Mini Darth Vader lights up Super Bowl

I had high expectations for this year’s Super Bowl XLV commercials.

Mostly because I had no real stake in this year’s matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers the Green Bay Packers. I really didn’t care who won — the Packers did, taking home the Lombardi, 31-25 — in a game that turned out to be more exciting than the commercial break.

Which was too bad for the millions of people who tuned in — many of them on Twitter (#brandbowl, #superbowlads) — and were undoubtedly disappointed.

The beer ads were weak. Many — eTrade, — used old gimmicks. And some — Groupon’s controversial ignorant use of Tibet in a multimillion-dollar ad — just weren’t thoughtful.

But there were some standouts, including this ad starring a mini Darth Vader for Volkswagen’s Passat, which got 14 million views on YouTube:

Mini Darth Vader in Volkswagen commercial

This ad ranked third on USA Today’s 23rd annual Ad Meter, following two ads that featured dogs — Doritos and Anheuser-Busch.

I thought there were too many animated ads that didn’t work, too many recycled marketing ideas that we’ve seen before, and too many celebrities that didn’t add anything to the ads.

Today’s audience was something creative, funny and, above all, interesting. Many companies failed at all three.

Good thing the game was exciting!

Other highlights:

Eminen in a tear-jerker ad for Chrysler

Pug attack for Doritos

Roseanne Barr gets logged in this Snickers ad

Got a favorite Super Bowl ad? Or did you prefer the game — and half-time show with the Black Eyed Peas — better?


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