You can find my ruminations on the game at my sports blog. But here's the media analysis.
CBS did a great job of advertising its shows, and when the Who started playing, I suddenly thought:" Did CBS do this as the most subtle ad for CSI ever?" I mean 3 of the 5 songs they played, or parts of songs as they did the medly thing as is common now, are theme songs for CSI. They sounded great, but their voices are shot. Pete did some nice guitar work but had a bit of a wardrobe malfunction in his gut busted out of his shirt. They did a solid job though. Carrie Underwood did a nice, not long and painful National Anthem, but missed the last note.
The announcing crew was great, I'm a big Nantz guy; not too talky not too understated. I really don't like the Joe Buck style where its like he's barely there. Simms always does a nice job with the color commentary, and his excitement is a nice counter to Nantz's more stately demeanor. CBS also bested Fox and NBC in not trying to have insane camera angles. They stuck with the traditional ones, didn't show off too much technology for the sake of showing off.
Now, for the commercials. The theme? Stupidity. Doritos wins the award for prolific ineptness. They had like 17 ads and only 1, the kid slapping his mom's date, was any good. Bud Light, you're not off the hook either; your ads were almost self-parodies of beer ads, but didn't go the extra step and instead just looked irresponsible. Go Daddy.com, you may have a nice service, but your ads don't work anymore.
Other lesson: Figure out who you're going to be sandwiched in between. We had two commericals back to back with large groups of men in their underwear, and two commercials in a row featuring women being tackled.
The Winner: The Late Show with David Letterman
at 15 seconds this may have been the shortest ad, and it may have also been the most cheap to produce. But it was hilarious and brilliant. I thought just having Oprah there was enough, but that pan to Jay, clinched it. Good publicity for all three involved. (explanation for the kids: Letterman had a longstanding feud with Oprah, and of course that lousy Oscar gig joke didn't help things, and still sort of has one with Leno.)
Audi, Green Police
Sure, you don't know what its for for 75% of the ad, and its sort of a typical super bowl ad idea, take a song and make a pun, but the execution, and how far they went with it, the hot tub scene is a favorite, made this a standout.
Home Away: Girzzwalds
Nice to see the two at work again. The full short film is mildly funny, but shows the clan is much better in small doses.
Snickers: Betty White
What's funny isn't that Betty White's playing football or that Abe Vigoda gets sacked, but its White's delivery of her lines while in the huddle that's pure gold; that she could deliver them like a 25ish year old guy and be believable shows her immense talent.
Boost Mobile Superbowl Shuffle: The concept is fun, to get the Superbowl Shuffle bears back together. The execution was awful, and it made no sense. Why's Jim McMahon gettin a spray tan in a motorized wheel chair? And what does this have to do with cell phones?
Denny's Chickens: There seemed to be a half-dozen of these. They were annoying, the concept didn't make sense, so do I want be hurting chickens?, and Denny's which has always had a problem with accusations of racism, decided to have a Chicken president. Not saying it meant to say anything, but that they went with it, and how it could be read, is not too smart.
E*trade "Girlfriend": Talking babies creep me out. But this was doubly creepy as it deals with a baby trying to explain away a one-night stand.
McDonalds: The HORSE remake was awful, and of course Lebron knows Larry Bird, come on!
Google: Why is this bad? Everyone else loved it? Google had an enigma, they were a company that never had to advertise, so when I saw this I was thinking, what's wrong, maybe Bing is getting to them?
Shutter Island Trailer: I will see this movie, it looks great, but this ad wasn't. It spent more ad time giving us Marty's filmography than showing the movie. And really, do you have to tell us: "from the director of Taxi Driver, Ragining Bull, Goodfellas, Casino, The Aviator? "and how'd the Aviator get in there but the Departed get left out?
On the Fence:
Coke: The Simpsons
I kept waiting for an acerbic bit of humor. For Mr. Burns to wake up and have it all be a nightmare. But it was too sweet for The Simpsons. Sure it was great to see everyone in HD action, and seeing Spiderpig again made me laugh, and sure Apu giving Mr. Burns a coke is believable, if anyone in Springfield would it would be him, but it could have been much better.
Companies MIA: Nike (Reebok is the official NFL supplier), Pepsi, Apple, Microsoft, and thankfully male enhancement ads were nowhere to be found.