Super Bowl 2011's Best Commercials

The Super Bowl isn’t just the biggest night of the year for football fans, it’s also TV advertising’s main event.

Possibly more entertaining than anything the NFL can come up with, this year’s crop of commercials featured everything from a helpful beaver to Justin Bieber. Despite their variety, most of the spots fit into one out of a few categories. Here’s the best of the groups.

Movie Trailers

Most of these movies are months away from hitting theatres, but that didn’t stop filmmakers from seeking future moviegoers. Animated parrot flick Rio and Steven Spielberg’s Super 8 stood out amongst early looks at movies including Kung Fu Panda 2, Captain America,Rango, Transformers: Dark Of The Moon, Thor, Mars Needs Moms, Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Fast Five, Battle: Los Angeles, and Limitless.


Gratuitous FOX-related advertising

There was no mistake what channel the game was on this year! Barely five minutes went by without mentioning the upcoming premiere of The Chicago Code or the Chevy-sponsored return of Glee. That didn’t stop some of these network plugs from being entertaining, though, especially one starring a modern-day Mean Joe Green, Dr. Gregory House.



Nothing gets people’s attention like an animal (or in Volkswagen’s case, a beetle) doing something unusual. One of the Bowl’s best commercials was that of a father grizzly celebrating his cub’s good grades with some McDonalds takeout.

Bridgestone tires showed us why it is always a good idea to brake for beavers.

Volkswagen’s speeding bug gets her own theme song.



The best ad ideas usually continue on to the next year. Budweiser’s Clydesdale horses continued the tradition by briefly appearing in this Western-themed spot.

“You’re not yourself when you’re hungry” is the message of a famous Snickers campaign, which featured Richard Lewis, Roseanne, and logging this year. monkeyed around in the parking lot this year.

The E*Trade baby is growing up, and so he needs a tailor for a new suit.


The Soda Wars Continue

In this year’s battle between Pepsi and Coca-Cola, Pepsi loses with their juvenile attempts at humor. One of the worst ads I’ve ever seen featured a man and a woman out on a date, complete with voiceovers of the typecasted snippy female and the sleazy stereotypical male. The best the company had to offer is this dumb revenge of the average guy.

However, Coca-Cola kept it classy with this peaceful time-out.



Some ads tugged at our heartstrings, like this Volkswagen Dad who gives his little Darth Vader “the force”.

And this romantic spot for the Motorola Zoom tablet has a cool 1984 theme, a sly jab at Apple’s famous groundbreaking ad and current electronic dominance.



Last year’s shock-collar spot was funny, so there were similar bites of offbeat humor this year. Despite a pointless sliding door sequel and a look at guy who goes to inappropriate lengths to get a taste of the snack, this spot featuring a neglectful house sitter was memorable.



Some ads would just be out of place on regular TV. This Best Buy commercial features Ozzy Osbourne and Justin Bieber in Tron-style suits, for no apparent reason.

Apparently, Chevy trucks have something in common with Lassie.

Bud Light’s most memorable moment was this party for dogs.

The NFL puts on an awesome Super Bowl party, featuring everyone from the cast of Happy Days to South Park.



There were many celebrity-fueled ads this year, but Eminem’s drive through Detroit gave the Chrysler 200 some style.

One of Janis Joplin’s hits plays on the radio of a runaway Mercedes Benz, in this funny spot featuring P. Diddy.


Sexism Continues

And now a message for advertisers: women watch the Super Bowl. Not all of us are insufferable stereotypes who live to put men down. We don’t live to be drooled over, and we don’t care what kind of sneakers Kim Kardashian wears. Furthermore, if you didn’t describe the driver in this Chevy Camaro ad as “hot”, then it might’ve been cool.

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