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Notes & comments by the Content Guy

For me, there is no debate about the best, most surprising and funniest commercial run during the Super Bowl last night. It was the commercial that, I suspect, that had most viewers wondering 1) how they did that, 2) if it was real, and 3) if it was real, once again, how they did that.

And that was the commercial for “The Late Show with David Letterman,” which featured Letterman, Oprah Winfrey and, most improbably, Jay Leno.

The set up was similar. Letterman was seen on a couch, complaining that he was at the worst Super Bowl party ever. The camera pulled back to reveal Winfrey, saying that he should be nice. And then, the commercial revealed Leno sitting on the same couch, saying that Letterman was only complaining because he was there, and then Letterman mockedLeno with a quick imitation, and then it was over.

And I’m fairly sure that most people did what I did - I ran to my laptop immediately to find out if Leno was really in the ad, or if somehow they’d done it with a technological trick. It ends up that Leno was really in the ad, that the feuding comics had decided to bury the hatchet to get a laugh, and in the end I suspect that it improves the image of both men.

The thing about this ad - unlike most of the other ads during the Super Bowl - is that it was completely unexpected, and totally unpredictable. And you can remember what the product was.

Which is what great advertising should be.

Here are some of my other favorite commercials from the Super Bowl:

• The commercial for Snickers, featuring Betty White and Abe Vigoda. Just plain funny...and it is always great to see these old folks show up on screen.

• The Coke ad featuring the Simpsons...which managed to be both uplifting and unexpected (mostly because I didn’t expect the Simpsons show up in a commercial).

• The Bridgestone commercial with the whale...which benefitted from having a punch line that gave me a belly laugh.

• The Audi commercial featuring the “Green Police.” It made me want to buy the car.

• The Bud Light commercial with the “Lost” theme...which was my favorite of all the Bud commercials. (A note here, though. My 15-year-old daughter hated the beer commercials because, as she said, she felt that they imply that the only way to have fun is by drinking. She has a point.)

• The Google ad, which was smart, specific, and aspirational - it made you feel good about being a Google user. (On “Morning Joe” this morning, they suggested it was in a league with the Apple “Think Different” ads of 1997.

Honorable mention goes to the “National Lampoon’s Vacation”-themed ad, starring Chevy Chase, for It wasn’t a great commercial, but seeing him play Clark Griswold again made me smile.

The commercials I hated included the dopy BoostMobile ad; the ad for the new film “Robin Hood,” starring Russell Crowe, which looked like “Gladiator II”; and the commercials, which are just an abomination.

One other note: What is it about all the commercials with men in underwear? Oy!

And a last comment: Jim Nantz may want to reconsider doing commercials during which he offers commentary on male-female relationships.

Just a thought.
KC's View: