Bud Light, Doritos, Volkswagen: Who had the top ad in the Super Bowl?

The Darth Vader kid, a galloping pug, and Joan Rivers in hotpants: Which ad was number one this year? Well, it depends on whom you ask: According to a USA Today panel, the most popular ad was a tie between Bud Light’s dog-sitting spot and Doritos’ dog-breaking-the-door ad. But a panel of Northwestern business school students had a slightly different take, picking Volkswagen’s Star Wars commercial as the best. The full rankings:

From USA Today, the top five:
1. Bud Light, Dog sitter
1 (tie). Doritos, Dog’s revenge for Doritos teasing
3. Volkswagen, Darth Vader starts the car
4. Doritos, House sitter brings back grandpa from ashes
5. Pepsi Max, Love hurts with a bad girlfriend

and bottom five:
Mini Cooper, “Cram It in the Boot” game show
Stella Artois, Adrien Brody/crying women
GoDaddy.com, Danica Patrick, Jillian Michaels
Hyundai, Elantra shows compacts aren’t boring
Hyundai, Elantra breaks trance

And from Kellogg, the top six:
Mini Cooper

and bottom five:
Lipton Brisk

I’m astonished that the Groupon ad with Timothy Hutton didn’t rankle more viewers, because I found it pretty tasteless.

What did you think, PopWatchers?

Read more:
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Super Bowl ad survey: Volkswagen best, Go Daddy among worst
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‘Super 8,’ ‘Captain America’ trailers air during Super Bowl

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Xtina vs. Lea: One flubbed her lines, but who did better?
Super Bowl Commercials: See ‘Em Here!

Comments (67 total) Add your comment
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  • Laurie

    Chrysler Detroit ad hands down was the best. Darth Vader was the funniest.

    • David

      Totally agree! I thought the Chrysler Detroit ad was marvelous!! “Imported from Detroit”

      • PixxieTrixxie

        I loved that commercial – it was so uplifting. Go Detroit!

    • monica

      I liked it, especially because of the surprise cameo. But when he says “This is what we do.” it would’ve made more sense if he were in a dealership than in an arena, because what Detroit DOES isn’t sing in a choir. Either way, I liked it.

  • tracy bluth

    The best IMO: Chevy kid (“Where did he get a balloon?”), 1984 ish Motorola commercial, the Detroit one Eminem, the Darth Vader VW one, Super 8.
    The worst by far: Go Daddy. Make it stop!!!
    I actually enjoyed the Timothy Hutton one. Yes it was a bit tasteless, but…Timothy Hutton!

    • tommymommy

      I didn’t get offended by the commercial, but I was kind of thrown off on how Groupon would relate to Tibet. But, you’re right–Timothy Hutton!

    • Anei

      Agreed! I might have felt differently had another actor been in the role – the ad was certainly pushing a few limits on good taste. But with Timothy Hutton? I honestly did get a kick out of that one.

  • Kate

    Detroit ad was the best. Well made and gave me goosebumps.

    • mscisluv

      Same here! Also loved the Darth Vader ad (though the 60 second one is better than the one they showed last night). Interesting that Eminem was featured in one of the best (Chrysler) and one of the worst (Brisk) according to Kellogg.

  • Rick

    The Pepsi Max commercial set race relations back 100 years, can you imagine the uproar if the situation would have been reversed. The Chrusler-Eminem spot was the best with the NFL Old TV Shows 2nd.

    • Kathryn

      imho, I think that ppl took the Pepsi Maxx commercial too seriously. No need to read more than what it was…HILARIOUS. Fav commercial of the night! I laughed so hard I couldn’t breathe

    • KWise

      Several people today have said, “imagine the uproar if the situation had been reversed.” But it WASN’T reversed. It is what it is. So why is it relevant to imagine a hypothetical commercial that doesn’t exist, and speculate how mad people would be if that non-existent commercial did in fact exist?

  • dipshat

    I didn’t watch the whole game but as an owner of a pug number 2 was probably the funniest.

    • BLM

      I’m the owner of a pug too and seeing one run in slow-motion was just hilarious.

  • Kevin C.

    USA Today apparently has a cruder sense of humor than I do. A short rehash of what I said in the previous blog post on this:

    Best: Kia, Motorola Xoom, Best Buy Bieber, Coke “Borders”

    Worst: GoDaddy.com (jumped the shark some time ago), Doritos pants licking.

    Chrysler’s was well made, but too overtly manipulative to avoid leaving a bad taste in my mouth.

    • tommymommy

      I liked the Motorola commercial a lot!

    • candacetx

      I am a female.. but I would love a male perspective on this: I don’t think Danica or Jillian really qualify as ‘hot’. Discuss.

      • Wills

        Not a male but I think Jillian looks like one, so no not attractive.

  • tamuchi

    Vader/Volkswagen (too cute!)
    Eminen/Chrysler (although, this would have had a better impact if it had played before the Eminen/Lipton)
    Lewis & Barr/Snickers

    Didn’t see the Hutton one…have to go hunt it down…

    • tamuchi

      Oh yeah, the NFL fans ad – awesome.

  • Brian K

    The Vader kid and the ad for House were best.

    • alan smithee

      I agree on the Vader kid. His mannerisms were spot on!

  • Jeff

    The best ad was the one the NFL did with all the old TV clips.

  • jane

    The PUG hands down.

  • bridget212323

    VW Vader far and away the best one also both Bridgestone spots, Carmax retro gas station & Detroit Chrysler ad

    • KWise

      I also liked the Carmax retro gas station. Cute and actually conveyed a message that meant something (i.e., good service isn’t a thing of the past). I wish more people were giving it props

    • AZien

      I really liked the Carmax retro gas station ad. That made me laugh out loud “Please don’t steal my engine.”

  • Eric

    Eminem on Crysler, Motorola xoom, Dark Vader,sony xpheria with Android Robot getting thump surgery,the NFL commercial and Captain America Trailer.

    Worst: all doritos,Pepsi max,Go Daddy,

  • theBigE

    Chrysler / Eminem gets my vote, but then I’m from Michigan, and most of us loved it!

  • Annie

    Thought most of the commercials were underwhelming. The only ones I liked were the Darth Vadar ad and the Enimen/Chrysler ad.

  • MC

    The PUG, Transformers 3, and the licking of the cheezy fingers were the best for me! also liked the snickers with rosanne, the beaver, the beiber, the love hurts pepsi max one and the darth vader one.

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