02.06.12 12:47 PM ET
Pepsi, Adriana Lima, David Beckham: Best 2012 Super Bowl Commercials (VIDEO)
Clint Eastwood Bucks Our Spirits
Don’t mess with Clint Eastwood—or the American auto industry. Chrysler Group earned raves for its spot, called “Halftime in America,” in which the actor narrates a two-minute ad trumpeting the resilience of the American economy. “We find a way through times,” Eastwood said. “Detroit’s showing it can be done. And what’s true about them is true about all of us.”
Pepsi: King’s Court
Pepsi, always known for its star-studded commercials, this year featured Elton John as a high-heeled king who withholds the soda from his subjects. At least until The X Factor winner Melanie Amaro sings a crowd-pleasing rendition of Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” and takes the Pepsi for herself, banishing the king to the dungeons. He won’t be lonely in his imprisonment, though, as rapper Flavor Flav turns out to be a fellow prisoner.
John Stamos seductively eats yogurt in a kitchen before being knocked out by his female companion, who would rather eat the yogurt herself than flirt with him. That nicely sums up the Oikos Greek-yogurt ad. This snack is just that good.
A bunch of greyhounds prepare for a dog race before a late entry, Mr. Quiggley, arrives, wearing Skechers sneakers on all four paws. Once the race begins, Mr. Quiggley, a bulldog, quickly pulls ahead of the pack before moonwalking across the finish line and grinning at the camera.
It starts out like an ad for Victoria’s Secret, with Adriana Lima seductively dressing in front of a bouquet of flowers. But then she reminds guys that Valentine’s Day is not complicated: give, and you shall receive. Regardless of whether they remember Teleflora, most men probably will remember to give their girlfriends flowers this Valentine’s Day.
Beckham’s Body Wear
With the Super Bowl having an audience made up largely of males, we couldn’t be certain how well David Beckham’s new commercial for H&M body wear would go over with Sunday’s spectators. The black-and-white ad features a toned and tattooed Beckham showing off his soccer physique in nothing but white Skivvies. The line of men’s body wear is now on sale in nearly 2,000 H&M stores.
Matthew Broderick’s Day Off
Possibly the most controversial Super Bowl spot, Matthew Broderick’s Ferris Bueller–inspired ad features the now middle-aged actor revisiting the film that made him a young superstar. Broderick told New York magazine that he hesitated in accepting the role. “I guess I’m part of a virus,” he said in regard to the nearly 5 million views the two-and-a-half-minute commercial has gained on YouTube. But some Bueller fanatics were less than pleased with the changes made to accommodate the ad, namely the switch from a Ferrari to a minivan and the fact that it wasn’t shot in Chicago.
The Bark Side
With nearly 50 million views, last year’s undisputed Super Bowl commercial champ champ was Volkswagen’s “The Force” ad, featuring a pint-size Darth Vader using the Force when he discovers dad’s new Passat in the driveway. This year Volkswagen sticks with the Star Wars theme to release “The Bark Side,” consisting of a canine chorus howling a memorable tune.
Mysterious Ms. Lima
Adriana Lima got a lot of love this year. The teaser for this Kia commercial featured nothing more than a scantily clad Lima waving a racing flag in slow motion with the tag “See you Sunday” and the ironically innocent “Mr. Sandman” track accompanying the brief footage. That would have been enough for Teleflora, but Kia took this dream sequence a step further for the actual TV spot. The full-length commercial includes an appearance by Mötley Crüe, a man riding a rhinoceros, and countless other women in bikinis. Reportedly there’s also an extended version that features nothing but Lima waving the flag—for five hours straight.
The Best Man
This year marks the fifth that E-Trade was to feature a talking baby in its Super Bowl commercial. Known for his chubby cheeks and extensive vocabulary, this E-Trade baby is playing best man at a wedding and saving the groom from the wrath of his soon-to-be father-in-law by explaining E-Trade’s new investing dashboard.
This 60-second spot for Audi features an interesting way to get rid of a vampire problem, no stakes or flames involved. The past decade has shed light on America’s puzzling vampire obsession, but this Audi ad gives us the satisfaction of seeing the undead demolished. The ad, which highlights Audi’s LED headlights as the living-dead killer, spoofs the Twilight franchise and features vampires sipping on packets of blood, a keg of type O, and racing up evergreen trees. We know sex sells just about everything, and apparently so do vampires.