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Broderick and Little Darth scored, but Clint Eastwood just bored

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Updated: March 7, 2012 9:54AM

The Super Bowl is that rare television program where viewers don’t hit fast-forward when the commercials come on. This is when advertisers bring their A-game, since it’s not every day you get more than 100 million people’s attention. Here’s a look at who did — and didn’t — make the most of it.


Matthew’s Day Off

Oh yeah. Matthew Broderick’s famous coming-of-age character has officially come of age (Broderick turns 50 next month). But this highly entertaining ad assures us that there’s still an adventurous teenager lurking under that thinning head of hair, he just drives a CR-V instead of a Ferrari. The struggling Japanese carmaker is bound to get some bounce off this expertly executed “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” spoof.


The Dog Strikes Back: Volkswagen looked like it was all set to use the tried-and-true dog shtick this year, but … wait for it … Little Darth is back! And this time, he’s unleashing The Force on a Little Vader hater in the Mos Eisley cantina. All in all, a nice sequel to last year’s top dog of Super Bowl commercials.

Ms. Brown: This sweet spot introduces the new M&M defending her “nude” appearance at a party, while Mr. Red comes out of his shell and gets down to LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It.”

Vampire killer: Audi taps into the vampire zeitgeist with this clever ad that shows blood-suckers biting the dust when confronted with the car’s bright-as-day orbs. Plus we get to take a ride in the way back machine with Echo & the Bunnymen’s ’80s hit “The Killing Moon.”

Seinfeld vs. Leno: It’s vintage Seinfeld as these two avid car collectors go mano-a-mano for first dibs on the new Acura NSX. Jerry busts out the Soup Nazi and last living munchkin but they’re no match for Leno’s jetpack flying squirrel suit. Welcome to Conan’s world.


NBC Super Bowl tribute: “Are we in a Super Bowl commercial? Is a Clydesdale gonna kick a beer at Betty White or something?” an excited Tina Fey asks the cast of “30 Rock” at the start of this (pre-game) song-and-dance spectacle, where everyone from the Today show’s Ann Curry to “Parks and Recreation’s” Ron Swanson gets in on the act. Dare I say the “Brotherhood of Man” musical number was more entertaining than Madonna’s halftime show?

Beckham’s Body Wear: Adriana Lima, Shlima. Women across America were thinking “I’ll have some of that on a cracker” as an inked up, shirtless David Beckham modeled his new line of Body Wear for H&M.

Mr. Quiggly: Sure, the bulldog’s cute. But Skechers gets kudos simply for not subjecting us to more Kim Kardashian.


Clint Eastwood Halftime: Last year, Chrysler and Eminem gave us a soul-stirring homage to Detroit. This year, Chrysler and Clint Eastwood gave us the advertising equivalent of Ambien with a heavy-handed snoozer that felt twice as long as its two minutes.

Competitive agents: Century 21 real estate sales agents are Smarter. Bolder. Faster. And Poorer after paying Donald Trump, Deion Sanders and Apolo Ohno — not to mention $117,000 a second in air time — for this uninspired ad.

Totally Free: deserves to get audited for this one. Bottom line: Kids peeing in pools is gross, not funny.

Power and Beer: Nothing says a nice, cold Bud like G.E. turbines, right? Of course not. The only reason these two brands entered into this unholy union was to save money, and it shows.

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