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. proud american

    They should have sacked all the commercials and showed the tribute to Salvatore Giunta, MOH recipient and the rest of the Military servicemen/women.

    February 7, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • TijuanaDog

      boooring. No one cares about them

      February 7, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • pierce

      Yeah let us bow, once again, to those who go overseas to kill and seize territory.
      In the name of heaven, stop this placement of the military on pedestals. We are not a military country. we are a county of mostly civilians and values and principles. This mindless, lock-step in fawning over the military is ridiculous.
      My dad is a WWII vet, Normandy, but our family honors him as a dad, grandfather, husband, ex-worker, citizen, not military and even he thinks all this bowing to the military is dubious.

      February 7, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Katie

    I hardly ever watch the halftime show because it's always lame. (Missed the whole Janet Jackson bruhaha!) But the ads this year were mostly disturbing, I thought, lots of low-level violence towards others. Who throws things at people? Encourages dogs to run into plate glass doors? Thinks it's funny to send babies into windows? Not particularly funny, I thought.

    They can all go back to the drawing board.

    February 7, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mattie

    That was like the "Precious" of Super Bowls- It just kept getting worse with no redemption to be found. Blech!

    February 7, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  4. WhiteBear

    Halftime show gets a BLACK EYE...worst performance by a dumb group ever...trying to outshout themselves shows that it's nothing but trash anyway....dancing was moronic as well....go back to rock-n-roll and get a class act instead of these classless, talentless yellers of today.

    February 7, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • sulden

      absolutely correct, 100%! But to keep it from becoming a WHO fiasco, nail down somebody that still has it, and the only one I can think of right away that does, is CCR..........

      February 7, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  5. rev_cletus

    What? Was this some sort of new teevee program or something?

    February 7, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  6. the name was required

    How about the budweiser commercial with the old western town? or the old luxury commercial for audi? release the hounds and activate the kenny g.? anybody remember those?

    February 7, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  7. bill schlott

    The swim suit segment of the five hour pregame show, the fatuous ads, and the insipid half time show illustrates just how
    debased and trivialized our culture has become.

    February 7, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Richard

    the halftime show stunk big time, such a tragic waste of money...just think how many people could have been fed, how many homeless or battered women's shelters could run for a year on what was paid for that terrible show...perhaps the superbowl just isn't so super anymore...

    February 7, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Joe

    Those Groupon commercials were some of the only funny ones I saw. People really need to get a sense a humor. There is nothing offensive about those, just comedy.

    February 7, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dud

      Your comments are valid. However, if the idea of the commercial was to "advertise" their service or product or whatever it is they do, it failed miserably. Until I saw the Tibet ad I had never even heard of Groupon. Yes, I guess I am that ill-informed–I'll bet there are millions of others like me who are football fans. I STILL don't know what Groupon is or does. If the audience does not "understand" a commercial, I say it is a failure, by definition. Just my humble opinion.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Erik...

      Alright, first tell all the people of Tibet to get a sense of humor of the awful plight they go through EVERY DAY. Yeah, it's funny when it's not you. That my friend, makes you a complete di**.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  10. rev_cletus

    Oh, I see – folks are getting all hyperventilated about a *football game*...whoa. Must not be any wars, or starvation, or corporate ripoffs, or anything else of importance going on in the world, eh? Noses bent outta joint over a *football game*...amazing...

    February 7, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • eldono

      This is America. "Truth" is the newest 4 letter word.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • jujubeans

      nose not bent out of shape, just enjoy entertainment occasionally. Can't fret over the world's problems 24/7

      February 7, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • The dude

      I miss the budweiser frogs...

      February 7, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Diane

      At least alanis morissette knew the words during the world series.. This chick should go hide away somewhere for a long time.. he he he

      February 7, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • johnny

      welcome to america, where our priorities dont even make sense and we live them.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      hey it's the star mangled banner.. I know that song!

      February 7, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ben

      Wow. I bet you're a hoot at dinner parties

      February 7, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Apparently she has Twilight on the brain.. for including it twice.. 🙂 the united states of twilight

      February 7, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Just me

      Jeez Rev, Lighten up.

      February 7, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jay In Florida

    It sounds to me as if the PC police at CNN WANT and DEMAND that the ad featuring the Tibet food be treated as offensive by the rest of us. Well, NO!!!!. It isn't offensive CNN. Grow up.

    The Chrysler ad was very nice. It was scripted with a lot of good heart. Congratulations.

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

      Actually, it is quite offensive. To make light of the human rights of the Tibetan people and the oppression they face in order to advertise coupons is atrocious. People like YOU say that it doesn't matter because you are simply not Tibetan. You have your eyes closed to the rest of the world and only care if something affects you personally. I hate to say it, but YOU are the problem with society. The end.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      You're a moron. The ad was in horrendously poor taste.

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

      how about an ad poking fun at fat, lazy, selfish, and ignorant americans?

      February 7, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • janetlaw

      manchester – now that I would like to see! We got plenty of 'em here in Ohio!

      February 7, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • atlantaGA

      I definitely thought that ad was good for the first 2/3 of the commercial...until I realized that they were, in fact, making light of a serious situation. I was fooled for a minute into thinking that we Americans were finally going to promote something beneficial to others during the Super Bowl... Should've known it'd turn into this atrocity.

      There's not much I find more tasteless than attempting to profit from another's misfortune...

      February 7, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Christoph71

      Hey Man U. Thanks for your generalization about Americans. I would like to apoliogize to all you Brits for the lazy act of helping you guys out of two world wars and also thank you for the great importance of your royal weddings that we are so grateful of being able to have crammed down our throats and the subsequent divorces, cheating etc.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • MrsFizzy

      Christoph I think you just illustrated ManU's point there??

      February 7, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jonny

      Clearly, you're a fool and have confirmed it for all of us.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • mycatsbreathsmellslikecatfood

      weird... i missed the part where all who are complaining were forced to watch the TV subscription they paid for.

      dont like it? then dont watch it and dont pay for it.


      the tibet ad – HILARIOUS!!

      February 7, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Todd

      To Manchester: wouldn't work. all Americans are hardworking, in shape, and charitable. No one is out of shape, or wants to put his own good in front of others, and never demands that someone else do the hard work for him.

      Nope, we are all perfect.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • eastcoastbob

      manchester_united you show a limited amount of intelligence with your statement about Americans. Look it up and you will find that the USA is very high in productivity and that England is far down the list from the USA and many other countries. I know that most English people are not at your level of ignorance and I am guessing that most of them would not want to claim you. Yes the commercial was less then witty and probably won't be aired again.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Justsit

      Thank you, Groupon! You just brought light on this issue to millions of viewers who may never have heard of Tibet and gave the "Save Tibet" movement a million dollars worth of free publicity.
      Snuck it right in there...way to go!

      February 7, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ted Ward

      Just because you have the right to do it and can do it doesn't make it appropriate. The Groupon Tibet ad was in extremely bad taste and shows Groupon management to be out of touch with anything that is a matter of principle and not profit in this world. Really disappointed in Groupon !

      February 7, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Peter John

      LOL!!! I laughed my ethics off. I think it did a great job of bringing a significant issue home. everyone who saw it will think of it eating and Asian food - I do not even remember the product.

      It was one of several ads that found ways to compress multiple issues or products into one ad. This was among the best cooradinated ad campaigns in a Superbowl venue that was significantly coordinated itself.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Trend

      But a deafening silence about the Pepsi ad depicting domestic violence

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


      Last time I checked nobody pays for a subscription to get the BASIC NATIONAL CHANNELS, your stupid argument would only work if the superbowl were on cable.
      Btw, when you choose to air your commercial on the most watched program of the year then people have every right to note that it was offensive.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • jdk47

      manchester_united said

      how about an ad poking fun at fat, lazy, selfish, and ignorant americans?

      I thought that was what the eminem Chrysler ad was doing. Making fun of Unions.

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

      Because really, the Brits are so much better than the Americans. There aren't any people in all of England who are close minded in any way.

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

      Even if people in Tibet were treated like actual free thinking, independent human beings, they wouldn't care enough to find this offensive. It's not that big of a deal, if you're really that offended you need to get over yourself

      February 7, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • JimS.

      Add me to the group that thinks it was in incredibly bad taste. I kept waiting for a tie-in or for them to say "for every you buy, we'll make a contribution to...." and there simply wasn't one. Did they think simply pointing it out was enough? Well, it wasn't. Perfect example of "slactivism" i.e, slacker activism. If they wanted to invoke Tibet's situation, they should've stepped up and offered to do something to help. And their other commercials were no better. I'm VERY disappointed in Groupon.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • RabiaDiluvio

      The Chrysler ad gets a little less impressive when you realize taxpayers footed the bill for it.

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

      The add regarding Tibet was a disgrace to the people of Tibet and our country, trivializing the occupation of Tibet and it's people. Groupon should do nothing less than apologize deeply and then make a huge donation to the Dali Lama or any organization working to secure the rights and freedoms of Tibet.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • JT

      Attention Self-Righteous Jack offs: Tibet was an awful place prior to the invasion of the PRC. Although certainly less than “ideal” they are far better off being under PRC control than the god-king Dali Lama. That is right he is a god-king like Ceaser or the Pharaohs. Look it up and see the pics for yourself. The people of Tibet were essentially slaves to the lama’s. They actually have far more rights and a higher standard of living today. Stop being duped by the fraud Dali Lama who pays individuals to cause civil unrest in Tibet and then blames it on the Chinese when they take action. Have you ever been to Tibet? Stop listening to dopey Hollywood and do some research.

      By the way, the add was funny. It was poking fun at obnoxious self-righteous people, not Tibet. Get over yourselves.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Christoph71

      Mrs. Fizzy – I fail to see how you think that I supported ManU's contention. I don't know if you are an American, but I am. My gransparents were in both the first and second WW. My family has worked hard to help our country and other countries. I put myself through college and law school and work very hard at my proffession. I also run 3 miles a day and my girlfriend runs marathons in addition to working full-time and raising two children. We are both in our forties. You may be an Amercian that is lazy and fat, but I am not and all Americans (most that I know) are not. If you want to admit that you are fat and lazy, that is fine, but not all Americans are not that way, and I take offense to others from countires we have helped making that generalization. My family works to help ourselves and those that are less fortunate. I am actually working on a pro bono case right now.

      So please, don't call me fat and lazy because it somehow makes you feel better, and if you are an American, are you admitting that you are fat and lazy? If so, jus tcome out and say THAT, don't lump me into your private misfortune.

      February 7, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matthew Lor

      That commercial was good in terms of what a commercial should be fore. It served it's point and made you remember it. It's a sad world, but business will pay big bucks to promote their products or services. Yes, it was a little offensive, but that was only because it went against where you thought it was going. Much like movies. So critique on!

      February 7, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mimi G of Toronto

      There is however, another way of looking at this ad: I took it to be positive; a message was sent & shared to the world about the injustice & trouble Tibetans are faced in Tibet under China's control. This is exactly what the oppressed Tibetan people in Tibet want the world to know and see, but unable to voice due to retribution. And if an ad about a fish curry dish is added in humor, so be it – no offense taken.

      February 7, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
  12. CTP

    Groupon has a long history of being freakish:

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

    Someone please explain to me why Tibet and Eqypt should even make news in the United States, not to mention all these silly threds. We have our own issues within our boarders. If they both went up in flames I could care less. Time to worry and finance ourselves and discontinue other nations.

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

      You have no idea how the world functions do you, mixedapproach? Acting as if we aren't part of humanity is the biggest problem facing humanity. Grow up.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • busyb

      I guess you'd rather be bombarded with news about Charlie Sheen and Lindsey Lohan...

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

      Yes, but on the other hand you're obviously useless garbage, so who cares what you think?

      February 7, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seriously?

      You are right...we do have a plenty of problems within our own borders (spelled WITHOUT the "a"), such as educating people like you who are completely ignorant and can't spell basic words.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • english teacher

      And what you should have said (because it is not only correct but actually makes sense) is that you COULDN'T CARE LESS.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • atlantaGA

      THANK YOU english teacher... I was thinking the exact same thing! If this moron actually COULD care less, then it'd mean he actually had a brain/heart.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jonny

      Really ? Angry or bitter much ?
      We've instigated so much of this crap; we aren't exempt from guilt, this is why they've tried to blow us up!
      Wake up coolaide drinkers!

      February 7, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sue

      People such as yourself is why America is going up in failing. You can close your eyes and wish we're the only country in the world but it doesn't work that way now. The world will move forward while neanderthals like you sit on your hands and cry like children about the world changing.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • bxgrrl

      I suggest you stop worrying about America's problems and take care of your own – with the English language, e.g.: "discontinue other nations." ???????

      February 7, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • mycatsbreathsmellslikecatfood

      bxgrrl – OP is a prime example of why the US should focus on problems at home rather than abroad. last time i checked, we werent the only country with an army.

      how about someone else start picking up the slack?

      February 7, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Peter John

      Can you say Global Village? I thought you could. Around the World today might as well be around the block. This is Mr. Relativity's neighborhood, and we are only as far away from anyone as the time it takes for a missile to fly between us.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Agee

      "…all these silly threds." You mean THREADS?

      "If they both went up in flames I could care less." The correct term is COULDN'T care less.

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

      all of these angry comments and english grammar lessons for this guy. Are all you americans angry about something? You are a very negative country. We may have violence in my country, but for the most part everyone lives in harmony.

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

      Really TijuanaDog angry are Americans?? And just think, this is only an article about some TV commercials during a football game....nothing "important"!

      February 7, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Linney17

      You COULD care less? Please don't bother caring one way or the other since you're worthless. You caring might make things worse than they already are.

      February 7, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  14. dawn

    I thought the Tibet commercial was stupid and belittling.

    February 7, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      I didn't see any other ads mentioning Tibet and referring to the problems there. Did you? Sorry you didn't like the commercial. You aren't supporting China over Tibet are you?

      February 7, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • dawn

      Wow, you flipped that one around. Don't know where you are getting that.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  15. sammy sozo

    Worst Super Bowl ads I've seen in all the years of the game. Nothing memorable. Many were good examples of trying way too hard to impress. A couple will make me think twice about buying their products, Doritos for example, they were so bad, almost insulting.

    February 7, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • justsayin'

      The Doritos ad where the guy knocked over the urn was absolutely hilarious!

      February 7, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nom nom nom nom

      I LOVED the Dorito's finger licker. And the Pepsi Max where she threw the can.

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