So for years I’ve watched the Super Bowl for the commercials. This year, I thought I’d give you my 2 cents about the creativity and marketing value of each of the national (and non-CBS-promo) commercials that ran during from kickoff to final play, each in a sentence or two. A few hits, mostly misses, not many repeats, but overall not very inspiring. You can watch any of the commercials again here. Let me know your thoughts (and if I missed any!).

  • Hyundai Sonata. Gorgeous car, great mpg, on-brand message (except the one where the people carry the car through the office). Not particularly creative, but I remember them.
  • Focus on the Family. Was this what all the hype was about? Tim Tebow’s commercial was almost invisible. I nearly missed it.
  • Robin Hood. A typical movie trailer with bad typography in the credits.
  • Go Daddy. More of the same, but less revealing than before?
  • Bud Light series. The house was ok. T-Pain was a little better. The book club, not so much. The fake “Lost” plane crash was the best of the set.
  • Monster.com. A fiddling beaver? Ok, I guess, but the timeline was hard to follow.
  • Doritos. The fan-created series was hit or miss. The funeral version was the best – quite funny.
  • Bridgestone. I didn’t like either of them. No real explanation what they had to do with tires. Very poor brand message.
  • Skechers. Did they even try? And was it necessary to type the entire voiceover on the screen?
  • Boost Mobile. Will enough of the audience remember the 1986 Chicago Bears for this to make sense?
  • Budweiser (human bridge). Ouch. Is beer REALLY that important?
  • Shutter Island. Yep. A movie commercial.
  • Late Show. Ok, I know I said “non-CBS” but this one I couldn’t ignore. Dave. Oprah. And Jay? HOW did they pull THAT off?
  • CareerBuilder. “Expose yourself to something better?” No thanks. I’ll keep my clothes on, thanks.
  • Dockers. Another commercial without pants? Um, ok. Interesting concept, but suffered running after the Career Builder spot.
  • Hyundai. Great use of Brett Favre in the future to emphasize the longevity of their cars.
  • Dove for Men. Great — albeit borrowed — comedic use of the William Tell Overture. Kept my attention.
  • Dodge Charger. “I will carry your lip balm.” Man’s Last Stand was a great payoff. Nicely done.
  • Teleflora. Makes the point well that live flowers are better.
  • Papa Johns Pizza. Nice (fake?) behind-the-scenes-with-the-owner-at-the-game, but not very memorable.
  • Alice in Wonderland. Fun. Depp. But from Disney?
  • Dr Pepper. A little “Kiss”? Oh brother.
  • TruTv. A little Polamalu? The payoff was too complicated.
  • Universal Orlando. Yawn. Even my kids weren’t impressed.
  • FloTV. Jim Nantz is an excellent touch. Love the bras over the shoulder.
  • Intel. The payoff contradicts the message of the commercial. Not good. (Poor robot.)
  • FloTV (again). Made its point, but not sure I’m comfortable showing a pile of the most serious moments of the last few decades to sell a product.
  • The Who halftime show. Yes, I know, it wasn’t an ad. Or was it? 3 of their songs are the theme music for CBS’ CSI series. Deftly played. (And no wardrobe malfunctions!)
  • Prince of Persia. A movie trailer that looks intriguing, with a dagger that facilitates time travel.
  • Motorola. Funny way of showing just another smart phone.
  • VW. Stevie Wonder does a punch-buggie. “How do you DO that?” Great revival of the old VW game.
  • Dennys. Screaming chickens = packed Dennys.
  • Michelob Light. As much as I love Lance, this commercial was invisible.
  • HomeAway.com. Love the Griswalds. Makes the point.
  • KGB. A good service. A horrible name.
  • Coke. A sleepwalker traverses Africa to get a Coke, to the strains of “Bolero”? Fun and visually captivating. But wouldn’t the caffeine wake him up?
  • E-trade. The talking babies are losing their luster.
  • Census. Dumb. A waste of good acting talent (and, I presume, our tax dollars).
  • Google. Great demo. Beautiful sound bed. Nice music. But I really wanted to see Paris at the end.
  • Kia Sorento. The road trip that toys dream about. Fun. I love it.
  • RoundUp. Really? The same commercial we’ve seen a million times?
  • Bud 55. I guess the music helps. A little.
  • NFL.com. Nice soundtrack. Captivating super-duper-slo-mo. Great images.
  • Vizio. A good way to show everything the technology could do, but I wonder how it works?
  • Emerald Nuts/Pop Secret. Strange. Just strange. I have no desire to eat either of these as a result of this commercial.
  • Dantes Inferno. I’m not the audience for this video game, but a great cinematic short.
  • Budweiser Clydesdales. Same song. 17th verse. At least they kept my attention.
  • Honda Crosstour. Great illustration style, but the connection just isn’t clear.
  • Dennys. Can you hear a chicken scream in space? Is the president a chicken? Inquiring minds need to know!
  • Audi A3. Controversy about the Green Police aside, it’s fun and makes the point well. But why the anteater?
  • Taco Bell. “Not the best ever” says my 16-year-old son. I agree.

My favorite? Either the Kia Sorento or the Dodge Charger. The Dodge does a better job of closing the sale. What’s your favorite?

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