Coca-Cola "Balloons" ACoke came late to the party with two fourth-quarter spots, but these were beauts. In the first, at a parade, giant balloons of Underdog and Stewie Griffin battled it out over a balloon of a Coke can. I can't imagine either drinking Coke, but hey. Charlie Brown swoops in and grabs the can. Finally, he wins at something. We liked the changing expressions on the faces of Underdog and Stewie, and the timing couldn't have been better - the ad appeared roughly when Lois would have been singing the opening song of "Family Guy". The other Coke ad garnered a strong B grade. In it, Bill Frist and James Carville go out for a Coke and put aside their political differences.
E-Trade "Baby 1" A, "Baby 2" BSure, the baby talking as a human has been done before, but I kinda liked these ads. In the second one, the baby hires a clown. Very good.
Bud Light "Makes You Fly" B, "Makes You Breathe Fire" BThe two most creative of the Bud Light ads, traditionally the Bowl's funniest, take a slightly different tack. This time, the ads start out straight, and then postulate the miraculous things Bud Light can allegedly do. The best of the "traditional" Bud Light ads, "Wine & Cheese", earned an A. The other Bud Light ads were fairly pedestrian, including one of last year's ads coming back for a rare bowl rerun*, and one promoting some Will Ferrell movie.
* NOTE: This ad was actually a refry of last year's spot with Carlos Mencia teaching an ESL class. Just as tasteless as last year's similar ad.
Doritos "Kira Grannis" B, "Billy Federighi" B-This year's Doritos spots weren't about the flavor. The Kira Grannis spot showed a lady by this name singing a song for sixty seconds. Quite pleasant. The Billy Federighi spot is user generated content, and shows how you can make giant mice appear when you eat Doritos.
T-Mobile "Hi Chuck" AThis is the first T-Mobile ad I've actually like since they canned Catherine Zeta-Jones as their spokesperson. In it, Charles Barkley talks quite a bit to his five favorite people, who are quite annoyed to have Sir Charles always calling them about minor things.
Gatorade "Drinking Dog" D-As Ed Selzer asked Chuck Jones and the boys what was so gosh-durned funny about bullfights, I ask the folks at Gatorade, what in the blue hell is so funny about 30 seconds of a dog drinking? Gatorade's previous ad got a C, primarily because Derek Jeter is in it. Oh, please.
Bridgestone Tires "Richard Simmons" FAutomatic disqualification for Do Not Attempt, but we do chuckle at the thought of running over Richard Simmons. Bridgestone's other ad also received an F for DNA, as did the final in-game spot - one for Amp which showed a man connecting jumper cables to his nipples.
FedEx "Carrier Pigeons" BProbably this year's funniest spot, a company makes do with carrier pigeons, some quite large, to get their shipments there faster (if the carrier pigeons don't drop them first).
GMC Yukon "Animated Guy Pushing Rocks Up A Hill" BThis animated spot was the best of several animated ads in the game. Too bad it was wasted on a Bullymobile™. The others, both for Salesgenie.com, fell flatter, earning a C for their first spot and a D for their second.
Godaddy.Com "Danica Patrick" BThe commercial is basically a tease to go to their website to see their real spot, which Fox rejected. It has something to do with beavers. And Danica Patrick. But it worked. I went there. Not that I need to register domain names.
Tide Pen "Talking Stain" A-The Tide Pen saves the day at a job interview, where all the hirer hears is the gibberish generated by the stain on a man's shirt. I called out "Tide Pen!" at about :15 into this spot. And hey, Tide and other advertisers (including the aforementioned Doritos): why are you hiding behind URL's that don't disclose your product's name? It makes more sense for me to go to tide.com rather than theincredibletalkingstain.com or some crap like that.
Briefly, how all the other ads fared, in order of appearance. We only counted in-game ads, not local ads or ads during halftime.
Audi R8 B-
Diet Pepsi Max :60 D
Cars.com "Flaming Stone Circle" C
Budweiser C - this was USA Today's highest ranking ad, but it left me cold
Toyota "Badgers" C
Career Builder #1 D
Life Water C
Pepsi "Timberlake Promo" C
Cars.com "Witch Doctor" C
Vitamin Water B-
Ice Cubes C
Career Builder #2 C
Hyundai Genesis #1 B
Toyota Sequoia C
Taco Bell D
Hyundai Genesis #2 C
Victoria's Secret C
Movie ads, which are not rated, included Wanted, Iron Man, Leatherheads, Prince Caspian, Wall-E, Jumper, and You Don't Mess With The Zohan. Nor was the NFL's house ad, a most entertaining look about an oboe player's odyssey into the league, nor was the drug abuse PSA that ran during the game in which a pusher complains about his lack of business these days.