Rating the Super Bowl Commercials (1st Quarter)

It’s time for the Super Bowl (playing on NBC), and advertisers pay very, very steeply to wave their wares in front of 100 million viewers.

Who enlisted A-list talent? (And who shopped a bargain with B-listers and below?) Who went for laughs? Who tugged at heartstrings? And who whipped out the always-reliable S-E-X?

Here is our quick take on the commercials from the 2nd Quarter of Super Bowl XLVI. (Refresh for updates.) Sound off on your favorites in the Comments section!

Hyundai, “All for One” | A stymied Hyundai staffer is ultimately inspired by a chorus of coworkers humming the “Rocky” theme. A nice thought, but the tagline — “There’s always a way. That’s just our way” — never gets up off the mat.

Bud Light Platinum | I saw a print ad for this the other night, but it gave no idea of what was “new” with this brew. Per this hi-tech spot, it’s a “triple-filtered” Bud offering “top-shelf taste.” OK, but really — do we need another beer SKU on the market?

Audi, “Vampire Party” | A bloody-fun kegger populated by vampire teens goes up in smoke when a friend pulls up with his Audi — and its “Daylight, now in headlights” hi-beams vaporize ’em all. Funny!

Pepsi, “King’s Court” | Elton John is a royal lout quick to eject jesters and other entertainers until X Factor‘s Melanie Amaro blows the roof off the palace by demanding some R-E-S-P-E-C-T. EJ and his platform shoes ends up in the cellar with (gasp) Flava Flav. Fun spot, but another means-nothing tag: “Where There’s Pepsi, There’s Music.”

Hyundai, “Cheetah” | The idea to have a cheetah race a Hyundai goes awry when the kitty chases its trainer instead. Not very funny.

M&Ms | The much-teased debut of Ms. Brown, representing the new M&M color, has some clever lines (a la people think she’s “showing her chocolate”). Her presentable posing, though, gets upstaged by a male counterpart grinding to LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It.”

Coca-Cola | Time for the annual polar bear tricks… which annually bore me.

Chevy Silverado | In the wake of a Mayan-predicted apocalypse-slash-UFO invasion-slash-natural disaster-gasm, only those who drive Chevy trucks survive, as “Looks Like We Made It” plays. A smart riff on the “end of days” spoof, one of the 1Q’s best spots.

GoDaddy, “Body Paint” | GoDaddy is now shopping “.co” domains, and Danica Patrick and Jillian Michaals are here to get the word out via a nude model sporting painted-on signage. But they apparently “missed” some spots, tease, tease, tease…. Same ol’ GoDaddy.

Battleship | I know this movie looks to have near-zero to do with the board game I played as a kid, but for some reason it interests me more than any of those other giant mechanical robots movies.