The buzziest Super Bowl ads of 2012

Michael Krumboltz
Shutdown Corner

Super Bowl advertisements run around $3.5 million for a 30 second spot. So it was no surprise to see companies go all out, whether they went for comedy or played it straight.

For the second year in a row, Volkswagen had one of the buzziest ads of the Super Bowl. This year's spot featured an overweight pooch that can't fit through the doggy door. The dog exercises (runs up and down the stairs, swims in the pool, etc.) until it can fit through the door and give chase to its favorite car, the VW Bug. But that isn't all. At the end of the ad, in a call back to last year's hit ad from VW, the commercial switches to the famous cantina from the original Star Wars film where a certain Dark Lord of the Sith makes an appearance.

Last year, Eminem starred in a very memorable "Imported from Detroit" commercial for Chrysler. This year, the carmaker cast Clint Eastwood as its spokesman. The iconic actor talks about how it's "halftime in America" and Detroit is making a comeback. The world will hear the roar of our engines, Eastwood says. "Our second half is about to begin." Call it the Go America clip of the game and certainly the best heartfelt ad of the bunch.

MetLife bet it all on cartoon nostalgia. Charlie Brown, Scooby-Doo, Voltron, Grape Ape, Mr. Magoo, Richie Rich and many more joined forces for one nerd-tastic ad. Try and count everybody in the ad: it's no easy task. Alfred Maskeroni of AdWeek remarked that it was "like drinking a chilled juice box. It felt new and refreshing, yet nostalgic."

It was a crowded field, but Pepsi definitely won the award for most bizarre use of celebrity spokespeople. The soda giant cast Elton John as a Lewis Carroll-inspired king. King Elton cruelly denies his subjects Pepsi until Melanie Amaro (winner of the "X Factor") sings her heart out, and casts Elton to a dungeon where he has to spend the rest of his life with Flavor Flav (The horror!). Watch it here.

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Making fun of vampires feels a bit 2009. But Audi managed to give the joke some new life with its spot. A handsome vampire drives his swanky Audi to a party with his fellow blood-sucking monsters. When he gets there, he accidentally shines the Audi's headlights (which aren't your average everyday headlights, natch) on his friends and before you can say "Team Edward," the vampires go poof just like they were out in daylight. Watch the clip here.

Doritos cast man's best friend in one of its best commercials. A man discovers his dog might be responsible for a missing cat. The dog, sensing that he might be ratted out, decides to bribe the witness with some Doritos. Everybody wins. Watch it here.

Here's an important tip for Super Bowl commercials. If you can find a way to use lumberjacks sawing a giant sandwich, your ad will be judged a success. Kia's Optima commercial, which also employed Motley Crue, women in bikinis, and kickboxer explosions rocked it with maximum machismo.
Watch it here.

Watch all the ads here.

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