Corporate America spent millions and hired big-name agencies – or staged low-cost contests to reward hidden geniuses – so they could win you, the biggest television audience of the year, over.
Some did. Some didn't. Some really didn't.
A commercial winner is in the eye of the beholder, of course, but here are Yahoo! Sports' winners and losers of the Super Bowl commercials.
Winner: Bud Light
In an attempt to appeal to young men, Bud Light delivered a number of slapstick, juvenile numbers that certainly pleased its target demo. From a rock-paper-scissor match that got out of hand, to the auctioneer wedding official, to the English as a Second Language class that taught the ins and outs of gaining and protecting beer, to an axe-wielding hitchhiker, there were predictable yet effective laughs.
Bud Light is the rock of Super Bowl advertising; you know you can always count on them for some solid efforts. Bud came through with the spotted dog.
Two greasy auto mechanics wind up French kissing in pursuit of a candy bar? And that was designed to appeal to whom exactly? If they were determined to go with the lame, played-out gay humor angle, couldn't they have gotten "Brokeback Mountain" into it?
Winner: Toyota Tundra
Amazingly, an auto maker actually tried to sell a truck by showing off the truck. Yes, no animal acts, weak humor or surprise endings. Instead, Toyota went with a couple of impressive tricks that seared a few simple messages to would-be buyers – the Tundra has sick power, impressive breaks and courageous stunt drivers.
Loser: Chevy HHR
A bunch of women driving this car are stuck at a stoplight where a throng of shirtless men – many out of shape or old (this was apparently the funny, zany part) – can't help but turn into dancing squeegee washers? Rudy Giuliani would have rightfully hit them with jaywalking tickets.
Later, GMC gave us a robot contemplating suicide after getting laid off (it turned out to be a dream). This was particularly hilarious, we're sure, to all of the recently laid off General Motors factory workers.
At least Chevy spared us another rendition of John Mellencamp's "This Is Our Country" and last March's endless loop of button-down Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski trying to hawk construction grade pickup trucks. (When you think hauling steel, who doesn't think Duke hoops?)
We can't imagine why Detroit is in trouble.
Winner: Doritos (The Crash)
Made by an amateur as part of a Doritos contest, it worked on a number of levels – quick story with actual twists and a happy ending, numerous punch lines and an intriguing look. It was far superior to Blockbuster's use of two animals (always an American favorite) trying to use a real mouse to order movies, even if it won't be as popular.
The once risqué advertising campaign is now just played out, unfunny and not even very racy, even with racer Danica Patrick in it (briefly). Patrick got some heat for agreeing to work with GoDaddy.com because of its reputation for using sex to sell its product. What Patrick should really be embarrassed about was appearing in such a pathetic commercial.
Winner: David Letterman and Oprah Winfrey
Indy native Dave and Chicago resident Oprah snuggled on a couch watching the game. No one could have seen that one coming. Of course, did these two need more publicity?
Losers: TV shows, movies
That David Spade show is going to last half a season or just four episodes? Did they really make a movie about a black high school swim team – the 200-meter intermediate medley for racial justice? And just who thought America was going for a road trip/buddy flick starring four old men – John Travolta, Martin Lawrence, et al?
Katie Couric for CBS News was the exception here, not so much because it reminded people that the ever-popular Couric hosts "The CBS Evening News" but that CBS still has an evening news program.