Super Bowl commercials go to the dogs, and cars

Long Island filmmaker Zachary Borst's short film about

Long Island filmmaker Zachary Borst's short film about a high school graduate who mistakingly thinks the new Chevy convertible parked in front of his house is his graduation present, will air during the Super Bowl. Chevrolet invited filmmakers from around the world to submit short films with a Chevy theme. Borst's film was their top choice. Photo Credit: Handout

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Dog, dogs, dogs. What animal didn't we see Sunday night besides polar bears and, umm, dogs?

Did I mention Clint Eastwood yet? Or Ferris Bueller? Or . . . cars.

But here's the much (much) larger question: What ads did we see Sunday night that we loved so much that we will post to a friend's Facebook wall this morning? Not many, unfortunately. This was not a great Super Bowl as far as ads went.

But Facebook, in the final analysis, is pretty much all that matters to advertisers. This was the social media Super Bowl, where commercials were pre-released on the Web over the last couple of weeks to go "viral," but were much shorter by the time they aired. (Reason: Thirty seconds cost $3.5 million.)

So, making due with what we ended up with, here's my list of the five best and the five worst. (Tough call: There were a lot of bad ads.)

First, the best:

1. Chevy, the Happy Grad. Super Bowl XLVI's best. Smart, funny, shrewd, plus a perfect payoff. To recap, the parents bought their son a mini fridge for his graduation present, but Mr. Johnson's new Camaro is parked behind it. The kid thinks the car is his. This ad was the creation of Zach Borst, 26, from Merrick, who submitted it as part of Chevrolet's Route 66 Super Bowl ad contest. (Ad was filmed in Floral Park, by the way.)

2. Chrysler's post-halftime "Motor City is fighting back." Political ad? Clint Eastwood ad? Polar bear ad? Who cares! A great director and actor pulls off the most interesting -- and compelling -- ad of the entire Super Bowl.

3. "The Dog Strikes Back/VW." Worthy successor to last year's "Darth Vader and the Kid" classic, but not nearly as memorable. The kicker in the "Star Wars" saloon was very good.

4. Hyundai: "Cheetah." Not a good Super Bowl for Hyundai, but the Cheetah that turns on the guy trying to test whether the cast is faster than the car? Brilliant! Hyundai pulls it out.

5. "America's Got Talent." Surprised? I was: The Howard Stern (he's a new judge) promo/water cannon worked.

Now, sigh, the worst:

1. Cars.com: Easily the worst of the worst. A guy's head sprouts out of his back. And the head sings. And the guy talks about the singing head on his back. And . . . Oh, enough. Terrible.

2. Audi: "Vampire Teen" party. Pre-released weeks ago to get traction, but while that was a good idea, by the time it reached the Super Bowl -- after a few million views -- everyone was reasonably sick of it. Me especially.

3. David Beckham/underwear ad. Easy call. This was appalling for many good reasons -- an ad for soccer? Or for tattoos? Or for some idiot with tattoos who plays soccer and wears underwear?

4. Go Daddy: What would a Super Bowl be without a terrible Go Daddy ad, or two? Would not be a Super Bowl, that's what. The incomprehensible appearance by Jillian Michaels was pricelessly awful.

5. Chevy Sonic: Why is a car sky-diving? Why is there an on-screen message telling viewers not to try this at home? Why why WHY? Was there at least a dog in this commercial?

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