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Our favorite 2012 Super Bowl commercials

and | Cadenza Staff

It seems like almost everyone in America has a reason to watch the Super Bowl. Most actually care about the football game itself, but many just tune in to see the spectacle that is the halftime show or to see how advertisers topped themselves this year. Although the large number of local ads made 2012 a surprisingly weak commercial year, here are some of our favorites.

The Chinese calendar may have declared it the Year of the Dragon, but according to the Super Bowl ads, it was the Year of the Dog.

Volkswagen: “The Dog Strikes Back”

This was one of our favorites for these six reasons. (1) It had a dog, and, as we will soon see, animals are a necessity for any good Super Bowl commercials. (2) There was a subtle cultural critique: Obesity is a problem, but it is one that can be overcome by exercise and dedication. (3) It was a total non-sequitur. Dogs have nothing to do with cars. Neither does “Star Wars.” (4) It referenced the Volkswagen commercial from last year by having the “Star Wars” characters in the bar watching that commercial, and it was so meta. (5) The montage was great—any sports-related video worth its enzymes and Gatorade will have one. (6) The use of the classic song “Get up offa that thing”!

Audi: “Vampire Party”

It’s probably the second safest car on the market (behind the 2012 Chevy with Armageddon protection). The Audi will get you where need to go, and it will kill any pesky vampires along the way. Seriously, Will Smith watched those Audi and Chevy commercials and cried because if he had had either of these vehicles in “I Am Legend” his dog wouldn’t have died. And if there is anything America loves more than cars, it’s Twinkies. Or animals. Based on these commercials, we can’t tell.

Bud Light: “Rescue Dog”

So Americans love cars and Twinkies and animals. But they also really, really love beer. So this Bud Light commercial put a dog and its beer in conversation. The cleverly named Weego brings you a Bud Light every time you call him. “Here, Weego!” translates into “Here we go!” and the dog just brings you happiness. Now, if only my dog would bring me whatever I wanted to eat…can one of you smart Wash. U. science people get on that?

Budweiser: “Eternal Optimism”

So it takes a few weeks for good beer to ferment, and yet Budweiser is ready to go just a few hours after the end of Prohibition…I wonder how they made that happen! Anyway, this cute commercial expressed pure delight in its product, and the Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales made it all the more fun to watch.

Honda – “Matthew’s Day Off”

Anyone who’s ever seen “Ferris Bueller” should recognize the amusement of the commercial. Matthew Broderick repossesses his role from that classic movie, and the shot of him on TV with his producer watching was a perfect homage. Now, if only we could get away with these tricks to get out of class!

  • ymarketing

    Whether you thought advertisers scored or fumbled this year, the Super Bowl ads definitely got people talking. Check out how each stacked up in terms of social media response:

  • Morgan

    The Honda ad was co-created by a Wash-U grad, Ariel Shukert

  • Christopher

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  • orange

    you think they would embed some youtube vids or something…