Honda, "Broderick? Broderick?" In the interest of full disclosure, I wanted to be Ferris Bueller when I was 16. So while part of me was a bit put off by this beloved character being used to sell me a car that wasn't a vintage Ferrari, I was also suitably impressed with the level of detail in Matthew Broderick's homage to Ferris' day off -- the roller coaster rider sporting the Red Wings jersey, the license plate (SOCHOIC), the walrus. Definitely lived up to all the pre-game buzz.
Acura, "The First One" Jerry Seinfeld goes to great lengths to try to bribe a fellow car enthusiast for the right to buy the first Acura NSX (you can have the Soup Nazi) before ultimately losing out on the ride to Jay Leno. And I thought Leno was an awfully good sport, given that his performance in this one offered the Letterman aficionados among us to point out some typical Leno behavior (i.e., swooping in and stealing something from another comic). "Leno!"
Audi, "Killing Time" It took a little time for this one to get going ... and if it had ended with the undead sucking down O-positive like it was Bud Light, it wouldn't have made our "loved it" list. But just when you thought this ad was going to be an unbelievable waste of $3 million, the Audi's headlights started sending vampires back to hell. Nice twist.
Doritos, "You Didn't See Nuthin" Cat-killing dog bribes his owner to look the other way on his feline-icide with a bag of Doritos. One of the funnier ads of the night, even if cat lovers might not agree.
Kia, "Mr. Sandman" The Sandman accidentally dumps a little too much sand on a sleeping man, resulting in the mother of all dreams, complete with Motley Crue, MMA action and many, many attractive women. The conclusion, in which the dreamer busts out of his dream and reclaims his wife from the Fabio wannabe currently romping through her own subconscious, was classic.
Volkswagen, "Working Out Like a Dog" Looks like you aren't the only one whose New Year's resolution was to lose a little weight. The motivation for the dog – must lose weight to chase VW bug – nicely tied the actual product to an amusing concept.
Chrysler, "Halftime in America" Chrysler is making a cottage industry out of creating commercials that make us believe in America again, following up last year's Eminem offering with another winner, this one featuring Clint Eastwood. Now, whether they make you want to buy a Chrysler ... that's another story. But there's no denying the power of Dirty Harry informing us that it's "halftime in America."
Chevy, "The End of the World" In this ad, the Mayans' theories about 2012 prove frighteningly accurate and the Chevy drivers are the only ones who survive the ensuing apocalypse. While some may not agree, I liked the bow tie taking a shot at their competition; Dave, the Dodge driver, doesn't survive.
Toyota, "Reinventing Ourselves" It's tough to make a car that's been among the best-selling in the United States for more than a decade seem new. OK, so this commercial won't exactly do that, but its premise – in which everything from babies (they don't poop!) to the DMV (soft serve ice cream!) gets a thorough reworking – was cute.
Skechers, "Dog Race" The canines were the big winners of the night. When they weren't killing cats or working out, they were wearing Skechers and running races. And is it just me, or was that little guy moon-walking across the finish line foreshadowing Ahmad Bradshaw's game-winning touchdown?