02.07.11 2:15 AM ET
The 20 Best Super Bowl Commercials
Volkswagen: Young Vader
Is it time to crown 2011's best Super Bowl commercial? Because this one has the force: In this Volkswagen spot, a tiny Darth Vader learns the powers of the dark side—and technology.
Audi: Prison Break
Is there anything better than luxury cars andKenny G? Audi employs the king of smooth jazz to tame inmates at a luxury prison during a prison break. With music as pretty as his ringlets, his music casts a spell on the prisoners, though one lucky inmate escapes with a car.
GoDaddy: New GoDaddy.Com Girl
Betcha didn't see that one coming: GoDaddy's not so subtle advertising tactics spotlighted the new "it” girl—and her assets. While this ad wasn't banned like last year's, the big reveal was still a shocker. Danica Patrick and Jillian Michaels present: Joan Rivers, GoDaddy's newest ad maven.
Pepsi: Love Hurts
Along with Doritos, Pepsi asked consumers to submit ideas for Super Bowl spots in the Crash the Super Bowl contest, and the folks behind this one feel your pain: If you've been hiding your bad eating habits from a petulant spouse, Pepsi Max has a guilt-free drink for you. Bonus: The can doubles as a weapon.
Best Buy: Ozzy vs. Bieber
What's a Bieber? The Best Buy spot is déjà vu for Ozzy Osbourne, who asked a PG-13 version of this question in an interview. As if the rocker and wife Sharon didn't find a 6G network confounding enough, now they have a new music star to contend with.
HomeAway: Ministry of Detourism
When the baby hits the fan: HomeAway, a vacation home rental company, introduces the "minister of detourism,” who reveals a family vacation gone terribly awry when a baby is launched into a window. Oh, yes, they did.
While nothing can replace 2010's Betty White spot, Roseanne Barr getting slammed—literally—still entertains. Snickers takes the same scenario as the hit commercial and applies it lumberjacks, with comedian Richard Lewis as an additional stand-in.
Budweiser: Wild West
No frogs here: On the brink of a Wild West shootout, a cowboy enters a bar and a bottle of Bud comes to his rescue. The scenario takes an unexpected turn when, after taking a sip, he bursts into song and gets the entire bar to join in for a rousing rendition of Elton John's "Tiny Dancer.”
Volkswagon: Black Beetle
When Volkswagen isn't using mini Star Wars characters for advertising, the company goes for a more literal interpretation of its products. Enter the baddest bug in the forest—a little black beetle with a whole lot of speed.
Doritos: Best for Last
For the Crash the Super Bowl contest, Doritos and Pepsi asked consumers to submit commercial ideas, and this one shows that you're mistaken if you think the best part of eating Doritos is the chips themselves. This spot demonstrates that getting Doritos crumbs on your fingers and clothes may end badly.
The local car dealership—Al's Chevy, in this case—might seem unassuming, until it's invaded by Transformers. Chevrolet capitalizes on the blockbuster movie, with a cameo from Bumblebee in a would-be standard car dealership commercial gone all Michael Bay.
Cars.com: Go First
Leave the decisions to the experts: Cars.com, the search engine for car shopping, demonstrates why you should sometimes leave things up to the hired help. Case in point: A king's taste tester takes the fall.
Hyundai: Car Wash
Philosophical messages usually aren't fodder for Super Bowl commercials, but Hyundai wants the masses to snap out of complacency…in a car wash. The car company doesn't want you to "obey” the status quo anymore—as long as you keep buying cars.
Pepsi fulfills the nerd revenge fantasy in this spot. The cool kids invade a backyard party and taunt a helpless nerd until a friendly rebel lends a hand with a device that turns previously benign cans into torpedoes—and shoots them at man's most vulnerable body part.
Bud Light: Severance Package
It's no easy task to land a job these days, so what would drive a group of unruly employees to intentionally piss off their boss? One heck of a severance package, like a case of Bud Light. Watch the office lemmings run wild.
Doritos: Healing Chips
Not only are Doritos delicious, but they also possess the power of reincarnation, or at least in this ad, when a 20-something is left to take care of his roommate's pet fish. The fish dies and is brought back to life—along with grandpa—with the dregs of a bag of chips.
Skechers: Kim Kardashian
Kim Kardashian is never one to shy away from showing her assets, and her Skechers commercial is no exception. The Kardashian with the mostest breaks some bad news to her trainer—that she's passing up workouts for new kicks—in a scant gym outfit, natch.
Groupon: Save the Money
All in the name of a deal: Groupon's 2011 spot starts off as a serious PSA about the ailing culture of Tibet and quickly devolves into an ad that weighs the importance of cheap fish curry against weightier matters…and the curry wins.
This mattress commercial shows couples falling into bed—looking rather content—as a voice sings "just a little loving, early in the morning.” Sealy just about gets up to speed with the tag line "Whatever you do in bed, Sealy supports it”—save for leaving out gay couples in the spot.
Stella Artois: Crying Crooner
Women watching Adrien Brody croon in a smoky bar are brought to tears by the actor's song in Stella Artois' 2011 spot. But the only thing more melancholy than the women is Brody's empty beer—the true object of his affection.