Let's face it; the commercials are almost always the best part of the Super Bowl. In fact, it's probably the only time where people Tivo-ing a show and then blow through the content to get to the commercials (instead of the other way around). This year's was a bit different; it was actually a game.
Here's my take on the commercials (note that these titles aren't official, it's just what I'm choosing to call them). I'm choosing to ignore the CBS ads; there wasn't much there there to review.
The ads that didn't suck:
McDonald's "Burger Wrapper Dryer Sheet" -- Cute, amusing, off beat.
Bud Light "Two Dogs" -- Unexpected, if sophomoric humor.
Bud Light "Bikini Wax" -- Amusing. Cedric the Entertainer was good casting.
Tostitos "The Wedding" -- Amusing with the best man breaking into tears.
Ford GT "The Racetrack" -- Very austere; nothing put the car driving really fast on a European style race track with a voiceover. Probably perfect for the target demographic (which doesn't include me).
Pepsi "Leftover Bear" -- Cute, a slyly subversive take on some of the identity issues going around these days.
HR Block "Willie Doll" -- Particularly ironic, given Willie Nelson's tax history.
Sierra Mist "Scottish Relief" -- Actually, I didn't like this at all until the kid at the end quipped "That's just wrong, dad".
Bud Light "Donkey Clydesdale" -- Cute enough. Not the best ad, but cute enough.
Mitsubishi "Accident Avoidance" -- Quickly got your attention, ended on a cliffhanger with a redirect to a website (which I'm sure was immediately farked out of existence). Well done.
Visa "Snow Volleyball" -- Loved it when the ball went into the water and they did Evens/Odds to see who had to go into the ice floes to get it back.
Chevy "Soap Bars" -- Great setup with a perfectly executed payoff.
Lays "Bag Race" -- The competitive spirit lives!
Wachovia "Free Air" -- Nice nostalgia pull for when air at all gas stations was still free.
Expedia "Magique" -- I liked the pseudo-Cirque Du Soleil reference.
Staples "Supply Godfather" -- This one worked for me, but I'm a fan of the Sopranos.
Gillette "The Best" -- Black and White was a nice touch, particularly with all the iconic sports references clicking through.
Cadillac "Desert Water" -- Good special effects, definitely a high end commercial.
Budweiser "Lipstick" -- Very cute, converges with the Ford GT ads.
Busch "Designated Driver" -- Nice, responsible ad. Not one of the better ones, but not horrible either.
Mastercard "The Simpsons" -- Well, I've thought the Simpsons were one of the best show on TV for years. This perfectly captured Groening's sense of humor in the context of the Priceless ad series.
AOL "Top Speed Car" -- Nice reference to Back To The Future.
Nextel "Earnhardt" -- While I detest that Nextel chirpy thingie, this was amusing.
Busch "We ID" -- Another nice, responsible ad.
Truth "Glass Pops" -- While this was another ad from a tobacco company proselytizing people not to smoke, it was a funny one.
7-Up "Slam Dunk" -- Laugh out loud funny.
Subway "Be Bad" -- It was the "sorries" at the end (Wang Chung, the coffee in the laps of the bad tippers, etc,) that worked for me.
Cadillac "Break Through" -- Continuing with the Desert Water theme, picking up where the last commercial left off.
Anti Drug "Help Them" -- The music was very reminiscent of Mark Snow's work on the X-Files, so that worked for me.