials--particularly nostalgic commercials about TV or movie culture. This one was quite cleverly put together, with one show smoothly transitioning to another in a manner which might make one believe it was deliberate (take the Family Matters/Brady Bunch transition, for instance). Seeing all of these familiar and very iconic scenes dressed up in some of the NFL's finest fan pageantry was just the icing on the cake. My favorite part of the entire commercial? The South Park nod at the very end, with Cartman sputtering out of breath as he struggles to keep up with his friends. LOL!

4) Bridgestone Tires.
Normally I hate commercials with anthropomorphic animals. I was never too hot on those stupid Budweiser frog/lizard commercials from way back when, for example. But something about this particular one, involving a man and . . . a beaver, hits just the right tone of sentiment and absurdity which I found nicely done. Also, I love cyclical themes in writing--even in commercials! This ad perfectly encapsulates the saying: "What goes around, comes around."

3) Coca-Cola's "Border Patrol."
Now, this is an example of the type of commercial I love. Something that's clever yet endearing all at the same time. Coke really knows how to tug at the heartstrings just right with their ads, going back to the whole Polar Bears motif that started it all way back in the day. The brotherly love between even two supposed "enemies" fighting on opposite sides is a classic theme we've seen before, but I love the solution that is finally reached near the end of this particular commercial. Also, I love the attention to detail with the costuming--although I'm not exactly sure of the intended setting. Anyway, this to me was the best of the beverage-themed commercials last night. Usually Budweiser is the champ on Super Bowl Sunday, but this year their offering just didn't quite reach the bar the way Coke's spot does. And let's not even talk about their slate of yawn-inducing Bud Lite ads which also aired last night. Ugh!

2) Chrysler 200.
Although I would probably never drive a Chrysler myself, I always admired their classic dependable car designs. What I love the most about this ad, however, is the much-needed love shown to our slowly rebounding American auto industry. It particularly reads as an open letter of appreciation and solidarity to the Motor City, which I believe has been long in the wanting. I've never been to Detroit, but it's a city after my own heart. I'm always drawn to down and dirty urban settings due to growing up in the South Bronx during its most tumultuous times in the mid-70s to early 80s. To me, the people of Detroit are like kindred spirits. And who better to (pardon the pun) drive this love home than one of Detroit's most iconic and successful sons? Maybe some of you might not agree with me placing this in the 2nd spot. But I don't care. This commercial is all class, baby!

1) Volkswagen Passat.
The Force is strong in this one! Any self-respecting sci-fi geek has to love this commercial! If not, your membership card shall have to be revoked. Sorry, thems the breaks. This is the ad which was leaked super early, much to the chagrin of some Super Bowl ad purists out there. But to those of you who might have been surfing the Web heavily in the past week or so, you've no doubt already seen this. Still, call me crazy, it easily trumps out ALL the other commercials aired last night. No doubt about it! My favorite "money" moment of the entire spot is when the kid does the double take near the end. Ah-ha-ha-ha, priceless!

If you would like to check out the entire roster of 2011 Super Bowl commercials, then click on this link.

If you noticed, I didn't include any of the much-touted movie teaser spots which also aired last night. And there were quite a few of 'em! I just think it's cheating in a ways, since films only need to truncate an already existing (or soon to be so) longer movie trailer and throw it up for normal television consumption. There's very little artistry and humor involved.

However, I would be remiss if I didn't put up what I believe was the absolute best of the coming attractions spots from last night. To whit: Captain America: The First Avenger. I could wax on and on about just why this little glimpse at the upcoming Summer blockbuster is the shiznit, but I've done enough talking for now. Time to allow the footage to do all the work. Enjoy!


Yvonne said...

Are you kidding? That's the ONLY reason I watch the Superbowl, for the commercials! lol Best one I thought, Darth and best movie preview, Captain America. -Everything else was a haze. :)

David Batista said...

As you can see, I agree with you! Those really were the best spots of the night.

Glad to see someone else has good taste around here. :)

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