Experts pick the good, bad and ugly of 2011 Super Bowl ads

Read more at: USA Today

Super Bowl ads are designed to sell things such as chips, cars, beer and online trading accounts. But these multimillion-dollar spots — which air in the most-watched TV show each year — also expose the brands to the court of public opinion.

Most creative use of an animal
Bridgestone won praise for its ad with a beaver saving a driver’s life after the quick-braking driver earlier spared the critter.

Biggest belly laugh
A Doritos ad with an office geek who sucks nacho-cheese residue off one colleague’s finger and smells the crumbs on another’s pants made folks laugh out loud.

Worst use of a celebrity
Timothy Hutton took heat for an ad for online coupon site Groupon that used political struggles in Tibet. Sharing the scorn was Adrien Brody as a sappy crooner for Stella Artois beer.

Most selling power for the product
Perhaps it was because they were watching a football game, but panelists say the National Football League ad with a montage of classic TV clips made them bigger fans of the NFL. The clips were given modern football twists — such as superimposing Jets jerseys on The Sopranos stars. The ad ended with the NFL logo and: “Best. Fans. Ever.”

Most politically incorrect
In addition to booing Hutton’s acting, panelists were dismayed at Groupon’s theme: taking an ad that looked like an advocacy spot for Tibetan people, then playing up the discounts that Groupon can get for Tibetan restaurants.

Biggest waste of production money
An over-the-top Kia Motors America ad featured Poseidon, aliens and a group of chanting Mayans all vying for the all-new Optima. But it underwhelmed reviewers.

Most likely to set women back 100 years
A slew of panelists deemed tasteless a GoDaddy spot with race driver Danica Patrick and fitness trainer Jillian Michaels as GoDaddy Girls.

Best one-liners
•”This is the Motor City, and this is what we do.” A reference to Detroit in a Chrysler 200 ad featuring rapper and Detroiter Eminem.

•”I told you to get a flu shot,” says the E-Trade baby to sneezing cat Peppers in a post-game ad.

•”If you wanna look like me, it’s a shake for breakfast a shake for lunch and extensive surgery for dinner,” Joan Rivers in the online added material for her GoDaddy ad.