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. goss

    Bring back Paul McCartney or Tom Petty! The halftime show last night was awful.

    February 7, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • y2daddy

      Umm... no, it wasn't awful.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Funnyguy0714

    Christina Awful-glare-a, should be banned from performing the US national anthem in a public venue, forever!
    NFL/Superbowl...stop the ridiculous over-the-top half-time show, there hasn't been a decent performance in years and it is just a huge waste of money. Maybe you can bring the price of Superbowl tickets back down to the level avg people can attend! Fergie is awesome to look at, but the music was terrible, sound mix was awful, dancers looked idiotic and out of snyc to the music! Bring back the marching bands!

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

      I completely agree. Why does the show have to be so over-the-top and phony-glitzy? Why does it typically feature performers who, though currently popular to teens and very young adults, are mostly unknown to the major football demographic of "middle America"? My poor father, who had Redskin season tix since 1967 and is certainly a huge supporter of the NFL, has absolutely no idea who Peas and Slash and Usher are. It bewilders him, and embarasses me for him.

      Doesn't it seem like a mainstream performer doing his/her craft in a more mainstream manner would please more viewers? Can you imagine how fantastic it would be to team up ( just saying) Tony Bennett with (just saying) Taylor Swift to do a popular Beatles song, then a Sinatra song, then a Nirvana song, then a popular country song....or something like that? A huge majority of the vast audience would feel like at least SOMETHING in the show was identifiable to them, instead of the Peas dressed up in gaudy Sci-Fi outfits. And by staying away from the distracting glitz-electronica nonsense, the chances of technical troubles are practically eliminated. A couple of spare microphones is all that would be need to save the day.

      And yaknow....maybe just a few minutes of some nationally aclaimed college marching band playing a marching-type tune or the 1812 Overture would provide a nice emontional link to football's past. Just sayin'!

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

      You A holes are never happy...

      2005 Paul McCartney
      2006 The Rolling Stones
      2007 Prince and the Florida A&M Marching Band
      2008 Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
      2009 Bruce Springsteen
      2010 The Who

      This Superbowl was for the young crowd the last 6 were for the old folks... good greif, does the NFL need to dig up Beethoven and Motzart for you guys to be happy. Stop complaining, you are what is wrong with America.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • wkh

      You um, do realize the main demographic for the Superbowl is 35 and under males?

      February 7, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Funnyguy0714

      @ Ryan,
      The sound qualities in a stadium suck. Those artists are great, but every single one of them sounded like crap, because of the sound effects. They are not worth raising ticket prices to $1000+ a seat and higher, nor worth the commercial price tag of $3 mil for a 30 second spot. I would prefer to listen to announcers talk about the GAME then listen/watch poor quality sound and crappy choreography!
      But to each there own, neither of us is going to change a thing and I will never get to see a Superbowl live. I got money, but I ain't spending $1000 dollars or more to watch a 3 hour football game!

      February 7, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • SophyB

      I'm all for mixing a little old and new, but how old ARE you? I'm 45 and while the BEP's were atrocious, the thought of anything featuring sticky sweet Taylor Swift and her non-existent singing talent makes me cringe! the halftime show is generally "m'eh" at best (Prince was one of the best, U2 did a good jobafter 911 and I enjoyed No Doubt one year). Everyone is never going to be happy – the young people will complain about dinosuars like the Rolling Stones and the older ones will gripe about the rappers. They need a new concept!!

      February 7, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. richagan

    The commercialization of EVERYTHING hit an all time high with FOX. They nailed every chance to plug a sponsor at every camera change it seems, they couldn't even give the Lombardi trophy away without it being sponsored by Chevy and a camera take to the car-giveaway shot. How will they edit that for NFL films?

    February 7, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Common Sensical

    Leah Michelle screwed up her song too, the line is supposed to be "purple mountains majesty" but she said, "purple mountain majesties." I guess she's lucky Christina screwed up more.
    Yes the mics were jacked, being lowered onto the stage probably didn't help. It looked like Usher kind of gave up singing, but his barely worked so I don't blame him. I love the song Sweet Child of Mine, but that was pointless and instead of just singing the song she did a horrible Axel Rose impression. Was there something they were diverting attention away from? What was the point of that? It must have seemed like a good idea at the time....

    February 7, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Funnyguy0714

      Common might want to go back and check those lyrics again...
      O beautiful for spacious skies,
      For amber waves of grain,
      For purple mountain majesties
      Above the fruited plain!
      America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
      And crown thy good with brotherhood
      From sea to shining sea!

      Just sayin, not judgin!

      February 7, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Yugo

    Black eyed peas were disappointing – no artistry just dogma and spectacle – no effects on voices shows how bad they "sing" – not a good production. Tibet ad was crass – Tibet is being culturally annihilated so you can save 50% on dinner. Great, sign me up.

    February 7, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • TracePace

      "Black eyed peas were disappointing – no artistry just dogma and spectacle – no effects on voices shows how bad they "sing" – not a good production. "

      Very well said. Dogma and spectacle, no musical talent in a live venue, far too much silly glitz. Don't performers have any sense of practicality, a sense of self? Do they really think they're going to WOW all of America in one frenzied S-Bowl performance and make themselves legendary? Why don't they stop and think for a second about how awful they might appear?

      The technical glitches weren't their fault, but I'm betting the Peas would like to have a do-over on that totally awful production.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  6. deb burns

    commercialls were pathetic, except for eminem, commercial with Timothy Hutton rascist against Tibetans and too much violence towards women. NOT FUNNY OR ENTERTAINING

    February 7, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • SophyB

      Gee, I thought it was mostly violence against GUYS what with the can in the crotch and the guy getting abused by his girlfriend in the Pepsi ad. It was only in the end that the blonde girl got the can in the head and that was by another woman!

      February 7, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Yugo

    The best half-time show ever was Prince performing in pouring rain and still bringing it without missing a beat. True, gifted musical and performance talent.

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

      Yep. Good point. His ego might be huge, but Prince knows that his artistry is more important that he is. That was a great performance. Fox should have re-broadcast it instead of the Peas debacle!!

      February 7, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  8. RIALgal

    I guess we know that Christiana wasn't lip-synching!

    February 7, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Offened

    Right. Great. All you people are "Offened" by the Tibet commercial because it shows those poor people and the oppression.
    How about the pepsi max superbowl commercial. I have a 10 year old watching the game last night. Where are the morals when a company like Pepsi shows a commercial where a guy is chanting in his head, "I want to sleep with her"???????????
    You people make me sick.

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

      I bet Axl Rose was sitting at home watching Slash and thinking "At least I never did...that"

      February 7, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • wkh

      Yes I'm sure your son will be chanting "I wanna take her to bible study" over and over.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Finch

      I'm with you. I thought this Pepsi commercial was more than tasteless and I had no children watching.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • b0bc4t

      Get over yourself .... that commercial was great .... plus, if your child watches TV at all he, has seen worse every day on the networks.... stereotypical male and female personnas, granted, .... but other than that, CLASSIC!
      Maybe he should have been in bed instead? You condoned the half time show and abhorr some soda commercial ....

      PLEASE! How did that broadcast get past your Parental Controls unit?
      Wait, No Nudity, ... No Violence .... No Piercings, No Tattoos .... It coulld have passed PBS standards for that matter!

      February 7, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • b0bc4t

      today's teen shows have young girls with their bellies showing, Victoria's Secrets underwear spilling out of low cut blouses, with skirts and shorts that are more revealing than swimsuits. The characters paw and grope each other, sneak together for twenty minutes of each half hour with noses and bellies pierced and tattoos with tribal art and chinese characters. The fact that you had to sit next to your child while s3x was inferred is the issue.

      A commercial where two people sit at dinner and think aloud that they would rather have soda than s3x .... OH MY!

      February 7, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Michael


    February 7, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  11. mixedapproach

    Pray harder simpleton. Cause we all know how well praying works.

    February 7, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dud

      Don't knock it if you haven't tried it. Better stick to what you know . . . .

      February 7, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • SophyB

      It's done well for me so far; guess I'll stick with it. Better to be simple than have an outsized ego that feels the need to belittle others for their beliefs.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Bella

    I didn't know people cared that much about real things. No wonder we are in trouble because people get their panties in a wad about a Superbowl game Geez people. It's just a game, just some expensive commercials, and everyone makes mistakes, I'm just glad Christina sounded good it made me overlook what she messed up on.

    February 7, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  13. 11:11

    Regardless of whether these commercials were in poor taste or not, are they really worth $3 million a pop?

    February 7, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • MrsFizzy

      Hmm...that's kind of offensive in itself!

      February 7, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • David (Georgia)

      They are worth it to the advertisers who can reach tens of millions of people at one time. Very cost effective. So, yes from a purely business perspective they are a bargain for sponsors.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marci

      I was thinking the same thing . 3 million for 30 seconds and half of them didn't get the product info out. I don't know if the beaver commercial was for BMW or Bridgestone tires. But it was a good commercial, just didn't brand very well.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Rupert

    Can we all agree that Bruce Springsteen should be appointed permanent Super Bowl halftime show act until he can no longer perform?

    February 7, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • goss

      Yes that would be awesome. Springsteen (or McCartney) as the permanent halftime show.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • wkh

      Yes I am certain that will be excellent for the main demographic of males under age 35.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jerry

    The Halftime show was pure crap.

    February 7, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yugo

      I agree - they dressed it up with a lot of special effects, costumes and makeup and extra people "dancing" – glitter goes a long way when there is no talent being demonstrated. Just the kind of pap that defines the media driven "culture" in our country. True artists are ignored by the media. We get this crap instead.

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