The best and worst Superbowl commercials of 2011

For those of you not residing in North America, Superbowl Sunday only registers as a vague blip on the media landscape. But for Americans at home and around the globe, the Superbowl is a seismic event on the calendar — a de facto national holiday and the most-watched event on American television.

While the game itself is important, the National Anthem, the half-time entertainment and the commercials that are screened during the game have become equally important, and act as a barometer of what’s hot and what’s not in the U.S.

This year’s commercials were a mixed bag.

The widely-praised VW ad called “The Force” was actually leaked to the web three days before Superbowl Sunday, and went viral, amassing nearly 10-million views before the game even kicked off. Four hours before the game, it had 62 000 “likes” on Facebook.

Volkswagen: “The Force”

Chip-maker Doritos always have a strong presence at the Superbowl, and this year was no exception. They featured a number of commercials, but this one in particular was judged a great success.

The Superbowl is a chance to show the world you mean business. After a much-hyped launch during the week, Rupert Murdoch’s iPad magazine took a coveted 30-second slot, but didn’t really garner rave reviews.

The Daily: “America, meet the Daily”

Controversial rapper Eminem featured heavily this year in two commercials, one for Lipton Iced Tea which was fairly well-received and another ad for Chrysler which got great reviews and managed to capture the zeitgeist of America at this moment in time.

Another rapper featured during the Superbowl was P.Diddy who featured in a Mercedes-Benz retrospective of all their cars over the years.

Mercedes-Benz: “Welcome”

There’s always an epic fail during the Superbowl. This year, Christina Aguilera messed up the lyrics of the national anthem, while the most widely-panned ad of the day turned out to be this 30-second spot for web phenomenon Groupon, starring actor Timothy Hutton. Critics called it tasteless and patronising. Watch for yourself:

Groupon: “Tibet”



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