The Best and Worst Super Bowl Ads

Advertising deconstructed.
Feb. 6 2012 2:33 AM

The Best and Worst Super Bowl Ads

The Coke bears weren't cute enough, and Budweiser went Ken Burns.

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Acura has Jerry Seinfeld eager to buy its new NSX model.* Seinfeld always seems to bring the funny when he makes ads. And Jay Leno is of course a natural as a villain. But again, we barely see that sleek sportscar at all, while the ad finds time to show us multiple other transport options: a boat, a zip line, and a squirrel suit jetpack contraption. Maybe don’t be afraid to show the actual product? It looked pretty sweet.

Fourth Quarter

At last, the Ferris Bueller-themed Honda ad that everyone’s been talking about. I was fond of the extended version posted in advance of game night. Lots of sly nods for Ferris aficionados (though I wish the Walrus introspection scene had been backed by that awesome instrumental version of The Smiths’ "Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want"—the one the movie uses when the gang visits the art museum). The problem with the version of the ad that actually aired is that the truncations remove all the subtlest, funniest, most rewarding moments. We’re left with lowest common denominator Ferris. And: If you’d told my tween self that Ferris would grow up to wear quarter-zip sweaters and dad jeans, I might have cried. Also: What, Alan Ruck was too busy? Come on!

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Correction, Feb. 6, 2012: This article originally misidentified the Acura NSX as the MSK. (Return to the corrected sentence.)