Ah, Super Bowl Sunday. It's the one TV-watching day of the year when we actually avoid making a fridge run during the commercials because, God forbid, we miss seeing a goat munching on Doritos or a buffed-up Calvin Klein model showing off his, um ... muscles.
As usual, Madison Avenue pulled out all the stops to dazzle, shock and entertain. But¿ was it money well-spent? Let's go to the highlight reel:
BIG BANG: Kaley Cuoco was magically delicious as a wish-granting genie in Toyota's clever RAV4 spot. And, really, who wouldn't want a chocolate IV?
BIRTH RITES: Cheers to Kia Sorento for its wildly imaginative peek at "Planet Babylandia." Yes, babies are always cute. But they're even cuter in space suits.
GETTING OUR GOAT: The furry critter who loves Doritos made us laugh. But remind us not to challenge a goat to a cage match. Later, Doritos scored again with an ad featuring burly men playing dress-up.
BEST ABS: Thanks for the self-esteem issues, Calvin Klein. Couch blobs across America had to be red-faced when the camera roamed over the sinewy body of a model clad in nothing but his undies. Hidden message: Stop eating those Doritos, and get to the gym.
OLD FOLKS RULE: A spot by Taco Bell in which rowdy residents of a seniors home do some late-night partying (and making out) was almost as strange and disturbing as it was humorous.
LET'S DANCE: In a clever Audi spot, a blissful high school kid drives home on prom night after boldly kissing the prom queen and getting a black eye from her boyfriend. Hidden message: Parents beware -- an Audi may prompt boys to assault your daughters.
NO DADDY: GoDaddy.com continued its trend of lowbrow commercials that are high on the "ew" factor with a spot that had model Bar Refaeli engaged in a long lip lock with a young, nerdy guy, complete with slurpy (and disturbing) sound effects. When sexy meets smart ... it's just gross.
MOST MOVING: Leave it to Oprah to turn us into blubbering wrecks. And Chrysler again scores with a feel-good message about American families yearning for our troops to return. "We wait. We hope. We pray."
BEST USE OF A CELEBRITY: Bravo to Best Buy. You just can't go wrong with Amy Poehler as a pitch person. She's money, even if she can't find the "cloud."
BEST USE OF LAUNDRY: Tide hit pay dirt with a marvelous spot focusing on a 49ers fan with a "Montana Miracle" stain on his jersey. It was hilarious and ended with a knockout punch line.
BEST USE OF SLAPSTICK: An Oreos ad focused on the debate between fans of the cookie's filling vs. those who love the crunchy outside ... in a library, of all places. While a major body-slamming brawl broke out, they still kept their voices low. Simple, violent and funny.
Contact Chuck Barney at firstname.lastname@example.org.