Best of Super Bowl 2011 ads: Pepsi Max, Audi and more

sb-best-ads-pepsi.jpgSure, there's a football game going on at Super Bowl XLV, but the competition between the companies who bought ads during the broadcast is fierce too.

FOX was charging about $3 million for a 30-second spot, so the companies advertising during the game better hope they get their money's worth. The ones below definitely did -- they're our favorites from this year's crop. 

Audi: Release the Hounds

We love making fun of rich people. Their affection for silly dogs like afghan hounds, the inoffensive sounds of Kenny G., etc. We also like seeing them in jail. So props to Audi for this clever spot about a super bleached white collar jail break that both makes us actually give a car a second look and took a jab at old school Mercedes.

-- Brill Bundy



Pepsi Max: Love Hurts

Look, we're easy. A pie in the face is funny every time. So is some skinny blonde chick in pink knee socks (seriously, pink knee socks) getting hit in the head with a Pepsi can... and knocked out. Not that we condone violence. But... pink knee socks.

--Carina Adly MacKenzie




Bud Light: Product Placement

The perfect satire of the entertainment industry's outrageous product placement deals (Oh, hi Vitamin Water on every NYC street corner on "Gossip Girl"!), this Bud Light commercial had us in stitches. We mean, who doesn't love a big Bud Light truck crashing through a medieval fight scene? And the suit of armor made of of beer cans? Pure gold.

--Tierney Bricker





Doritos: House Sitting

Doritos are magic! The punchline of this commercial took it from lame and obvious to extraordinary. We're not any more likely to run out and buy Doritos, but then again, we haven't invested with E*Trade recently, either. We still love that baby.

--Carina Adly MacKenzie



GoDaddy.CO: Mystery girl

Well... we certainly weren't expecting that. Surrounding all the "hype" of the mystery GoDaddy.co (that's right, co -- not com) girl we were definitely taken a back when it was revealed to be the uh, sexy? Joan Rivers. While she's not the "hot, Hollywood icon" we were expecting, that's part of the reason it was great.  While this could be a contender for worst Super Bowl ad (Rivers doesn't quite fit the image Go Daddy's created for themselves), it caught us off guard and we definitely aren't going to forget about that one. The Super Bowl is just full of surprises, now isn't it.



Budweiser: Wild West

When we were younger and thought about what the inside of a bar would be like, a group sing-a-long to Elton John's "Tiny Dancer" was one of our ultimate dreams. Does anything beat a "Tiny Dancer" rendition? If you've seen "Almost Famous," we know you're shaking your head right now. Well played, Bud. Now if we could just get our friends to do this with us...

--Tierney Bricker





Motorola: Empower the People

Despite the not-so-subtle digs at our beloved Apple, while other commercials go for bigger, louder must be better, this spot when for sweet. Plus, if WALL*E was a) female and b) human, he'd look just like her.

-- Brill Bundy



Bridgestone: Reply all

We didn't know until the last second of this ad what it was for -- but the comedy was so strong that it didn't matter that the Bridgestone tag line was right at the end. The saga of a guy who thought he replied all to an e-mail and manically raced around preventing anyone from seeing it -- confiscating computers, smacking phones out of hands -- is relatable to just about anyone, and the idea was executed brilliantly.



Chevrolet: Cruze Status

We're suckers for a 30-second romantic comedy, okay? Also, we just generally think this is awesome. Having a car that checks Facebook for us would seriously cut back on our blackberry usage while driving. Not that we do that, Oprah.

--Carina Adly MacKenzie


Snickers: A blast from the sass
We absolutely loved seeing that Snickers used 90s stars Richard Lewis and Rosanne Barr in their commercial set at a lumberyard. To use the master complainers of their day, we thought the "Snickers satisfies" message worked extraordinarily well. Plus, Rosanne getting hit by a log? We predict that's a little wish fulfillment to several viewers.




Volkswagen: The Force

We've already sung the praises of this ad, so we won't re-sing them here. But at least in the first half of the game, I didn't see anything better.




Best Buy: Ozzy vs. Bieber

As usual, Justin Bieber lives up to, and then exceeds our expectations with a hilarious ad. But to be fair, Ozzy Osbourne definitely is the scene stealer in this Best Buy commercial. Biebs as the next Ozzy is kind of a hilarious concept in and of itself, but our favorite line? "What's a Bieber?" "Kind of looks like a girl."



-- Sophie Schillaci


Stella Artois: Crying Jean

Despite what our colleague thinks, Adrien Brody crooning his love for Stella Artois while various retro '60s lovelies wept and swooned was sublime. Not all beer ads have to be brash and in your face. We are far more likely to take notice of a disheveled Oscar winner giving us bedroom eyes. Way to stay on target with their branding yet step it up a notch for the Super Bowl.

-- Brill Bundy




Chrysler: Eminem quickly redeems himself with 'Imported From Detroit'

Eminem's bizarre claymation spot for Lipton Brisk iced tea (Really? Is it 1997?)  is possibly the most aggressively bad offering of the night, so it's lucky that he also anchors Chrysler's convincing plea to buy American. Driving through the streets of Detroit, the "8-Mile" soundtrack quietly playing in the background, Eminem explains why we all have reason to be proud of the Renaissance City -- and it got us a little bit misty.

-- Mikey O'Connell



Mini Countryman: This is America and we don't like it in the boot! Nice job!
It took us a while to realize why we liked this commercial. And now we know. It's chock-full of suggestive imagery that plays with American sensibilities. In the boot? No, sir, as a contestant shoves a long sub into the back of the car and later a wedding cake. Those Brits - so cheeky!





NFL: Best Fans Ever

We're TV people, obviously, so this ad was basically tailor-made for us. Featuring football-related scenes from our favorite shows really pushed our nostalgia button. Chandler Bing? Donna Martin? We could've done without "Glee's" presence (enough already, we're going to watch your stupid Super Bowl episode) but other than that, it was enough to make a TV geek give a crap about football. For like, thirty whole seconds.

--Carina Adly MacKenzie



Bridgestone: Carma

You guys! The beaver and the man saved each others' lives! Awwww! Quick, go buy some tires! (Cute animals are always a good decision, ad execs.)

--Carina Adly MacKenzie

Photo/Video credit: Pepsi