Super Bowl Commercials: The Best and Worst!

Darth Vader? Check. Creepy babies? Check. Cute puppies swimming? Check. Movie trailers? Check. Regis Philbin? Check.
Super Bowl XLVI is history, but the Monday morning quarterbacking over the real main event — the commercials — is only just beginning.
Herewith are TVLine’s choices for the four best and two worst spots during NBC’s four-hour footballpalooza.
Peruse our picks and then vote for your favorites in the poll below!

BEST | Best Buy — The Trailblazers

So that’s what the creator of Instragram looks like! Cool.

BEST | Chevy — Surviving the Apocalypse

The best End of Days-themed car commercial featuring Barry Manilow music ever.

BEST | Chrysler — Halftime in America

Dirty Harry’s love letter to Detroit was simple, quiet and powerful.

BEST | Bud Light — Rescue Dogs

Cute animal commercial with a twist: It comes with an awesome message! 

WORST | Coca-Cola — The Polar Bears

Been there, seen them a million times before.

WORST | Bud Light Platinum — Factory

The official drink for tools.

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72 Comments
  1. Vanessa says:

    The Avengers trailer was the best thing about it. The action looks awesome, the classic Whedon dialogue is all there and sounds so good coming from Robert Downey Jr. Worth sitting up just to watch that, that film is going to be incredible.

    • Ari says:

      Seriously. I have seen 0 of the movies featuring these superheroes but because this movie is shaping up to be pure Whedon gold I will be there to see The Avengers.

    • Universal Constance says:

      The commercial where the dog kills and buries the cat was beyond disgusting!! Animal cruelty also occurs when one animal is allowed to kill another one. Doritos should be fined for this outrage!
      There are more than one million more cat owners in the USA than dog owners; why are we not seeing commercials where they are alive and being smart and cute? Or is it the pervasive Neanderthal mentality that’s only being considered here?

      • Lukos58 says:

        Can the crazy lady with too many cats please climb down from the scratching post? Your rant is giving animal lovers a bad name. Besides, everyone knows it takes at least 4 cats to equal the worst dog. Woof!

        • mo says:

          I hear the next Doritos ad features feesing a dog ground up glass ! You ought to LOVE that!! What a riot!

          • Lukos58 says:

            “feesing” a dog? Is that something you do with your cat on a lonely Saturday night, mo? Don’t worry….I won’t tell PETA, but I think that’s illegal in at least 45 states.

  2. Rose says:

    I loved the Polar Bears. Thought those spots were sweet and I lived the retro feel of them!

  3. TW says:

    It wasn’t a Pug in the Sketchers commercial. It was a French Bulldog. My pugs are insulted that you would confuse them with Frenchies. :)

    • Sandi says:

      I was so happy to see greyhounds in the commercial. These dogs need more help after their racing careers than they get. They are the most low-key, loyal, funny dogs you could ever own. Thank you Sketchers for including them, even though they were the butt of the joke. If you had put a greyhound adoption website up in this commercial I would buy your brand from here on.

  4. Lynn says:

    I liked the M&M’s commercial with Brown and Red. It was cute.

  5. Dana says:

    Really? Best Buy?
    Really?
    Is your site sponsored by Best Buy?
    The commercials this year were, um, lacking. But Best Buy was no where near the best. No Where.
    Re-watch tomorrow.
    Best Buy. Really???
    Come on TVLINE

    • Sara says:

      Could not agree more. I find that the very best ones were ones with animals. And the drunk guy on the Doritos commercial. And John Stamos.
      A lot of them were BORING as all heck…
      Very disappointed.

    • Phil says:

      I agree. How dare Best Buy compare themselves to the great minds of technology.
      Also, Cadillac with Dirty Harry? I think the Big 3 need to be reminded that they ABANDONED Detroit for cheaper labor and parts in Mexico and China. It wasn’t the economy, but it was certainly the start of the off-shore trend that destroyed Detroit and the US. Yes Dirty Harry, a Toyota is made in the US with US Steal, US workers, and US suppliers!! How much US is in that imported domestic?

  6. Jon says:

    Should movie trailers really be counted as regular commercials?

    • Amanda says:

      I was thinking that, too! It almost seems like an unfair advantage because they’ve already spent the money on the content and effects. These ads are just creative editing.

  7. InvisibleWoman says:

    My one of my 3 faves didn’t even make your list. The Voice with Betty White… OMG. Made me snort my Diet Dr. Pepper.

  8. Melissa S. says:

    Not listed but the winning commercial was The Voice with Betty White. How can Betty White NOT be listed????

    • Trent says:

      LOVED the awesome Voice ad! Definitely my favorite this year – they really got that Tarrentino “Kill Bill” feeling. Very cinematic, and I loved the cameo with Betty White.

    • Lukos58 says:

      It’s Betty’s world and we just live in it. All power to the Betty!

  9. Tucker says:

    Maybe I’m the only one who gets the disappointing irony that a commercial asking to help rescue dogs is about a dog who has been trained – presumably by the abusing owner that the dog was rescued from prior to the new guy – to fetch beer for people on command.

    • Tay says:

      This was EXACTLY my problem with it. It was pretty awful IMO

    • Pam says:

      Training can be a rewarding experience for dog and owner if done properly. Therefore, don’t assume all trained dogs were abused.

    • Lukos58 says:

      Yes, because the poor dog couldn’t have been the companion to a dying old man who’s last years were made easier and happier by the little doggie who could fetch his slippers and beer and sit in his lap getting his ears scratched. No, must be a mean old human who abused the poor widdle puppy into becoming his slave. So much easier to be negative about a cute situation, ain’t it? Are you by any chance related to the crazy cat lady who posted earlier?

  10. Candice says:

    Best: chevy/Mayan; Volvo/overweight dog; David Beckham, Matthew Broderick / Honda; The Voice/Betty White; Avengers
    Worst: everything else
    Lame year for commercials :(

  11. DryedMangoez says:

    What? The Coke Polar Bears was one of the best of the night!

  12. Grey_LV says:

    FYI -the dog in the Skechers spot is a French bulldog, not a pug. The only spot that made me laugh out loud. Monkeys, talking baby, retreads by Pepsi+Coke+M&Ms, trailers for terrible-looking movies… pretty sad crop overall.

  13. Jon says:

    Vanessa Williams is the brown M&M? Could’ve sworn it was Bebe Neuwirth.

  14. mdb says:

    Mr Quiggley was a French Bulldog NOT a pug

  15. LOL says:

    The Dog Strikes Back VW commercial was the best one.

  16. Candice says:

    ETA:
    Also Best: Clint / Detroit and the brown M&M

  17. Candice says:

    I think it was Vanessa W

  18. Sg.Grant says:

    Clint Eastwood. Half time in America. The end.

    • JohnDoe says:

      Yup. Everything else sucked. Probably the worst year for commercials I’ve ever seen.

    • Phil says:

      Cadillac with Dirty Harry? I think the Big 3 need to be reminded that they ABANDONED Detroit for cheaper labor and parts in Mexico and China. It wasn’t the economy, but it was certainly the start of the off-shore trend that destroyed Detroit and the US. Yes Dirty Harry, a Toyota is made in the US with US Steal, US workers, and US suppliers!! How much US is in that imported domestic?

    • Ariel says:

      I love that commercial! LOVE! Best of the year!
      I will actually be looking for it when I scan the rest of the with my TiVo. It was that awesome.

  19. Brian says:

    What about the Doritos commercial with the slingshot baby?! It was hysterical. I couldn’t stop laughing.

  20. BJ Wanlund says:

    I am utterly ashamed that you chose the Chevy 2012 ad as one of your “best”. That was tawdry, tasteless, and it lowered the bar so that one of the ones you picked as the “worst” (the Coca-Cola polar bears) could actually seem BETTER in comparison.

    • kathy says:

      Which Chevy ad are you talking about? The one where only those in a silverado survived?
      The Twinkies were the best part, wonder if Hostess pitched in for the 7 million time slot?

    • maggie says:

      Agreed. The Chevy ad was one of the worst.

    • Lukos58 says:

      Which part so greatly offended you? That they slammed Ford? Or that Armageddon didn’t include the Christian God unleashing his heavenly hosts to lay waste to the remaining humans after he allows the rest to be killed? Or that it featured those heathen Mayan being right?

  21. Val says:

    Definitely the rescue dog, at least that is doing some good on top of trying to sell a product. If I drank beer, I’d make an effort to drink it.

  22. Dennis says:

    Ditto. Just the right ad for the young.

  23. james says:

    The best out of all of the was the voice

  24. Dennis says:

    This commercial was well written and filmed by someone who really knows how to sell a product several ways with one advertisement. I was very impressed by how the product was the main focus and the Humane Society was the endearing product. My hat is off to the real genius of this ad.

  25. Ari says:

    I have seen at least 50% of these commercials before. What’s the point of having a special Superbowl commercial if you are going to release it online or at the movies? I saw the Coca Cola polar bear one and the Chevy one at the movies this morning.

  26. DOT says:

    My favorite part was on before the super bowl when all the NBC show did the brotherhood of men it was amazing loved it its crazy how good Amy poehler from parks and rec can sing!

  27. ggny says:

    did people not get the polar bear ads? one was a Giants fan(red/blue scarf) and one was Patriots(blue/silver scarf) fan and it was like they where really following along with the guy they would each get mad at different times when their team stunk it up…I thought they where great

  28. John Grose says:

    It seemed like kind of a…limp year in terms of commercials. I’m not sure there’s going to be a lot of positive water cooler buzz. – John

  29. donna says:

    The Audi/Vampire Party commercial topped my list. How could you not enjoy destroying vampires? #solongvampires LOL.

  30. Tim says:

    Picking the best out of this group would be damning with faint praise.

  31. me says:

    1. Honda’s Ferris Buehler 2012
    the best of the rest:
    1. VW’s Star Wars fat dog and vader/cantina
    rest of the best of the rest:
    Audi’s vamps party -poof- (complete with absurd twlight scamper up trees, just like, err real bats??)
    Sketcher’s french bulldog
    Doritos – bad dog bribes over cat
    Acura NSX with Seinfeld and flying squirrel Leno
    oh and lasts but oh so not leasts, the ones with Adriana Lima….
    Teleflora and Kia (the latter which you left off the list!!)
    (samsung/iphone was good but then it went on too long, and it’s already been seen for weeks and they have terrible customer and warranty service)

  32. kathy says:

    Everyone that I was watching the game agreed; this year’s and for the last few years, the commercials haven’t been all that great. The vampire one was amusing, VW Dog, cute and when they are released on the web ahead of time, it’s not that “new”. Whomever is being employed at the ad agencies that came up with these need to find new employment.

  33. Mark says:

    Acura NSX commercial with Seinfeld and Leno was definitely my favorite. Loved it.

  34. Justin says:

    I’ll never get sick of seeing the Coke Polar Bears. Where’s your sense of nostalgia?

  35. Manola says:

    I totally agree! The Voice commercial with Betty White was awesome and made me laugh!
    Another commercial that was hilarious was the one with the monkeys. The guy smelling the toothbrush, PRICELESS!!!

  36. kirads09 says:

    My personal take:
    Worst: Peeing in pool (Taxact) Just grossed me out. Kids don’t do that in real life please.
    Best: America’s halftime with Clint! Too bad he’s not running for POTUS!
    Runners up I liked:
    Seinfeld
    Matthew Broderick
    Samsung Galaxy Note (because I want one sooo bad.)
    The Voice with Betty White
    Guilty pleasure: Beckham – H.O.T.!

  37. Marc says:

    While it wasn’t the funniest, edgiest, buzziest, etc. the Samsung Note commercial was the best. From a pure marketing standpoint, it announced its product, trashed its competitors subtly, and created a perfect entry point to its target market. The Bueller commercial, for instance, did a better job promoting nostalgia than the product. Had I not seen it already, I would have forgotten that the product was a CRV.

  38. lauren says:

    beckham. that is all haha!

  39. p59w says:

    Halftime in America was a great spot – it wasn’t so clear what was being advertised except Clint. The Doritos – buried cat commerical and the vampire commercial struck funny bones.

  40. Pam says:

    My favorite was the Ferris Bueller one.

  41. Nicole says:

    Off your list I liked the Chevy 2012 commercial and the rescue dog, but they weren’t my favorites.
    My favorites were the M&M’s and the dog gets rid of the cat Doritios. I also liked the E trade baby, the vampires, and the fat dog commercials.
    Some of the rest of them were ok, but most of them were just meh.

  42. Rebecca says:

    Worst one that I saw (I didn’t watch most of them): the kid peeing in the pool. First, gross! Second, it was impossible until the last few seconds of the ad to tell what was being advertised. I thought maybe the product was toilet paper, wipes, or underwear. When I found out it was TaxAct, my immediate thought was that I never want to use TaxAct again because I was so icked out. Horrible commercial. Major ewwwww.

  43. Doris says:

    I loved the Audi vampire commercial, Ferris Buehler, Jerry Seinfeld, the slingshot baby, the dog strikes back, and the eTrade baby (Speed dating!). I am tired of the Coca-Cola bears; retire them!

  44. Amber says:

    How did Chevy get away with dissing Ford in their Apocalypse commercial?
    My favorite was the M&M dancing naked to I’m Sexy and I Know It, and the one where the dog buries the cat and bribes the guy with Doritos.

  45. Erin says:

    I liked the dream car one from KIA :p

  46. Amber says:

    My favorite commercial was not listed here, as it was the promo for all the NBC shows with the musical number from How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Great to see Community get a bit of a shout-out. And they got more screen time than stupid Whitney and Chelsea, hehe. My least favorite commercial was that d*mn Doritos commercial. It was pretty dark. I don’t especially find violence against any species of animal to be humorous or tolerable. And my freaking psychopathic nephew celebrated that commercial by laughing and kicking one of the family pets after he saw it and then laughed some more. So thanks for supporting that kind of behavior, Doritos.