It was hard to tell, judging from Sunday’s Super Bowl XLXIVII telecast, that the nation is in the worst economic slump since the Great Depression. It did my heart good, however, to see the big Bank of America “Super Bowl Experience” shown so prominently on TV, knowing that our tax dollars helped fund the bailout that made this piece of corporate sponsorship happen.

The nation’s advertisers all stepped up to the plate, however, and bought all of the available commercial spots during the Super Bowl telecast at a minimum cost of $3 million for 30 seconds. That’s $100,000 per second for those of you keeping score. One reflection of the times was that no American automaker had a commercial running during the game. Another is that this year, the quality of the game (and halftime show) far outshone the overall humor quotient of the commercials.  So… how did everyone do this year? Let’s do our annual Keys Disease Super Bowl Commercial Roundup and find out!

The first quarter featured some of the best ads of the game. Bus Light’s “Office Ejection” and “Conan: Only in Sweden” spots were hilarious, as were the Bridgestone “Mr. Potato Head” ad and both Doritos spots (“Snow Globe” and “The Guy That Got Hit By The Bus”). Castrol’s “Grease Monkeys” ad was nowhere near as funny as a barrel of monkeys should have been, while Danica Patrick’s shower heated things up for Most interesting was Pepsi’s ad featuring a young Bob Dylan and a modern-day Will.I.Am from Black-Eyed Peas “performing” Dylan’s “Forever Young.” For what it was, the spot was well done, and managed to link ‘60s and ‘70s folk-rock with today’s R&B and hip hop in the way that only carbonated caffeinated flavored sugar water can.

The winner of the first quarter had to be Budweiser’s “Fetch” ad, in which a Bud Clydesdale horse shows the Bud Dalmatian how to fetch a stick. Showoff, indeed!

A lovesick Budweiser Clydesdale kicked off the second quarter in the “Horse Lovers” spot, during which we find out just how much a horse in love will do to be with his sweetie. We also got our first look at the new Star Trek movie, saw the E-trade baby get a musical friend, found out that all the luxury car makers are now able to pronounce the word Hyundai, watched Chester the Cheetos Cheetah inspire a woman to exact pigeon revenge on a gabby cell phone whiner, and viewed the Dreamworks Monsters and SoBe lizards in 3D (if you had a pair of 3D glasses). The Grim Reaper wanted his parking validated by his former tax accountant in the latest H&R Block ad, and stunt skiers earned the big bucks crashing into picnic tables for Bud Light.

The winner? There was a tie for first place between the aforementioned Bud “Horse Lovers” and the “Box of Rude Talking Flowers” in the hilarious Teleflora ad (“No one wants to see you naked!”).

This year, the halftime show was as good as it gets—Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band rocked the stadium for a very intense 12 minutes. Then it was back to the game and the third quarter spots.

If it’s another quarter, there must be another Budweiser Clydesdale spot. This one featured the story of one of today’s Bud Clydesdale’s ancestors from Scotland and what he went through to make it in America. showed us just what’s on the other side of the wall that the moose head sticks out from, Bridgestone’s hip hoppin’ astronauts found their lunar rover up on blocks, and Coca Cola showed us some Internet avatars and creative insects. The winners for this quarter (another tie) were the Denny’s “Mobster Pancake Breakfast” spot where the serious hit man conversation is interrupted by the waitress drawing a smiley face on a thug’s pancakes with canned whipped cream, and Career Builder’s “If You Hate Going To Work” spot that made repetition just darn funny, especially when they punched that cute stuffed koala three times.

As the action heated up on the gridiron, the commercial action went into the toilet—literally. MC Hammer and Ed McMahon were Cash4Gold’s pitchmen who speak from experience… and I’m sure that I join with everyone on the planet in sympathy for Ed having to sell his gold toilet. Coke Zero did a nice send-up of the old Mean Joe Green ad with Troy Polamalu, Danica Patrick returned for GoDaddy, and we found out what we really knew all along: Alec Baldwin is an alien who softens our brains with TV and Hulu.

The winner of this quarter was Pepsi’s MacGyver spoof “MacGruber/PepSuber” ad. Someone told me that the “real” MacGyver was the other guy in the ad, but I have no way of knowing that.

And that brings us to the winner of Super Bowl XLVIVIXIVII’s Commercial Roundup: Surprise! It’s a tie! Our winners are the Career Builder “If You Hate Going To Work” spot AND the Teleflora “Box of Rude Talking Flowers” commercial. Also, congratulations to the real winners—six time Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers. And all our thanks go to the Arizona Cardinals for making it a great game.

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