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. Colin

    "Hit 'em with the Kenny G"

    February 7, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Sandy

    VKM – PLEASE!! not Adam Lambert I don't think I could take him either!

    February 7, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jingo Tsering

    China is not satisfied with invasion, subjugation, destruction and colonization and exploitatoin of resources of Tibet. They are trying to wipe out the Tibetan race and even the spirit of Tibet. But Tibet with it's distinct history, culture, religion, language for a thousands of years and even with unique geographical situation will not die down as Chinese commies wish. Tibetans will rise up from the death as Phoenix. And Tibetans believe in law of Karma and Chinese will reap what they sowed in Tibet for all these years. Even the Christains say what comes around goes around.

    February 7, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bobby Digital

    Here's my ad copy: "The Holocaust. A horrible moment in history, where millions of Jews were oppressed and murdered by the evil Nazi regime. The darkest spot in human history. But hey, the Jews sure do make good movies....and right now, if you download the Fandago app from the app store, you'll get 20% off your next purchase of movie tickets if you ACT NOW. SATURDAY SATURDAY SATURDAY!!" If you can't tell, I'm poking fun of Groupon's horrible decision to run an ad like that. Idiots.

    February 7, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ben

      They sure do make great movies. It's a good thing we stopped Hitler when we did. Could you imagine living with German movies? {shudders at the thought]

      February 7, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  5. elainef

    I only know that our anthem was messed up, the excuses will not matter to me. I thought we should expect that American corporations or otherwise who tell us that they will take responsibility (profitability) seriously when planning these events.

    "Christina Aguilera messed up the National Anthem, but a bigger tragedy is the fact that many of the players, coaches, and staff did not salute our flag while the anthem was being sung."

    So why is it ok to mess up our anthem?

    February 7, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Peter John

      If the words of the first verse meant anything that meant anything to people, the presentations would be less stylized. CHeck out "Sing the Fourth verse" Facebook Cause.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  6. T Diddy

    ALL the ads were pretty lame! I have no idea what the chrysler ad was trying to say! Maybe that detroit is a complete dump and they sing a lot??? The music, if you can call it that, was pathetic, Slash needs to slash his wrists for going on stage with those talentless freaks! That blond chick singing the national anthem was awful! Good game though!

    February 7, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • RabiaDiluvio

      The fact that taxpayers are footing the bill for that Chrysler ad makes it even more confusing.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • D-Town

      If you didn't understand what the ad was about, you are clearly not from Detroit and should not comment on it.

      The ad spoke to the spirit and strength the the city has and how it has risen from tough times before and will rise once again.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • GokTurk

      Places are places dude.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • JayZ

      You had trouble figuring out what that commercial was about, but apperantly a few million google users didnt.

      Herpa Durpa!

      February 7, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hugo

      You couldn't figure out what the commercial was about? That is beyond sad. And about the tax payers... you think the ad space for the Armed Forces was "donated"? Moron.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • guest

      So Eminem's music, which is really awful, really represents Chrysler?

      February 7, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • urmom

      You are obviously not from The Motor City or understand what helped hold this country together for years. SAD SAD SAD!!!!!

      February 7, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anchorite

      @ D-Town. OK, so you're saying this was an ad that was NOT designed to appeal to anyone? Because if they spent millions on a Super Bowl ad that can only be understood by the people of one city, they wasted their money. Detroit is finished, just like Flint was before that. Too many eggs in only 3 baskets.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • T Diddy

      Actually I DID live in Detroit, well Birmingham, and it was and is kind of a dump!

      February 7, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • SickPuppy

      Yeah, I got the message just fine: Detroit was a dump 'back in the day' and still is. Nothing has changed. What's the big deal? The UAW is certainly partially, if not toally, responsible for RUINING the auto industry in this country. 60K/year for hanging bumpers for 8 hours or driving a friggin forklift?? Seriously? A damn 3rd grader could do that.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • mkmChicago

      Anyone who can't figure out what the Detroit ad was about prolly have trouble tying their own shoes too.
      "all the ads were lame" is the type of reaction that makes ad execs laugh. Cause they are well aware there is a certain segment of the population too dense to understand context, sarcasm, innuendo, and humor.
      While I'm not a fan of Eminem, the ad was effective, clear and a bit inspiring. Being a urban dweller who's seen my own city go through painful ups and downs, I feel for the message and love the statement about Detroit and all of urban America is ready, willing and able to bounce back. I think I'm going out to buy a Chrysler 200 now.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Miss Raven B.

      jesus joseph and lucifer too! what the devil has gotten in to you people! these comments are hilarious!!!! AND HEY YOU T DIDDY, SCREW YOU AND BASHING ON SLASH. that just shows how much class you have. which is NONE. now then, just because he went onstage with those talentless freaks dosent mean he sunk low. in fact, many people commend him for doing so because it shows that the higher ups still support the arts. and if you are to much of a NEANDERTHAL to realize that then you should just SHUT YOUR MOUTH. didn't your momma ever teach you that if you cant say somthing nice then dont say nothing at all. and to those of you who are being racist. UP YOURS.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Black Eyed Peas – Where Is The Love? was the best part of superbowl. The worst part of the superbowl is TSA thugs touching childrens private parts.

      February 7, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jsun

      Absolutely the worst superbowl ads and entertainment in the history of he game. I've watched every Superbowl, that's right, every single one. It's grown tremendously, but I'd rather see one of the old simpler ones than the trainwreck of ADs, Black Eyed Peas, and Christina. Terrible. Perhaps these folks are trying to do too much, and just failing. That kid in the Darth Vader outfit, he was awesome. Here's to you kid, well done. Maybe you could do the national anthem next year!

      February 7, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • mark in nyc

      mini darth vader for VW is a swell ad. simple, clever and relatable.

      February 7, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave


      You thought Birmingham was a dump? A town where property values, even in the recession, are still around $600,000 to the million mark or over? That has to be the most asinine comment written in this thread. I was born and raised around the Birmingham area and now I live and work in Washington D.C. If given the choice I'd move back to my hometown in a second instead living in this city.

      February 7, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Justblue2

      @ Mike...was TSA at the Game ? Really ?

      February 7, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Loved the Chrysler ad...

      You'd have to know the history behind it...the Fox Theatre was AMAZING rennovated. My mom would have cried if she were still alive to see it so beautiful, she grew up in the city in Detroit and saw it from being voted the most beautiful city in America to becoming a really sad scary place, the theatre that was in the commercial is a landmark to the city of Detroit. Although I moved away a long time ago it was great to see the city being built back up.

      February 7, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • MsDoubleU

      To T Diddy who stated, "Actually I DID live in Detroit, well Birmingham, and it was and is kind of a dump!"

      I grew up in Birmingham, MI and you may in no way claim to have lived in Detroit. Birmingham in one of the richest cities in America, and Detroit is.. well we all know Detroit's failings. However, just because Detroit does have its fair share of problems doesn't mean that it can't make a comeback. Yes, the comeback may be slow (decades to come), but don't knock a city down that is trying to stand back up. And don't pretend that you lived in Detroit because you didn't. Not even close.

      February 7, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      This has to be the worst superbowl I have ever had the unfortunate luck to see.. First off.. The anthem was wrong. She sucked.. A disgrace.. Secondly, the place looked like some run down houston astrodome.. That concrete astroturf probably explains all the injuries.. Look at it.. It was pealing up in the middle.. Was tthat place brand new like last year? Yeah, riiiiight.. What a dump.. And that half time performance? What's up with that? They sounded like some vegas lounge act that was trying to make a comeback... Could you afford something better? Anything would have been better than that!!! What a joke that whole thing turned out to be.. It was like a bad acid trip watching TRON.. Gimme me a break man..

      February 7, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike k

      The fact that taxpayers are footing the bill for that Chrysler ad makes it even more confusing

      How do you figure, the money Chrysler recieved from the governments were high interest loans that are well on their way to being re-paid, .

      February 7, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sam

      The ad was about the so-called revival of Detroit and a car company that has always been a part of it. The music was the same as always and why worry about the National Antham?

      February 7, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      @miss raven – ummm this is the internet. All people ever do in these comment sections is brutally criticize people, probably because they can do it anonymously and don't have to actually account for their words. It's sad really, that people act so tough when they don't have to face any real confrontation. I agree, if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all, but that ain't ever gonna happen on the internet

      February 7, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim Brieske

      Hugo. There could be an FCC law that requires a percentage of network advertising time be donated to The Armed Forces. Because we all live here and must be protected by our military. It's a constant, it doesn't change ever.

      February 7, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  7. rich

    Holy Crap! Timothy Hutton looks terrible! I thought it was Belushi.

    February 7, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • LOL

      That was my reaction. Missed the ad yesterday, but apparently he's going to the same plastic surgeon as Bruce Jenner. Yikes.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      He actually looks WAY better in person. Which seems to be the OPPOSITE of most hollywood actors. His hair and makeup did not compliment him on this commercal and his stylist should be blamed. He lives in my building (here in Portland) when he's shooting "Leverage", and looks good to me!

      February 7, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  8. rynoe147

    ok hate for this i honestly i don't care but i found the commercial to be in a little bit of bad taste but yet i did find it funny at the same time. should they have poked fun at a less unfortunate group of people? no. But they did and only you have the ability to change the channel. it's not like anyone here can do anything about it anyway. Not to mention the fact that being worried about your own countries problems before another countries problems is not being ignorant. If anything it's being patriotic. So correct me if im wrong but during the revolution didnt we deal with our own problems before another countries? we are not the entire worlds babysiters we don't have to (metaphorically) .whipe their noses whenthey make a mess. They have a brain and a beating heart just like all of us they can figure it out. On the other hands i dont see anything wrong with helping countries that DO need the help but we can't fix every country if we can't fix ourselves first. The only people on this blog that have called other people ignorant are in fact themselves ignorant, And cannot be swayed from wat they believe. So you do not have to criticize someone for expressing their opinion.
    Bring on the hate mail.

    February 7, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • MATT


      February 7, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Walken1

      Oh relax Matt. I'm concerned about the plight of the Tibetans and I honestly thought the commercial was funny – came totally out from left field.

      February 7, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Beantown

    FYI CNN – that "theater" is the Fox Theatre, one of the greatest theaters in the country that has showcased Elvis, Sammy Davis, Jr., the biggest Motown stars of all time, as well as countless of others. It was brilliantly done by Chrysler, Detroit is back!

    February 7, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      On fire, as usual.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • jbill

      I am from boston but i saw a play in the fox theater. that place is nice.Detriot has it bad places so as many places but I tell you one of my greatest memories of 2010 was going to watch a play at the fox theater then going to Tigers and Redsox game in detriot. Not to mention they have a 2 casino in the area.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      All those people that went online to check out the Chrysler 200 will go and test drive it and then realize "Oh yea, Chrysler still makes bad cars, maybe I'll just buy a Ford or a Honda instead."

      Just like any one who goes to Detroit will realize that it's more of a dump than ever.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Collette

      My son lives in Troy, a suburb of Detroit, and he says that Detroit is a dump and no one wants to live in Detroit city. Detroit isn't on it's way back until it gets rid of the liberal machine that runs it.

      February 7, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Justblue2

      The only "real" Fox Theater is in Atlanta.

      February 7, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • m@

      With all due respect, Collette, I live in Detroit and work in Troy. Troy is a soulless, bland suburb with barely a sliver of the character and creativity Detroit has.

      February 7, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • FlaFil

      Collette: I lived in Troy for a number of years – Royal Oak before that – and worked in Detroit. Troy and Royal Oak were nice places to live, as is Birmingham. I always enjoyed working in the city, although I was more comfortable living in the 'burbs.

      Justblue2: The Fox in Detroit and the Fox in Atlanta were among several around the country that were all part of the same "chain" of theaters. The one in Detroit is slightly larger.

      February 7, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  10. GokTurk

    Best ad was the one for the car where the different "powers" kept stealing the car from the previous one. Poseidon stole it from the rich guy on the yacht. alien stole it from Poseidon etc. lol

    February 7, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Conner

      That was pointless and stupid... Keep being easily entertained though...

      February 7, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • bee9hsee

      you can still like a commercial for aesthetic reasons, who cares what the meaning is behind it. your comment was pointless and stupid, stop trying to act so tough on the internet conner boy.

      that commercial was cool.

      February 7, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • seventypercent

      The great thing about that ad is that it took a bit of intelligence and historical knowledge to understand everything that was being shown. I suspect that Conner's major complaint is that it didn't feature any talking animals or people getting hit in the groin.

      February 7, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  11. JRR

    If your a professional singer, then the bar is set higher. There is no excuse for not getting the words right. She took liberties with the presentation that were unpleasant to listen to. Overall a complete bomb.

    February 7, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Linney17

      And I'm sure you've never made a mistake, right? She's a human being. We make mistakes. She was sorry and she's probably embarrassed enough. Let's not put celebrities on higher pedestals than they are already on by demanding perfection. You know who I want perfection from? My doctor. Christina can mess up any song she likes.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Julia

      She may be human, but she's getting millions of dollars to sing so it is quite reasonable to expect her to get it right. If I made a million dollar mistake, I would expect criticism.

      February 7, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • TRH

      I believe she broke her contract to sing the national anthem when she failed to sing the national anthem. She gets my pity for screwing up so badly. But she should get no paycheck for that performance.

      February 7, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Insane Diplomat

      If you're an American I expect you to know the difference between your and you're. Check yourself before you talk smack about anyone else. You, like Christina, made an elemental mistake, but at least she may have been legitimately nervous. What's your excuse?

      February 7, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Barnacle Bill

    Eminem and Christina Aguilera are perfect examples of self indulgent mediocrity.

    This is why people in this country buy their noise. Or perhaps, the mediocrity in America is why they exist at all.

    February 7, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • JayZ

      Im sure your worship thrives on a wonderful career, but Eminem pulled his ass out of bluecollar boredom with a pen.

      Get off your high computer chair of judgement and turn off your Enya, step out of the late modle BMW and respect America for what it is, or move somewhere else.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      If you can't perceive the genius of Eminem as an artist, then maybe you're just too old or mediocre. Self indulgent? Sure. Mediocre? Hardly.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Keith

      Eminem is not your typical thug wannabe rapper, and although I am not found of his newer stuff, he is an amazing artist and maybe the best lyricist of all time.

      February 7, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Peter John

    You can play clumsy and make up for it by playing smart. You can play stupid, and compensate with agility. When you play clumsy and stupid, you deserve to lose. I've never been more ashamed of being a Steelers fan. When you have turned over the ball four times, you're down six points, with minutes to go, the last thing you want to do is turn the ball over again.

    The Steelers played like they were hungover - they must have been so certain of a win that they partied in advance.

    February 7, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • SophyB

      Seems like "Big Ben" is permanently hungover from the photos I've seen of him online...grow up already!

      February 7, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • JD

      They were in lockdown from wednesday on so had nothing to with a hangover – Ben took it on himself but defense was hardly noticeable – were they over confident, shouldn't have been, they were picked to lose and lose they did – they're still AFC Champs, they made it to the super bowl while 30 teams stayed home – fans need to grow up too – they're human, time for fans to be the same – next year!! Go Steelers!

      February 7, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Maria

    Missed Christina's mishap...but the Black Eye Peas...Well the guys sounded great.....that's all I will say about that.

    February 7, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  15. snagar

    Best commercial by far: The Darth Vader kid for VW. Freaking hilarious, cute, and sweet. Made me think of my own son. (And me at that age, for that matter!) Halftime= sucked BIG TIME! 2 overrated acts (Blacked Eyed Pease and Usher) + 1 washed-up, has-been rocker (Slash) = MAJOR SUCKAGE!!

    February 7, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
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