Super Bowl's Best and Worst Ads as It's Lights out on the 2012 NFL Season

Josh FriedmanContributor IIIFebruary 4, 2013

Joe Flacco leads Baltimore to the city's sixth NFL title.
Joe Flacco leads Baltimore to the city's sixth NFL title.Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Quick, someone check the circuit breakers at MetLife Stadium. We good?

Wow, who saw that coming? In a season that began with replacement refs, the buttoned-up, corporate NFL went off script again with a 34-minute power outage in its final game. And like an overwhelmed tennis player who regroups during a rain delay or faux injury timeout, the San Francisco 49ers surged back and made it one of the better Super Bowls.

The unprecedented second halftime was a ratings boon for CBS. Really, it’s not such a bad thing to see a $1B corporation look human. Of mice and men, right? It’s like when a Saturday Night Live cast member can’t stop laughing or says a bad word; it’s nice to be reminded that you’re watching live television.

Maybe it was voodoo for Commissioner Roger Goodell suspending all those New Orleans players and coaches. Anyways, below are some thoughts on the game and the ads:

1. Baltimore sure is lucky that first-half fake field goal didn’t come back to bite them. 

2. Is there a bigger baby in sports than Jim Harbaugh? Sans blackout, Baltimore would’ve run the Niners out of the stadium. Harbaugh should be thankful he even had a chance to win at the end considering how flat his team came out in the biggest game of their lives.

3. There may be famine, plagues, and wars across the globe, but God took time out to help Ray Lewis win another Super Bowl.

4. The Philadelphia Eagles (4-12) beat the eventual Super Bowl champions in Week 2.

And now, five good Super Bowl spots, three awful ones:

1. Dodge Ram. It was a good day for Paul Harvey and Dodge. This spot was like a beautiful film that just happened to be a commercial. You could feel the people and the land in this spot. These are the people frequently dismissed as living in “flyover country” that just so happen to be the backbone of our country. One nitpick: it would’ve been a better spot for John Deere, but, hey, they didn’t think of it.

2. Budweiser. Yes, it was sappy, but so what? Seeing the love between a man and his horse was touching. It was definitely a step up in class from many of younger brother Bud Light’s infantile Super Bowl spots of yore.

3. Best Buy. This was Amy Poehler being her funny self. A Best Buy commercial just happened to be the vehicle for it. Why can’t all commercials with famous people be this good? Samsung, I’m talking to you.

4. Got milk? This spot had fun with The Rock...excuse me, Dwayne Johnson. He embraced the action-movie actor that he is and showed us what he’d go through to get his kids some milk. I particularly liked when the robbers came out of the bank and he let them go in order to stay on his milk-fetching mission.

5. Audi. The kid who goes to the prom stag, kisses the hot girl, and gets a black eye for his troubles. The connection to the tagline, "Bravery. It's what defines us," was a bit dubious, but it was unexpected and well shot.

The three worst commercials:

1. GoDaddy. Bar Rafaeli is hot. The guy next to her is not. Therefore, it’s unnatural for them to kiss, right? Somehow this is supposed to get us to buy our domain names from GoDaddy. Whatever. What a waste. GoDaddy thinks that creating inane commercials is creative. It's not edgy; it's dumb.

2. Doritos. Goat 4 Sale. This seems like a parody of bad Super Bowl commercials. It’s like they let non-professionals come up with their commercials for the most-watched program of the year. Oh, wait, they did. Well, you get what you pay for.

3. Doritos. These Doritos are so good, big virile men will dress as princesses. It makes me nostalgic for Jay Leno telling us, “Crunch all you want, we'll make more."

Final thought: JELL-O will be handing out free pudding in San Francisco, the Super Bowl losing city. in a promotion that is the inverse of Disney's "I'm going to Disney World!" One question: why would they want to associate their brand with losing?