The Ten Best 2012 Super Bowl Ads

I know there was this football game going on last night, but let’s be honest. It was really just masquerading as an extended commercial for Smash. (Airs tonight on NBC! 10/9 Central!) And between that extended commercial, there were some clever advertisements telling us what to drive, watch, and drink. Which were the best?

10. Downy Unstoppable, Amy Sedaris & Mean Joe Greene

This remake of a classic featured Amy giving Mean Joe Greene a bottle of Downy Unstoppable. Like any good commercial remake, it didn't try to improve upon the original. Instead, it offered a cheeky take on the ad. Most importantly, it had Amy Sedaris and she's one of my favorite people.

9. Acura NSX, Jerry Seinfeld

Jerry Seinfeld's quest to own the first NSX had him going to such great lengths as enlisting the Soup Nazi and an alien. But even his own private zip line through Manhattan couldn't compete with Jay Leno's flying squirrel jetpack.

8. Budweiser, The End of Prohibition

Of all the Budweiser ads, this one was my favorite. I mean, the rescue dog was pretty freakin' adorable, but the gravitas of the "Based on a true story" struck me as being incredibly funny. The vintage Clydesdale shots didn't hurt, either.

7. Honda CR-V, Matthew Broderick’s Day Off

This one had the best initial buzz--Matthew Broderick standing at a window asking how he could go to work on a day like today--and then the worst letdown, with the entire commercial available online days ahead of the Super Bowl. Still, I'm bound to like anything that involves my first celebrity crush. I'm disappointed that they couldn't manage to sneak in a leopard print vest. Ferris Bueller would be extremely disappointed with Matthew Broderick's dad clothes.

6. Chevy Sonic, OK Go's "Needing/Getting"

Great song, super fun video. The full version is worth watching.

5. Chrysler, Clint Eastwood at Halftime

Is that Batman? No, it's just Clint Eastwood in the most stirring commercial from the game. I got chills, y'all. (And Laremy named it his favorite ad of last night.)

4. Chevy Silverado, 2012 Apocalypse

I'm surprised that there weren't more "end of the world" commercials. I loved this commercial--it got points for great special effects, riffing on a timely topic, and getting in a sharp dig at one of their competitors. Plus, it was as much a commercial for Twinkies as it was for the car.

3. The Avengers Trailer

I have a hard time using my words when it comes to expressing my excitement for this movie. So I'd recommend watching the trailer a time or a dozen. (Oh, Tony Stark! You're such a cad.)

2. NBC Promo, Brotherhood of Man

It's no secret that I love NBC. Their Brotherhood of Man video, based on the song from How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, gives me warm, fuzzy feelings. This year's Super Bowl got the third highest overnight rankings, so we'll see if the extra promotions can give NBC's shows an extra push.

1. Volkswagen Beetle, Doggy Workout/Trip to the Cantina

Remember the Vader kid from last year? That was pretty great, huh? I can just see the VW execs being like, "Uh, how do we top last year?" "I know! Let's do a heartwarming animal story...and then follow it up with MORE Star Wars!" "Nailed it!" And then they probably high-fived or something. The real champion, though, is the teaser Puppy Imperial Death March (a.k.a. "The Bark Side") commercial. Well done all around.

Honorable mentions: The mobile phone game changer from Best Buy, the introduction to the sassy brown M&M, the E*Trade baby banter

The worst: Anything involving GoDaddy, the weak efforts from Doritos

What was your favorite commercial from the Super Bowl?