Welcome to Super Hole V. I realize having to wait until after the game (let alone Monday morning) to read such cogent analysis as this has become passé, what with all the live tweeting going on. But really, how many twitter feeds do you want to pay attention to while, I don’t know, attempting to cheer on the cheese or the Roethlisbeard? Two? Regardless, here are my reviews of Super Bowl XLV’s national spots. As always, I only review ads that ran during the game (no pre- or post-game slots); nor do I review local spots or movie trailers. Or GoDaddy.com trash. And please feel free to insert “gratuitous use of Diddy” into the meme-o-sphere. Thank you.

Ads arranged in alphabetical order by advertiser.

Audi A8, “Goodnight” – A great take on the classic children’s book “Goodnight Moon” (which I’ve personally read aloud to my kids approximately every fourth night over the past 18 months), this spot tweaks the Mercedes-Benz S-class quite nicely. Until the end. The spot should’ve closed on the shot of the A8’s grille and slightly sinister LED headlamps. Instead, in pushes through to a “good morning” replete with clunky aphorisms. As in most things, it’s better to finish strong than merely start strong. B-

Audi, “Release the Hounds” – A slap in the face to ascot connoisseurs everywhere. Well played, German overlords, well played. A-

Best Buy, “Buy Back” – Ozzy. Bieber. What could go wrong? Not a bad idea for Best Buy’s new “buy back” program that claims to protect you from instant tech obsolescence, but it didn’t quite pan out as I assume everyone hoped it would. B-

BMW, “Changes” – A decent way of illustrating the non-stinkiness of modern diesel engines, but didn’t tie it in to BMW’s core brand enough. You know, being a sweet performance ride. B-

BMW, “Defying Logic” – This felt more Toyota than Ultimate Driving Machine. Of course, as a car guy, I already new the X3 was made in America. But if I didn’t, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t care. Where’s Clive Owen when you need him? C

Bridgestone, “Reply All” – Ouch. Really? After teasing this spot online I expected more. Much more. And usually hitting “reply all” at work means you’re replying to a bunch of coworkers, not random people that require a road trip to destroy their mobile devices. I hope “Carma” is better. C-

Bridgestone, “Carma” – Much better than “Reply All,” Bridgestone should have run this spot first. Not amazing, but a good spot. B

Brisk, “Eminem” – Very nice. I’d complain about the one swear word being an ad shown during a “family-friendly” game, but I’d honestly rather explain the use of “damn” to my kids than Levitra-using bathtub dwellers. A-

Bud Light, “Dog Sitter” – Bud Light’s best spot of the night, which may sound like faint praise, but I enjoyed this bit. It has dogs. I like dogs. Sue me. B

Bud Light, “Hack Job” – If you’re going to you’re your spot on one joke, it better be funny. Unlike this home improvement show spoof. Not brought to you by real men of genius. D+

Bud Light, “Product Placement” – A better one-joke bit than “Hack,” but the product placement could’ve been much funnier. C

Bud Light, “Severance Package” – The trilogy is complete. This follow-up to “Swear Jar” and “Clothing Drive” is fun, but not as nifty as the original “Swear Jar.” Whereas as that first spot was rooted in a semblance of reality, this new bit cuts that cord from the first scene. Still, a better sequel than either Matrix 2 or 3, and much better than flaming horse toots from Bud Light Super Bowl ads past. B

Budweiser, “Wild West” – Umm, what? D

Career Builder, “Parking Lot” – I’m predisposed to not like the spot given it’s concept’s proximity to an Interstate Batteries ad we shot last year. But ignoring that, I still don’t think it’s as strong as past chimp-based Career Builder spots. It attempts to mix subtle pathos with monkeyshines and just doesn’t quite pull it off. Needed more interaction between the driver and the chimps. As it was, the chimps felt more like props than co-workers or characters. C

CarMax, “Kid in a Candy Store” – Dig. Spend the first three seconds getting the product spiel out of the way and then have fun. But said fun is still relevant and interesting. Well played, CarMax. Too bad I don’t believe you (there’s a CarMax two miles from my house). B

CarMax, “Filling Station” – Another winner from CarMax. Wish it would’ve been a bit more absurd, but still fun and simple in its messaging. B

Cars.com, “Go First” – Bummer. Quite a let down after the last two Super Bowls. Making the fact that your site has customer reviews – just like every other shopping site extant – feels weak. And the comedy is way too obvious. C-

Cars.com, “The Reviews are In” – Ouch. Even weaker than “Go First.” If you’re going to have talking cars, you better put sharp dialogue in their grilles. And the button plays off a phrase no one ever uses to describe a car. “A big rear end”? Whu-huh? D

Chevrolet Camaro, “Miss Evelyn” – Fun spot, but have no idea what the point of it was. C

Chevrolet Cruze, “Misunderstanding” – Old people are hard of hearing. Now we can repeat a product feature over and over and over and over. Because old people are hard of hearing. D

Chevrolet Cruze, “Status” – I congratulate the creative team on finding the one scenario for which you might want the OnStar woman reading you Facebook updates. I curse the planner who thought that feature was worth spending $3 million to tout. C+

Chevy Silverado, “Lassie” – A very nice take on the classic Lassie “Timmy’s in the well” bit. The whale line was a bit of a clunker, but this was much more interesting than any Bob Seger or John Mellencamp-scored ad would’ve been. B

Chevy Volt, “Discovery” – Might be considered too quiet for the Super Bowl, but this was simple (from a messaging standpoint) and well executed. Almost made me forget the Volt is based on the Cruze but costs twice as much. Almost. B+

Chrysler, “Imported from Detroit” – I should’ve hated this ad, but it was too well written, shot and edited to not be rooting for Detroit and Chrysler by the end. And the “Imported from Detroit” tagline is gold, baby, gold. This shows that being bold is almost always the way to roll. A-

Coca-Cola, “Border Crossing” – Not the best Coke spot ever done, but still enjoyable. Produced well and with great direction. A simple, if somewhat obvious, idea that reinforces the brand’s longstanding promise of bringing people together. Lack of dialogue was a good call. B

Coca-Cola, “Dragon” – I think the Charlie Brown balloon beats this confetti-spewing dragon, but it’s still an entertaining spot that’s better than its surroundings. B

Doritos, “Best Part” – This first of this year’s winners of Doritos’s We Swear It’s Consumer Generated Content was creeptacular. If Doritos inspires guys who are dweebier, pastier and creepier than me to lick my fingers of steal my pants after eating some Cool Ranch Triangles o’ Chester, I’m out. C-

Doritos, “Grandpa’s Ashes” – Easily the best of Doritos’ quasi-consumer created spots. Not a classic, but at least it didn’t make switch to Fritos. B-

E*Trade “Tailor” – Much better than last year’s Lindsay Lohan-esque spot. The talking baby shtick isn’t exactly fresh, but this was a good example of how well it can be done. B

Go Daddy, “Contract” – I have a longstanding tradition of automatically giving Go Daddy spots big, fat Fs. And since they’re continuing their Maxim-meets-ISP theme again, I’ll continue my tradition, too. F [I never link to Go Daddy spots.]

Groupon, “Tibet” – I think I just saw Timothy Hutton’s strung-out older brother. D+

Home Away, “Ministry of Detourism” – Aka the Squished Baby Spot. I know some people will find the window-splatting baby just a tad much, but it was rendered so cartoonishly that I didn’t mind it. What I did mind was seeing so much money up on the screen without a clear message coming through. Apparently, hotels hate my guts and will always give me a room next to punk rockers, so I should use HomeAway.com to, ummm, I have no idea. (Well, I do have an idea, but not because of the spot.) C-

Hyundai Elantra, “Car Wash” – I loved the first 26 seconds of this spot. I love Jeff Bridges. I do not love Jeff Bridges jolting me out of the Twilight Zone the first 26 seconds of this spot created. B

Hyundai Elantra, “Hypnotized” – So close, Hyundai. So close. Again, The Dude does not bode well at the end of this. B

Hyundai Elantra, “Childhood” – Sigh. See previous Hyundai Elantra review. B

Hyundai Elantra, “Sheep” – You know the drill. B

Hyundai Elantra, “Deprogramming” – Hmmm. What do we have here? Would’ve worked better with Jeff Bridges doing the voice over. Oh wait, that is Jeff Bridges. If he’d been directed to be more Dude-like, this might’ve worked. And points off for the faux Old Spice moment at the end. B-

Hyundai Sonata, “Anachronistic City” – Now this is good. Great, simple strategy and message. Super small touches throughout. And the payoff of the car works especially well since the Sonata has been getting awesome reviews for the past year. Nice use of a Zeppelin at the end. A-

Kia, “One Epic Ride” – Well, it’s fun to watch, which is good. The concept isn’t particularly fresh, but the execution is. Sort of. But in the end, it’s telling me a Kia is an epic ride while giving no reason for me to believe it. I mean, I trusted last year’s Vegas-hopping sock monkey more than I do a coked-up yacht owner. Or an Aztec. Mayan? B

Mercedes-Benz, “Welcome” – A lot of great buildup for a whole lot of nothing at the end. Points off for gratuitous Diddy. Hmm, maybe that Audi A8 ad was right. Extended cut shown below. C

Mini, “Crammit in the Boot” – And with one commercial, Mini wipes out 90% of the brand equity Crispin, Porter + Bogusky built for them. Wow. F

Motorola, “Xoom” – This spot held my attention, but the payoff was weak. I mean, if you’re going to call out Apple as being the new Big Brother – and reference what is arguable the best Super Bowl spot of all time – you better bring it hard. And this was just totally emo. B-

Pepsi Max, “First Date” – Pepsi Max jumped aboard with Doritos this year on the “Crash the Super Bowl” common man with a Red One camera ad creation bandwagon. Please jump off. C-

Pepsi Max, “Love Hurts” – I was going to make a joke about how love isn’t the only things that hurts (as in, watching this ad does, too), but I thought that might actually hurt more than watching it. Then I rewatched it. And it doesn’t. D+

Pepsi Max, “Love Hurts” – Jock/nerd stereotypes, a Zac Efron lookalike and “America’s Funniest Home Videos” level crotch-swatting action sound like the perfect ingredients for Super Bowl-quality high jinks. How did it all go so tragically wrong? D+

Skechers Shape-Ups, “Kim Kardashian” – I wish I could return every pair of Skechers I’ve ever purchased. D

Snickers, “Logging” – Snickers attempts to catch Betty White lightning two years in a row and fails. This spot might’ve been great last year, but the joke is old. Just like Roseanne. C+

Sony, “Experia Play” – Frankendroid, eh. Where’s a torch wielding mob when you need one? C

Stella Artois, “Crying Jean“ – Would you spend $6 million to hear Adrian Brody sing about beer? Neither would I. C-

Suzuki, “Kizashi vs. Wicked Weather” – Suzuki plays the Subaru game touting it’s all-wheel drive Kizashi sedan. Decent enough effects, but scowling snowmen hurling powder-puff snowballs doesn’t exactly scream “something wicked this way comes” to me. B-

Teleflora, “Faith Hill” – Wow. And not in a good way. A spot in which Faith Hill steps into a rejected bit of “Family Guy” fan fiction. I can honestly say I did not see that joke coming. Now I wish I hadn’t seen it at all. D-

Volkswagen Passat, “The Force” – Awesome example of how to turn a common car feature into a compelling reason to pay attention. Awesome kid under that suit, too. Although I worry about parents who spend that much jack on a costume he’ll outgrow in three weeks. A

Volkswagen Beetle, “Black Beetle” – A fun teaser for the (finally) redesigned Beetle, aka The People’s Car. If said people are chicks or metrosexuals. This ad gives me hope that the New New Beetle will be a touch more manly. Although I’d still pick a Scirocco over it any day. Anyway, nice racing stripes. B+

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