A chrome-dipped Escalade puts models to shame on the catwalk.
Agency: Leo Burnett/Detroit ECD: Tor Myhren CD: Don McKinney AD: Brad Mancuso Director: Jeffery Plansker/Supply and Demand Editor: Noah Herzog/Rock Paper Scissors VFX: The Mill, London Music/Sound Design: Sacred Noise
GS: This gets nothing, not even for special effects, which are good. I'm just tired of seeing a beautiful model trumped by a new car. I believed it the first time, when Henry Ford did it. No stars
2. Emerald Nuts "Druids"
Emerald shows a nutty acronym of its name-"Eagle-Eyed Machete Enthusiasts Recognize a Little Druid Networking Under the Stairs."
Agency: Goodby Silverstein & Partners CD: Jeff Goodby CW: Will Elliott ADs: Stacy Milrany, John Nussbaum Director: Jim Hosking/Partizan Editor: Jean Kawahara/Umlaut
MC: I like weird. And this spot is definitely weird. Or more accurately, near weird. It feels rather British in its sensibility. I just wish it were a little more strange, more Mr. Bean. I'm not sure I'd have chosen this spot for the Super Bowl. I think Super Bowl spots need to be much grander (in this case, stranger) or much more down and dirty. This one's somewhere in the middle. 2 stars
3. Toyota "Hybrid"
A bilingual father and son compare their speech to a Toyota gas/electric hybrid.
Agency: Conill Advertising, Los Angeles
MC: If we're grading spots for the "clear delivery of product attributes" and "inclusion of cute, gap-toothed kid," this would get four stars. It opens with a shot of a car driving beneath beautiful autumn leaves. Never seen that before. Then the dad/driver inexplicably goes from speaking in English to Spanish for one sentence. Why? Luckily it goes back to finish boring me in English. one star
GS: The biggest missed opportunity ever. It's lame in two languages. Comprende? No stars
4. Budweiser "American Dream"
A baby Clydesdale tries to pull the Bud cart, but secretly gets help from its parents.
Agency: DDB/Chicago CD/CW: Patrick Knoll CD/AD: Steve Bougdanos Director: Joe Pytka/Pytka Editor: Grant Gustafson/The Whitehouse VFX: Digital Domain Music/Sound Design: Elias
MC: The Super Bowl wouldn't be the Super Bowl without the Clydesdales. They don't just belong to Anheuser-Busch, they belong to all red-blooded Americans. Is this the best Clydesdale spot ever? Probably not. But it's charming to watch. It's a very human story told with four hairy hooves. And the ending is a pleasant surprise and another triumph for CGI. 3 stars
GS: I think that Clydesdale is way under 21. If you replace the frisky colt with an 8-year-old boy trying to drag a keg out of the garage, the "family values" police would flip. How subversive! "I won't tell, if you won't," that's what my drunk uncle said, that liar. Two stars
5. Dove "Self-Esteem"
Little girls are shown with titles that read "Thinks she's fat" and "Hates her freckles" in an effort to drive the "Campaign for Real Beauty."
Agency: Ogilvy & Mather/N.Y. CDs: Nancy Vonk, Janet Kestin, Jacki Leak, Debra Fried, Maureen Shirreff Director: Mike Rowles
MC: I love this whole campaign. Taking Dove's self-esteem idea into philanthropy is a classic example of the right way to extend a campaign. This spot, starring young girls and their insecurities shows, me that the issue of self-esteem starts early and that Dove really cares. It makes me believe the mainline campaign that much more. If the lines were a bit more unexpected, I'd have given it four stars. Three stars
GS: Yes, I know women will be watching the Super Bowl, but they'll be drunk and rooting for the Seahawks. I like this because I'm sensitive and I have daughters. Unfortunately, it's not a Super Bowl spot. This should have run when Oprah ate up James Frey. One star
6. Budweiser "Super Fan"
A shorn sheep runs through a Clydesdale pigskin game like a streaker.
Agency: DDB/Chicago CD: John Hayes GCD: Barry Burdiak CW: Joe Sgro AD: Dan Dtrasser Director: John O'Hagan/RSA Editor: Grant Gustafson/The Whitehouse VFX: Digital Domain
GS: Finally, a gratuitous Super Bowl commercial! The little naked lamb, shakin' his tail-now that's entertainment. And while it doesn't get any points for originality, it made my wife laugh. And when she laughs, I feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Three stars
7. Burger King "America's Favorite"
The Whopperettes, dressed as burger toppings, perform a musical number and pile up to make a sandwich.
Agency: Crispin Porter + Bogusky CCO: Alex Bogusky ECD: Andrew Keller CD: Rob Reilly ADs: John Parker, Mark Taylor CWs: Bob Cianfrone, Evan Fry Director: Bryan Buckley/Hungry Man Editor: Andre Betz/Bug VFX: Smoke and Mirrors Music: Stimmung
GS: Love it! Girls, sparkles, ubiquitous splash scene and grunts as the pile is made-works for me. Over the top and original, just what the Super Bowl ordered. Or maybe it's just what I ordered. Throw in the freaky King and call it delicious. 4 stars