Super Bowl ads: Our top picks

Some of my favorite Super Bowl commercials may not have been the funniest, but they made me smile anyway. Here's my list. They all happen to be car commercials, which is really something coming from a woman who admittedly knows nothing about cars. Look over my picks, then cast your vote.

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RALEIGH, N.C.10:30 p.m. Favorite overall Super Bowl commercials

Some of my favorite Super Bowl commercials may not have been the funniest, but they made me smile anyway. Here's my list. They all happen to be car commercials, which is really something coming from a woman who admittedly knows nothing about cars. Look over my picks, then cast your vote.

10:10 p.m. The 5 funniest Super Bowl commercials

Well, it was hard, but I narrowed the Super Bowl commercials pool down to the funniest and the best overall.

Here are my picks for the funniest ad:

What did you think? Did one of these make you laugh the most or did we miss the mark? Take the poll.
9:40 p.m. What is with these trashy, gratuitous GoDaddy commercials? Utterly lacking in wit but boiling over with sexual suggestion, they've earned themselves the honor of my least favorite Super Bowl spots.
9:20 p.m. A dream-dust-sprinkling fairy man tiptoes into a couple's bedroom to bring them good dreams, but when he trips and sends fairy dust flying all over the sleeping man, the dream revs up into Kia Optima overdrive. A race track, a scantily clad Adriana Lima, a cowboy riding a bucking rhinoceros, a crowd full of screaming women in bikinis and a performance by Motley Crue? I think Kia captured every man's fantasy in this fast-paced commercial.

The ending made me smile, when the man bursts into his wife's dream and whisks her away from a handsome, strapping man on a white stallion in a rainbow dreamworld.

"A dream car. For real life." Well put, Kia.

The Career Builder commercial also amused me, but then again, when has a commercial featuring poorly behaved chimpanzees ever disappointed?

9:06 p.m. Matthew Broderick brings back his inner Ferris Bueller in a Honda commercial. Faking sick on the phone with his agent, a sniveling, groaning Broderick successfully gets out of filming on a sunny day so he can tool around town in his CR-V. With plenty of references to 80s flick "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," the commercial is almost as much fun as the movie was two decades ago.

On his day off, Broderick visits a fair, a museum, the beach, a parade in Chinatown and a fancy restaurant amid numerous close calls of being spotted by his agent.

My favorite story of playing hooky still makes me say "Oh yeah," though a Charlie Sheen cameo for old times' sake would have been nice.

8:44 p.m. Jerry Seinfeld so desperately wants the very first Acura NSX, a concept vehicle due for release in the next three years, that he tries to make a deal with the man who's first in line to buy one. After offering all kinds of favors in exchange for the car, Seinfeld loses out to Jay Leno and his jet pack flying squirrel suit.

It's silly, but who doesn't love a little comedian rivalry?

8:41 p.m. If Toyota could really give me a reinvented baby that doesn't poop (and is also a time machine), a DMV office that gives away ice cream cones and rounds of mini-golf and rain that could make me lose weight, I would be a customer for life. This commercial definitely gets a nod for one of the funniest so far.
8:19 p.m. As a native Detroiter, I am proud of what has seemingly become a new Super Bowl tradition -- a shout-out to the Motor City. Gritty, manly movie star and award-winning director Clint Eastwood gave this year's tribute to Detroit in a commercial for Chrysler. The spot looked to the city and nation's future and spoke to the very heart of America and its evolving auto industry.

"This country can't be knocked out with one punch. We get right back up again and, when we do, the world is going to hear the roar of our engines," Eastwood says. "It's halftime, America, and our second half is about to begin."

Last year, in what many people thought was the best commercial for Super Bowl XLV, Detroit native Eminem paid tribute to the city's resilience in "Imported from Detroit."

8:07 p.m. Wow, thank you, Nicki Minaj and Cee Lo Green for injecting some funky fresh into this been-there-down-that snooze of a Madonna performance. "Like A Prayer" sung by a choir in gospel gowns? Really? Has the Queen of Pop forgotten how to be original, clever and provocative?
7:58 p.m.  Toyota gave us a touching look at the Camry's 22-year history and 7 million drivers. The drivers pass significant milestones in their cars and we are reminded that "Every driver has a story."

Before halftime began, LMFAO made a pre-appearance in a funny Bud Light commercial. The wild-haired group's agent brings them to a dive bar called "Halftime" instead of the Super Bowl. At first they're disappointed, but hey, there's plenty of cold Bud Light. Let the fun begin.

7:52 p.m. Time Warner Cable gets some stars to show us how the company makes Facebook, Netflix, ESPN, video games and Showtime On Demand better. Ricky Gervais kicks the whole thing off while debating whether or not to accept Facebook friend requests from pretty girls. "Weeds" star Mary Louise Parker nearly gets attacked by zombies and everyone winds up running through a city street while explosions blast in the background. For production value's sake, a whole lot went into this commercial spot.
7:37 p.m. This commercial break brought us the creepiest ad so far, but the singing head that pops out of a car customer's neck to represent the confidence he's gained by doing research on, is an image I won't soon forget. Isn't that what advertisers are going for?
7:19 p.m. Soccer superstar David Beckham shows off his new line of bodywear, available at H&M. We get a whole lot of body, very little bodywear (not that I'm complaining.)
7:13 p.m. I loved the first part of Volkswagen's "The Dog Strikes Back" commercial (see earlier comment about being a sucker for dog commercials), but the last part (a shout-out to one of last year's favorite commercials -- Volkswagen's Darth Vader kid) was kind of stupid. Yes, the company had an adorable commercial last year. We don't need the reminder.

The sweet, chubby Fido gets inspired to get in shape when he watches the sporty Volkswagen Beetle zoom by his window. Love the dog, love the song.

6:56 p.m. Here's an ad that sparked controversy. GM gives us "Apocalypse," a play on the end of the Mayan calendar, which predicted that 2012 would bring the end of the world. Rising from the rubble, a man and his dog and his Chevy truck drive through the apocalyptic landscape to find the only other survivors -- friends who also drive the Chevy Silverado. The men meet up to share Twinkies and mourn their friend Dave. Dave didn't make it. He drove a Ford.
Ford asked GM top to pull the ad, but the company refused. Tell us what you think: Should GM have pulled the ad?

I thought it was great. Extremely clever, great choice of Barry Manilow's "Looks Like We Made It" and even features a dog. I'm a sucker for a dog commercial.

6:50 p.m. We got our second ad for Bud Light Platinum, a new beer from Anheiser-Busch with "top-shelf taste," this commercial break. Seems to be a new beer geared toward women. I'm not sure what makes a top shelf beer, but I suppose my interest is piqued.

The M&M commercial featuring new spokeswoman Ms. Brown was hilarious. Mistaking the brown M&M's appearance for nudity, that lovable, goofy red M&M strips off his candy coating and dances an adorable little jig. Ms. Brown is wholly unimpressed, but I was very tickled.

6:42 p.m. Hyundai's "Cheetah" commercial was the total package: It was funny and it also showcased the product well. The Veloster Turbo faces off in a race with a cheetah, but when the car leaves the lightning-fast animal in the dust, the peeved predator turns on its handler.

I love Elton John, but the "King's Court" Pepsi commercial didn't do it for me. Sir Elton plays a greedy king who doles out Pepsi for a good performance. The pipes of "X Factor" winner Melanie Amaro singing Aretha Franklin's "Respect" forces him to give her both respect and Pepsi, but it's not enough for Amaro, who demands "Pepsi for all."

I did giggle at the cameo appearance of Flava Flav in the dungeon, though, and Elton really rocked those gold platform shoes.

6:39 p.m. While I applaud Audi's attempt to capitalize on the "Twilight," "Vampire Diaries," "True Blood" vampire craze, I wonder how effective a commercial can be if the most attention-grabbing thing about the car they're advertising is the LED headlights? Clever, I guess, but this ad doesn't make me want to buy the S7.
6:28 p.m.  Hyundai's "All for One" commercial was wonderful. Real-life Hyundai employees from the Birmingham, Ala. plant give us an a capella rendition of the theme song from "Rocky" to show a frustrated designer that: "There's always a way. That's just our way."

Of course, can the car company go wrong with any message delivered in the "Dude-ly" voice of Jeff Bridges?

6:20 p.m. Sacha Baron Cohen previews his new film, "The Dictator," which appears to be exactly what we'd expect from the Borat creator -- an irreverent, laugh-out-loud comedy poking fun at the tyrants of the Arab world. 
6:15 p.m. Super Bowl ads kick off A quarter of an hour before kickoff, the much-anticipated Super Bowl commercials have begun.

Geico won the first commercial break for me. Instead of joining a pricey weight loss group or gym, a man enlists the help of the popular girls from middle school who are quick with judgment any time he picks up unhealthy food. "Ew," says the first. "Seriously?" asks the second. "Gross," deadpans the third.

Pretty funny, even if they relied on their standard "there's an easier way to save" slogan.

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