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Posted at 8:57 AM ET, 02/ 7/2011

Super Bowl ads: Tech edition

By Hayley Tsukayama

Somewhere between the Doritos ads and the endless car commercials, tech companies made their pitches to consumers during coveted Super Bowl advertising airtime.

Competing group-discount sites Groupon and LivingSocial squared off, though it's hard to say at this point who came out on top. LivingSocial's gruff cross-dresser was a hit, but Groupon's two ads are generating a lot of buzz and controversy this morning.

The company's play on commercials for charity haven't gone over so well with some people, and are largely being labeled one of the greatest flops of last night's ad lineup.

Groupon addressed the backlash with a tweet last night highlighting their own, real charitable work:

Support Tibet's largest charity here: than a minute ago via web

Motorola not-so-subtly took on Apple with its dystopian commercial for the Motorola Xoom, where white earbud-wearing clones cut themselves off from human interaction. A play off of Apple's iconic 1984 ad, the Xoom promises to change the world:

The Daily, the News Corp. publication for the iPad also showed up larger-than-life with this ad, which has gotten mixed reviews, and isn't even on the ballot for best commercial over at Hulu's AdZone:

(Though you kind of have to love the super-geeky "Hello World" reference.)

Other tech ad offerings included eTrade's talking babies; Joan Rivers' turn as a girl; OnStar's new Facebook news feed reading feature; an ad for the Xperia Play; and Salesforce's new venture,, hawked by half-time act The Black Eyed Peas.

Topping most people's lists for the best ad of the night is Volkswagen's geektastic charmer about being a kid and using The Force:

Darth Vader's never been so sweet.

By Hayley Tsukayama  | February 7, 2011; 8:57 AM ET
Categories:  Apple, Car Toys, Gadgets, Gaming  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: PostPoints tip: Discounts at Apple's Mac App Store (and their costs)
Next: Verizon iPhone: Review Roundup


Why no love for the Chrysler 300 commercial? I still have chills this morning...

Posted by: angelomer683 | February 7, 2011 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, the Chrysler - I believe it was the new 200, not the 300, but whateva... was the best commercial, the most memorable one. I'll never buy one, but it made me want to.

The Groupon ads were hilarious. A bit odd, but the bait and switch was pretty funny. I think most Americans "got it," while those 'angry' about them should realize they're making too much about it based on who it came from, and whom they got to star in the ads.

I'm sure it angered China. Oh, wait, that's not sarcastic at all. Of course they believe that our government was involved, it's the only way they know the world to be.

Posted by: NovaMike | February 7, 2011 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Not sure I'd go as far as having chills . . . but I agree with angelomer683, the Eminem Chrysler ad was far and away the best of the evening.

Posted by: tomguy1 | February 7, 2011 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Just watched the Chrysler 200 commercial again. All the rest of the ads are a cheap joke compared to that one. Again, I may not buy one, but it made me WANT to. I can't say that about any of the other ads period. That might have been the most impressionable ad I've seen in a decade, or more...

Posted by: NovaMike | February 7, 2011 10:17 AM | Report abuse

You missed the irony between the Xoom and The Daily for iPad commercials. The Xoom ad plays off of Apple's dystopian world view while The Daily ad for iPad practically shoves your face right into dystopia, with the headline "Brave New World" next to the Statue of Liberty. As we all know "Brave New World" is the Aldous Huxley book precisely warning us about dystopia!

Posted by: crzytwnman | February 7, 2011 10:32 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: howlless | February 7, 2011 12:35 PM | Report abuse

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