The Super Bowl is a classic test of courage, skill and stamina, coming at the end of a long season of struggle and success. But whether you're a dyed-in-the-wool pigskin fan or just a casual observer, there's a lot more to the game than just football. For us car nuts, there are the commercials, and this year will have some doozies.
Spoiler alert! If you want to wait and revel in the surprise of the ads during the game, stop here. If, like the rest of us, you're likely to be too busy balancing beer, snacks and friends to keep an eye on the tube between downs, read on.
Audi's Green Police
This ad has stirred a lot of controversy on the web over the use of the Green Police name--it was a nickname for Hitler's Ordnungspolizei during WWII--but we think the real controversy ought to be over the smarmy and smug attitude of the Audi driver in the A3 TDI (which won the Green Car of the Year award this year) at the end of the commercial, which serves as an endorsement of all the ridiculously intrusive Green Police activities shown before it. Or maybe we're taking it too seriously.
Chrysler will be the only American carmaker to advertise during the Super Bowl, a decision that's brought some heat down on the recently-bailed-out company, but which may ultimately work in their favor. The ad features Michael C. Hall, the actor behind America's favorite serial killer, Dexter Morgan, telling us that the Dodge Charger isn't a "manbag," "a low-cal plate" or a "small dog that needs to wear a jacket if the temperature drops below 70."
This chimeric mashup of sedan, hatch and wagon proves at least one creature escaped from the Island of Dr. Moreau, and the commercial is every bit as weird as the car itself. A squirrel stowing everything from pineapples to furniture in a tree somehow equates to "another brilliant idea from Honda." Huh?
Brett Favre takes a shot at himself in this spot from the future, and Hyundai plays off of it to reaffirm its commitment to its 10-year/100,000-mile warranty. This works, and it's worth a chuckle, too.
Ever seen a road-tripping cast of live-action, super-sized toys flying over jumps in a Korean crossover in between bouts of hot-tubbing, waterskiing, and taking Las Vegas Oceans Eleven-style? Well, you will have in about a minute. We're not sure what they're going for, but it looks like fun.
Volkswagen Punch Dub
Speaking of road trips, who hasn't played the game "slug bug," or, as VW more generically re-terms it here, "PunchDub?" This micro-mockumentary shows us the game's origins with the help of a crotchety, punch-happy geezer that's lovably profane.
This duo of spots from Bridgestone employs the creative use of a whale, a woman in rain-drenched vinyl and, as any good tire ad should, nerds with power tools. These are just the previews, so you'll have to wait for Sunday for the full show.
GoDaddy with Danica Patrick
Whatever you might think about Ms. Patrick's endorsement career, you've got to admit she can turn a wheel. As for the commercial? A fashion-obsessed ex-NFL player gets extravagant and builds a website. That's about it.