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. Marianna

    Personally, I think the best commercial keeps getting overlooked! The one with the man who breaks for the Beaver going over a bridge, and then 6 months later the beaver saves the guys life when he purposely chews a tree down so he will stop and notice that the bridge was completely washed away in the storm...and then the beaver flashes him the peace sign. SO CUTE!

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

      That does sound adorable. Sorry I missed that one.

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

      Yes , the ad with the helpful beaver was a good one. One problem, however. Do you remember what was being advertised? I don't. Well, maybe it was Bridgestone Tires??? Anyhow, the bottom line "message" may have been lost in the "presentation". Just a thought. The advertisers are paying big money for these ads and I suggest that they might not be getting their money's worth.

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

      That was a really good one!! It had a great moral message. I agree, though, that the product itself got lost.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Huntressmoon

      I liked that one too. I agree with many here that too many of the commercials were in poor taste, tried to hard, or were just simply not funny.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • David (Georgia)

      Yep, that was indeed a good one. Plus, who doesn't love a beaver?

      February 7, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • StopTheWhining

      Haha! I dont know too many football (man) fans that don't like a cute beaver!

      February 7, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marci

      I thought the BMW commercial with the beaver was best, but also like the McDonald commercial with the bears getting the french fries.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • David/Adele

      That was the cutest I LOL

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

      The beaver and the VW Passat (lil' Darth Vader) commercials.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R55e-uHQna0

      February 7, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  2. dawn

    And I think they should have a veteran sing the Anthem, or at least someone people can look up to because of their core values.

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

      Agreed. Totally disappointed in the horrible performance, esp. the Anthem, the young girl from Glee did a much better job!

      February 7, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • janetlaw

      Yea – why didn't they use Lea Michelle for both? The comparison was GLARING. Not only did she forget the words, but what a TERRIBLE rendition – I did not recognize one note, did you?

      February 7, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • dawn

      whoa, Janetlaw you are right. I just tried to listen to the whole thing and I couldn't even do it. She also said something about "what so proudly we watched". Uh, isn't it "what so proudly we hailed?" Good grief. I think one of those military boys should have been singing it. She did them a dis-service as they are standing right there. Hated it.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • classyblue

      This would be a great idea if all veterans had core values. (For the record, I am a veteran)

      February 7, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • dawn

      Let's make it complicated classyblue. Let me put it this way, I'd just like to see someone there that would arose more of a feeling of patriotism than Christina Aguilera.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • y2daddy

      I think they should just dump the d*mn National Anthem at ANY sporting event. The military gets their a**es kissed enough every day; when i watch a football game I just want to see FOOTBALL.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Peter John

      I think we should all start singing the Fourth Verse of the Star Spangled banner -
      This just supports it. How much do we really pay attention to the words? How many times can such words be sung without seeming meaningless, so some novelty of style compensates.

      Our national anthem should not be the verse about bombs going off, and asking if the flag can last. It should be the verse affirming that it will if our actions equate to our noblest values. "Oh thus be it ever, when free men shall stand between their loved homes, and the war's desolation .... For conquer we must, when our cause it is just ... then the Star Spangled banner in triumph shall wave o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave." Those are words singers will sing so that listeners can understand."

      Checkout the facebook Cause "Sing the Fourth Verse" for more.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • dawn

      y2daddy,
      I'm not even going to argue with you, because that is such a stupid statement.

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

      What does the military have to do with the national anthem? And Y2 daddy - I think they should kick your *ss, not kiss it.

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

      yeah like the guys at abu garib. or what about the seal that smuggled automatic rifles home to san diego from iraq. or what about the navy captain that made the anti-gay video for his whole crew. or what about the 13 midshipmaen from annapolis that were expelled for starting a synthetic marijuana drug ring. GREAT CORE VALUES!

      February 7, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • dawn

      TijuanaDog, we wouldn't use one of those obviously but one of the millions that do respectfully represent our country. Hey, show me any group of humans that doesn't have a large batch of bad apples in it. You could find fault in any group of humans, but by in large I do appreciate our military and they are a patriotic inspiration to me. Obviously not to you. Sweep them all under the rug with the bad apples. As for me, I'll keep the around when I need them to protect my butt. Core values may not be the proper term, but simply someone who evokes a deep patriotism. If we are hell bent on finding fault with the military, why not just a super good citizen who throughout the year has performed many patriotic acts or acts of humanity & can at least not butcher the song.

      February 7, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  3. sam

    I don't see how mentioning Tibet automatically becomes offensive. They could have completely ignored Tibet like everyone else, I suppose. Would you have rather they talked about how awesome Chinese food is?

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

      It doesn't become offensive "automatically," moron. It becomes offensive when you use the Tibetan tragedy to hawk your lame web site with flippant lines like "but they still whip up an amazing fish curry!"

      February 7, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bobobobob

      FREE TIBET: and its supporters from their lack of a sense of humor. For just 25 cents a day you can bring a smile to a Tibetan Wannabe. Maybe if people laughed more there wouldn't be so much phony crying. Now, all you kids, go to Tibet and save them NOW. But bring me back some curry. kthxbai

      February 7, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mimi G. of Toronto

      Tibet ad only becomes "offensive" to just China because they don't like hearing the truth about oppressed Tibetans under China's occupation. The ad very cleverly gets the message out about the Tibetan people's plight & suffering, while at the same time, bring in some humor about being able to still whip up a great dish, in spite of all the trouble. Brilliant!

      February 7, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Local Girl Makes Goo

      Mentioning Tibet was not offensive; exploiting the injustice in Tibet to sell coupons is.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Fan

    Game was good but halftime was gosh awful. Who, how and what selects the half time entertainment? Do they pick the lowest bid with the biggest name? Come on CNN, do some investigating and let us know where the kick back was because someone sure got paid off to put such a crummy piece of entertainment on that field. Only thing good was the set but as is said, "you put a tux on a -- and it's still a --"

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

      I was at the game, and even though Christian flubbed the national anthem she sounded great. The halftime show live was also awesome. Everyone who watched it at home talks about how bad it sounded. Blame that one on FOX and their sound setup because being there live it sounded incredible.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Melanie H

      @Casual Observer - no, I blame the Peas. I've seen them live before on TV (Grammys, MTV, etc) and they are HORRIBLE!!! The only blame Fox should get is booking them. They (especially Fergie) cannot sing or carry a tune without a studio behind them to make them sound better. And Fergie singing "Sweet Child of Mine" was blasphemous!

      February 7, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • y2daddy

      Halftime show kicked six shades of a**. If you didn't like it, sorry; but it was hardly the worst ever (we have The Who and The Stones to thank for that).

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

      The Halftime show seemed like a reinterpretation of old Halftime styles in a new motif. It had the same kind of style as the old kaleidoscope effects of dancers , or the tricky choreography of the marching bands. This is how it started expressed in modern media.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Not Likely

    blah blah blah... GO PACK

    February 7, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  6. jujubeans

    All this talk of the commercials and performers and no one is mentioning the game!

    February 7, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • David (Georgia)

      There was a game?

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

      I think there was about two minutes between the 10 of commercials of "game."

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

      Hahahaha this fool thinks people watch his sport for the game..... what a tool.... yes I watch the 4+ hours of the superbowl for the 60 minutes of game clock of which only about 15 minutes is an actual play taking place yes you are right We should talk about that 1/16 of the superbowl.... YAY ARMBALL GO PACK GO

      February 7, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Schmedley

    I wonder how many of the "Save Tibet" people would be willing to give their homes back to the Native Americans whose cultures were systematically destroyed by American settlers?

    Just pointing out the hypocrisy...

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

      Well ... they might not like a commercial that mentioned the treatment of Native Americans and then said "But hey, they make some great jerky!" either!

      February 7, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dud

      Oh good grief! Do some people live their entire lives on a guilt trip? If so, it fractures your view of the world. Must be hell to see things through such eyes.

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

      Well personally I don't go through life like that but I think the way they worded it was a poor choice – it's insensitive. It assumes but hey we're Americans, we don't need to concern ourselves with bad stuff going in Tibet – bottom line, they make good food – hey, have a coupon!

      February 7, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • David (Georgia)

      There is no logic to that statement. There are plenty of people living in this country who feel shame for what happened to Native Americans. And just because we can't undo that damage does not preclude our disapproval of an ad that trivializes the lives of a threatened society.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Concerned Person

      The problem with your statement is that there is no hypocricy. Current "Save Tibet" people/all current living Americans did not displace the Native Americans. They do understand that the Native Americans culture was systematically destroyed by American settlers but that was done then by others. Many people/families came to this country because they too had freedoms of religion/culture being systematically destroyed. Maybe we should go back in history and return all that was stolen from various peoples and cultures. It cannot happen. What can happen is that people should start caring about others so that it doen't happen again. People should start caring about how all people are treated.....

      February 7, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dorothy Dunville

    The pride that I felt with the Chrysler commerical would be hard to express. But I had tears even now thinking of it.

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

      The Detroit ad was well done and the message was a positive, uplifting one. For many, the "problem" with the ad was the presence of eminem (sp?) Contrary to the popular belief, there are MILLIONS of people who do not know who he is, or even if they have heard of him, do NOT recognize him on sight. Further, the average person certainly is not going to know about his connection to Detroit–his hometown??? Hence, he was not the best mouthpiece for the message conveyed. How about a regular Detroit autoworker–a common person with sincerity? Why must the "pop stars" be our messengers these days? We can do better.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • MrsFizzy

      And then there are plenty of people who do know Eminem but wouldn't want him as spokesperson for their city...

      February 7, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      Dud, they use pop stars because they are used to being in front of the camera, it is there job to present and entertain, the average worker in Detroit does not, if he did he wouldn't be there. And most people 35 years old and younger know who Eminem is, what he does, and where he is from... You old folks just want everything your way, good grief we gave you guys the last 5 Superbowl halftime shows, stop trying to hog everything for yourselves.

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

      Good Lord Dud. If someone doesn't know who eminem is (let's refresh: an grammy award winning multi platinum artist with a near 20 year career who has always spoken of his love for his hometown in almost every interview and article with him and in his music as well) they really need to get out more. Further, I am quite certain the main Superbowl demographic (males age 35 and under) know who he is. And with his struggles in rehab and his current status as being heavily involved in being in recovery and on the straight and narrow, he makes an excellent choice to represent Detroit. Anyone I know from there (admittedly, males under 35) were quite moved by the commercial and impressed with his presence in said commercial and strongly feel no one else would have been more appropriate.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Willis Tokeaville

    If Christiana had used my "special microphone," he performance would have been better.

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

      "Special microphone"? Oh, you mean one of those SUPER SMALL Bluetooth mics... maybe, but I hear they don't have much power and women especially are left very unsatisfied by its performance....

      February 7, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Caroline

    I thought that just about all of the commercials sucked...but I did like the mini Darth Vader. As far as the half time show went, I didn't think that the BEP were all that terrible, but the sound was horrible! What I really didn't get was the little white sperm people dancing around. And so what if Christina flubbed the words to the national anthem, we all have. But I do agree that pepople should just sing the song and leave the vocal stylings out.

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

      The point is: Christina is supposedly a "professional" being PAID to know the lyrics - not to mention the notes themselves. Perhaps if she hadn't been trying to sing so LOUD - which I think sort of came off close to screaming, then perhaps - just maybe - she would have pulled off a heart-warming rendition of a song that means a lot to this country. Her performance was simply overdone, too loud, noticeably off-key and totally crumby. She should be embarrassed.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Steve-O

    What about Ozzy and that Bieber kid?! Now that's funny!

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

      Two words: Totally lame.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mikey

    I think the Tibet commercial was hilarious. If you don't get it lighten up and wake up. It was a spoof on celebrity endorsments and special causes. Totally funny.

    February 7, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  13. mixedapproach

    Simple minded liberal tard. Go save the world. Dont forget to bring your checkbook, and be ready to suppliment your families way of life with Ramen Noodle recipes. I'll worry about what takes place on US soil. F Tibet and Eqypt.

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

      Haha exactly. You have zero idea about acculturation and globalization. You think everything is "secure da borders man!". The world is growing and to ignore other nations as if they don't exist is delusional. You should seek out therapy before it gets worse. We're all praying for you.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • papanez

      Mixedapproach is more like mixedup. Get your head out of your own miseries and take a look around. A lot of people have it much worse than you do, so suck it up.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Citizenoftheworld

      Mixedapproach: "simple minded". SERIOUSLY??? F Tibet and Egypt? You can't be serious. People like you define the concept of the "Ugly American." Do you ever travel outside the US? I sincerely hope you don't, you would embarrass us. And you really need to look into spell check, the word is supplement, with an "e.". For example, I wouldn't want to SUPPLEMENT remedial spelling and grammar lessons for you or your dumb kids (if you have any) with my tax dollars.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  14. abby

    I found the Groupon ad totally offensive. To exploit the suffering of others? Shame on Groupon! Shame on Timothy Hutton for appearing in such an ad.

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

      Hey, Groupon did the "Tibet issue" a huge favor. Most of the people watching the Stupor Bowl likely had zero knowledge of the Tibetan situation. Now at least they know there's some kind of problem. Like the old adage says, there's no such thing as bad publicity- and they just saved the ICT a million bucks!

      February 7, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Mimi G of Toronto

    Tibet ad was great!! I certainly saw the humor in the Tibet ad, but more importantly, got the "message" too! China, no matter what, anything to do with the situation of Tibet, or in support of Tibet, they go absolutely crazy – and that is because China can't handle the "truth." China knows they have done gross injustice to Tibet on every level (took Tibet by brutal force, and now are ready to plunder all the natural resources (worth in the millions) discovered in Tibet, only to benefit China and its military). Timothy Hutton's message touched a sensitive nerve with China!!!

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