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Sizing up the Super Bowl ads

Normally I’m a Tivo nut – I record just about every show I watch on TV just so I can skip through the commercials. But the Super Bowl is the one day of the year I look forward to the ads just as much as I do the programming.

Game-wise, this year didn’t disappoint. In what easily could have been a blowout, Super Bowl XLIV was full of drama, lead changes and a record-tying comeback win. An interception returned for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter clinched it for the underdog New Orleans Saints over the Indianapolis Colts.

And while that all adds up to a great game, it also means great television ratings and a good buy for advertisers. And at about $2.7 million per 30 seconds, that’s nothing to sniff at.

OK, good for them. But what about us viewers? For me, I generally was not disappointed in my annual watching-of-commercials-athon. But I wasn’t particularly wowed, either.

As a viewer, I’m going for laughs and memorability. For me, winners in both categories were – surprisingly – many of the auto commercials.

Dodge Charger’s “Man’s last stand” was great because just about anyone could identify with at least one part of that commercial. Volkswagon’s “Punch Dub” commercial drew probably the biggest laugh of the night from us because it seemed like just another commercial until Stevie Wonder showed up at the end (you’ll have to watch it, I’m not giving away the joke).

Hyundai’s “Ten years” commercial poked fun at Brett Favre’s indecision over retirement (and kudos to Farve for playing along – he’s also appeared in Sears commercials doing a similar shtick).

Other commercials that stood out in my memory weren’t necessarily funny, but they did their job. The most prominent one was Tim Tebow’s “Focus on the Family.” One, because an evangelical Christian group just naturally stands out as an advertiser when its grouped among beer and soft drink companies and Internet sites; and two, because of all the hype about the ad’s anti-abortion message.

Other memorable advertisers (mostly for their sheer number of commercials) were Denny’s,, Bud Light,, FloTV and Dorritos.

To view all the Super Bowl commercials, click here.

So what were your favorite commercials this year? Was the 2010 lineup disappointing? Did it blow you away? Did you miss some of the regular advertisers like Pepsi, FedEx or General Motors?