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 Will.i.am 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 JesusHatesObama.com, 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. JTC

    Did anyone think to use a teleprompter for the lyrics to the National Anthem?
    Someone could have picked up a Karioke machine at K-Mart on the way to the stadium or something.

    February 7, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Flash

      They did but it broke 10 seconds into the song

      February 7, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  2. tttttttt

    Couldn’t have asked for a better game. In fact the announcers had me convinced Pittsburgh was winning though they never led. Now the issues. Fox should have issued a disclaimer before showing Christine A. down on the field at the opening of the game. It was still the family hour and she scared the children. And while we're on CA, of course work on the lyrics first, leave the vocal gyrations to Patti Labelle. Her excuse, she was caught up in the moment, same excuse as Roethlisberger. So that’s the Black Eyed Peas, with Slash thrown in for us ’whities’. If I want to hear bad karaoke I will go downtown. To his credit, Usher’s dive into the splits resinated. The worst halftime show in a long while.
    As for next year, if Indy gets the ‘Coug’ for halftime and Beiber joins him on stage I will be waiting on the grassy knoll.

    February 7, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  3. PEP

    She blew the words to the national anthem because her delivery was all about her, and not about that anthem. If your focus was on the song you wouldn't blow the words

    February 7, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Don

    Yeah she blew it,I dont know how you could forget the words to the national anthem,but some of you people need to direct your anger elsewhere.Have you heard whats going on in the middle east?It kind of makes Christana's screw up look unimportant.

    February 7, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Shivling

    The first mountain shown in groupon ad doesn't even exists in Tibet, it is known as 'Shivling' peak and it is in India and not even close to Tibet. Lame research.

    February 7, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Robin Bray

    As a former Art Director I have to say that many studios need to clean house and hire better minds. So much rubbish paying huge amounts to be on the air. Heads should roll for a lot of the junk I saw.

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

    The headline makes it sound like the article would be about the good plays during the game, but it's about the commercials? Really?

    February 7, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mike

    This was sooo tacky it was unbelievable. It was actually more like a SNL parody of the commercials rather than a commercial.

    February 7, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mike

    Where's the Doritos love? I thought they swept the best ads.

    February 7, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Tracy

    I thought the Groupon ad was in VERY bad taste. I hope they lose business because of this.

    February 7, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jfax

    Any good lawyers contacting the 400 who were denied seating? I smell a multi-million dollar class action gravy train.

    February 7, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Flash

      They were compensated which surely included waiving any right to sue later

      February 7, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  12. John

    I do not think this year's Super Bowl ads are good. They are just freaky.

    February 7, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  13. T. McGraw - Hanover, NH

    Yep, that Tibetan ad took the cake....I'm watching that thinking "Are you frikkin' kidding me? I didn't see what i thought I saw, did I?" Give me a break. For shame....America has become such a corporate feudal autocracy that this crap passes unnoticed and people are lining up to keep recordings of this junk. We are a nation in decline....

    February 7, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  14. gimli420

    Worst national anthem performance ever. What, they couldn't get Roseanne Barr? Even if Cristina hadn't screwed up the lyrics, her caterwauling all-about-me improvisation completely ruined it.

    February 7, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Mitch

    Ads like the Groupon disaster are what happens when inexperienced 30 year olds run big companies. Too much money plus too little experience equals major loss in shareholder value. Hopefully the venture community will take a hard look at this and put in some adult supervision.

    February 7, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
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