Monday quarterbacking: Super Bowl's hits and fumbles
Groupon's ad generated much controversy.
February 7th, 2011
11:06 AM ET

Monday quarterbacking: Super Bowl's hits and fumbles

The Packers might have been the official winners of Super Bowl XLV, but if we're counting Web buzz, there were plenty of other victors Sunday night.

(And some losers, but we'll get to them later.)

"Chrysler 200" scored as the top search in Google on Monday morning due largely to a gritty commercial featuring Eminem and his hit "Lose Yourself."

Against the hard-driving beat of the song, a glistening new Chrysler 200 is seen. The vehicle is meant to replace the Chrysler Sebring midsize car, which was lambasted by critics.

"What does a town that's been to hell and back know about the finer things in life?" a gritty voice asks about Detroit. "Well I'll tell ya, more than most. You see, it's the hottest fires that make the hardest steel. Add hard work and conviction and the know-how that runs generations deep in every last one of us.

"That's who we are," the voice says. "That's our story." Cue Em, who himself has been in rehab. In the video, he walks into a theater where gospel singers are giving it a ton of heart. Message: The Motor City's woes are behind it.

Another clever ad, for the Volkswagen Passat, has us fawning over "The Darth Vader Kid," 6-year-old Max Page, who was busy Monday doing the rounds on morning shows. Max has a congenital heart defect, and has a pacemaker, but his physicians say he's able to live a relatively normal life. He said he was "thrilled" to show off his "special move" in the ad.

Speaking of special moves, fans appear to be torn over whether the Black Eyed Peas halftime show was banging or blah. The Peas, joined by Slash and Usher, sang their usual family-friendly hits, but tossed it up a bit and changed the lyrics to "Where Is the Love?" He rapped: "In America we need to get things straight/Obama let's get these kids educated/Create jobs so the country stays stimulated/This is dedicated to all the innovators."

There is far less debate over whether Groupon offended with its ad about getting discounts on products and services. During the ad, actor Timothy Hutton appears to be served a meal at Himalayan Restaurant in Chicago. "The people of Tibet are in trouble. Their very culture is in jeopardy," he says, adding, "But they still whip up an amazing fish curry!"

More viewers were probably munching on simpler dishes during the game ... like ... popcorn? Cameron Diaz was caught on camera feeding Yankees star Alex Rodriguez popcorn while they cozied up in a luxury box at Cowboys Stadium. Some people were disturbed, some enough to boo.

Speaking of booing, you all know by now that Christina Aguilera messed up the national anthem. The pop diva has apologized, and here's proof she does know the words. Perhaps forgiveness will come easier after watching these wretched renditions from the past.

Say what you will about Christina, at least she probably had a good seat. That's more than about 400 Super Bowl fans got. They were told they could not take the seats they'd paid for because their section of Cowboys Stadium was still under construction. No doubt those fans upon hearing that news had to dig deep, a theme that resonated during the games faithier moments. Even before kick off there was controversy over rejected ads from, a political novelty t-shirt company that had dueling bobble heads of Jesus and Obama, and the Fixed Point Foundation, a group that promotes Christianity in the public square. As Usher would sing "Oh my God..." or "Oh my gosh..."

Grading every ad: Best and worst of Super Bowl commercials 2011

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Filed under: Football • Pro football • Sports • Super Bowl
soundoff (776 Responses)
  1. Jeff Frank

    Hoorah Packers Hoorah!!!...Thanks for the GREAT game. 🙂

    February 7, 2011 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Ulysses

      Sounds like Pug is the idiot to me. Protesting too much. Chill out.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Red Yankee

    The doritos add with the dog was THE WORST, too long, knew exactly what was coming, been done too many times before.

    February 7, 2011 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • mobrule

      right, anyone who didn't see it coming 100 miles away is an idiot. all the doritos ones were bad. did like the darth vader and snikers ones, but most were pretty weak, as for the natl anthem, I'm just glad she didn't lip sync.

      February 7, 2011 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • pug

      Red Yankee – Should be renamed – Pink Commie

      February 7, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • JMcTigue

      I thought the broadcast of the super bowl itself was the worst I've ever experienced.
      Picture keep bluring and micro boxing all over the screen.
      Seemed like the NFL contract with FOX included them using the cheapest HD cameras to broadcast the game with.
      What a tragedy to have to put up with to catch a great game.
      I guess it could of been my cable provider, none of the other channels had this issue.
      I mean if it were any worse I would've had to take something for a headache to get through it.
      What's with that?

      February 7, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • CapeMay

      The Doritos/Pug ad was just another example of the mean spiritedness demonstrated by Pepsi. Who would tease a dog into running into a glass door. How about the girl who gets knocked unconscious after she gets hit in the head by a full pepsi can, while the couple who threw the can just leave her there and run away. Both ads are sick.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Paul

    The Tibet ad wasn't offensive. Unless you really think people shouldn't be allowed to enjoy Tibetan food or restaurants.

    February 7, 2011 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Adams

      It appears you did not pay attention to the beginning of the ad, where it talks about the real suffering Tibetans have and do endure ... only to turn into an ad about restaurants. Totally inappropriate.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • ATW

      Let's change the ad to being about abused women.

      America's domestic abuse rate is through the roof. Women all over the country are suffering at the hands of husbands who say they love them, and then turn on them in a second. These women are in trouble, and many could be beaten into critical condition tonight, or tomorrow...

      but they still whip up an AMAZING meat loaf, if you jab them in the ribs hard enough.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • iPietas

      I agree with you Paul. Tibet is a completely different scenario.. the world's richest country is trying to sweep them under the rug and Groupon makes a bold move to shed light on an injustice still occurring today. I applaud Groupon.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  4. WDrad

    The Tibet commercial was awesome! No fear of being PC, good old fashioned humor!

    February 7, 2011 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Southernjack

      I agree. I do not see what all the fuss is about. It is an ad raising money to help Tibet.

      February 7, 2011 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • EdR

      humor? Not only was it offensive.. it made no sense at all. After the ad I was like.. "what the hell was that all about?"

      February 7, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Erik...

      If you find humor in the suffering of other people, then you are a sadist.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  5. rikers

    Blac eyed peas was a disaster.

    February 7, 2011 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • kathy

      They were just horrible, along with that ditz that sang our Anthem!!

      February 7, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • TwM

      The Half time show was the worst in recent memory. Had to turn of the sound so I could ogle Fergie's body without having to listen to their god-awful performance.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sarah

      There is always the same problem with Super Bowl performances. The vocals overpower the music. They have a microphone, why scream. They were trying to make their voices reach the upper balconies when the microphone will do that for them. Music never comes across well on T.V. broadcasting from the Superbowl. T.V. viewers always get bad sound quality. One thing or another is always dead wrong with the quality. This time, overpowering vocal sound and no music. I could barely hear the Sledge's guitar solo, but Fergie's voice was too loud and too clear to the detriment of the overall presentation. I won't even discuss the overpowering vocals of Will.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • chuck

      Who choreographed those dancers. There was so much possibility wasted. They had individual dances standing still. It didn't work. They should have had a more team INTEGRATED performance. Audience love the intricacies of free-style marching bands cutting through each other and creating effects of flocks of birds flying in the air and back through each other. Lost potential for sure.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jimbo Jones

      Well, thanks to Sarah, I will never have to wonder what to name the imaginary child of The Edge and Slash. "The Sledge." Naturally

      February 7, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • toxictown

      Yeah. And I agree w/Sarah – why is the audio always so messed up at these things? I know they have a short time to set up but they have been in there for weeks getting things ready and doing soundchecks. SInce this is a problem every year you think they'd have been able to sort this out by now.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • rmr797

      I agree the BEP were awful! Why don't they give up on trying to be cool during halftime and put an awesome marching band on the field? It'd be MUCH more enjoyable!

      February 7, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • S Brown

      I cannot for the life of me, understand why we can't get a half time show that is slightly better then horrible, which last nights was. And that singing of the National Anthem was a total embarrassement. Why can't they get someone/group that will sing the Anthem the old fashioned way – first correctly and then like it was meant to be seen. Christina should be totally embarrassed!!!! Not only did she screw it up, what she did sing was horrible.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marcus Moore

      I can't decide what was worse: the black eyed peas or the national anthem. Both pretty much sucked. I hate it when performers turn their version of the national anthem into an audition. Had to turn volume on both down.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Keeeshawrn

    i thought the pepsi max commercials were terrible

    February 7, 2011 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
    • treeing walker

      I thought the Pepsi did a GREAT JOB, I had a great laugh when the bolnd girl was knocked off the bench with the pepsi can. and remember the other one to catch my attention as well, remembering my own temporary like of pepsi max. The snickers ad was equally good.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • ardy

      I thought the pepsi ads were pretty funny..LOVED the bud lite commercial with the dogs. Was hoping for another Betty White commercial..did anyone else think the Roseanne getting knocked out by a log was disturbing? Yes, know it's not real but looked kind of creepy.. Still love puppy bowl!

      February 7, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  7. cpope

    The ads were rather mediocre – the little Darth Vader was cute, the ad centered in Detroit was very good, the game was good, so what if Christina forgot some lyrics, she's human for pete's sake, only our media would make a huge deal out of this one point. My word to the media, ALL media – find someone else to trash.............

    February 7, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Ron Jeremy

      national anthem is the world's hardest song to sing...because everyone *thinks* they know the lyrics and everyone's listening.

      I wouldn't do that gig.

      February 7, 2011 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Kayjo Mayo

      Don't you think that a professional singer, performing at one of the largest venues in the US should know the words to the song they are singing? I have known that song since I was 5 yo! It's a National Anthem, just sing it and start the game. Not all singers have the right to add all the BS to that song, it's not their music.

      February 7, 2011 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Stacey

      I enjoyed the Vader ad too. As a parent, I cringed when I saw the little one standing in front of a vehicle that was running, but the idea of the ad as well as everything else was very cute. It's the one ad that I remembered from beginning to end. Great game!

      February 7, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • kite005

      I didn't notice or care so much that she messed up to words but she basically butchered the anthem in every way possible. Why do so many sing much of it like aeiueyiaeyaieaouyiweoaeywaieo that never works.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Erik...

      It's not THEIR music?? Uh then who's music is it?? Francis Scott Key's?? No it belongs to all of us and to say "someone can't sing it this way" is absolutely absurd and delusional. Seek therapy.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Ron Jeremy

    Groupon commercial sucked. even as a satire.

    February 7, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • kyle

      What a risky subject matter that fell politically flat.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • toxictown


      February 7, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |

    The Chinese did not like the commercial Because they think Chinese Food is better than Tibetan Food.
    I love Chinese food!!!!

    February 7, 2011 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  10. Aaron

    I thought the Groupon ads were awesome. Political correctness is rtarded.

    February 7, 2011 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Carl

      Just because a joke is politically incorrect doesn't automatically make it funny. The commercial was unfunny, regardless of the controversy.

      February 7, 2011 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      I like the second Groupon ad, the one about the Brazilian. It was funnier.

      February 7, 2011 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • jules

      You are an ass all-around, Aaron.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  11. U.S. Common Sense

    I think the critics missed the message behind the Groupon commercial. It was a "Free Tibet" ad, but they hid the message by discussing the dinner deal available through their service. I thought it was quite clever.

    February 7, 2011 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Big Red

      I agree. It was thoughtfully put together but unfortunately the average person is clueless and haters and like to complain

      February 7, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Erik...

      Haha yes haters like to complain. Yeah, people are really not tuned into the "cleverness" of the commercial right? WRONG. It's awful to exploit the actual human injustice done to a population of China in order to sell coupons. Moron.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Groupon..

    The Groupon spot was poking fun at themselves- they used to be soley a non-profit to raise money for causes such as the Tibet situation. They now are for-profit, but still give a TON of money to the Tibet cause- as well as others. It was obviously supposed to cause controversy- hopefully people will understand the point of the spot and not assume they were simply mocking Tibet- because they were actually doing doing the exact opposite through satire.

    February 7, 2011 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • U.S. Common Sense

      Agreed, as noted in the comment before yours. The critic obviously didn't understand the commercial.

      February 7, 2011 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
    • toxictown

      Yeah, but since very few people know this backstory, it doesn't work as an ad. The wrong message was communicated and the humor was strained. Fail.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • ScottK

      @toxic – Maybe there was another hidden message... like get off the couch and learn some world history. Just because its not happening in your backyard doesnt mean its not happening.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  13. See Novak

    Maybe Aguilera should have concentrated more on the lyrics and less on the warbly tonal infections a la Mahalia Jackson.
    Can't anyone just SING the damn notes anymore?Sheesh.......

    February 7, 2011 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • U.S. Common Sense

      AMEN! It is a very beautiful song and poem when sung properly. I don't understand why people feel that they have to embellish the song.

      February 7, 2011 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Felix

      II completely agree. Just go out there and perform the song.

      February 7, 2011 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Absolutely. This self-infatuated bimbo stood there afterwards thanking people-flubbed lines, screeching and all-as if the moment was about her. Totally classless. What should have been a moment of national pride instead was a national embarassment.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Singer

      Why not just let the Glee girl sing it? She did a BEAUTIFUL job on her song...

      February 7, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Funnyguy0714

      ABSOLUTELY, note to singers...when singing the US National Anthem...JUST SING THE SONG!

      February 7, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • kite005

      I agree the words to the anthem are not aeiueyiaeyaieaouyiweoaeywaieoioueyayayhhohohuryio

      February 7, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Erik...

      I believe what you are saying is "Go out and sing the song they way that I say you should!" Hahaha what a bunch of self-serving d-bags trolling CNN today.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • MrsFizzy

      Great idea Singer, they missed an opportunity to have the cast of Glee come on and sing it, that would have been awesome.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Just me

      Erk: Here's a thought: Sing it the way it was written. She needs to watch Whitney's rendition.

      February 7, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Greg

    My favorite flub was the first of three Verizon adds... "I can hear you now." Oh wait, no we can't!

    February 7, 2011 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  15. DC2NM

    The Detroit ad was the best. Well done, emotional and unexpected. They taped into the new American patriotism and were the only ad that wasn't cookie-cutter.

    February 7, 2011 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • KevFu

      It would have been better if Eninem got tackled at the end.

      February 7, 2011 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Pat Rosso

      I think this was one of the best, boldest commercials in a long time. Kudos to Marchionne and the ad genius's behind it. The best part was that they told America – made in Detroit is no longer a joke! I hope Chrysler sells a gazillions vehicles. I

      February 7, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
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