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Rating the Super Bowl ads

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Never mind the Super Bowl. It’s over. What about the real game, where serious money changes hands, where there’s no off-season and the competition never lets up? How did the Super Bowl advertisers score? Here’s the lineup for MVP (Most Valuable Pitch):

The Video Verité Award to Nuprin, for an ad featuring Buffalo quarterback Jim Kelly, who spent a long afternoon being tenderized by Washington’s hatchet men. B-

The If You Hype It They Will Come Award to Pepsi, for its scenes of spontaneous hysteria in a field where an irresistible force draws colaheads to an utterly bogus love-in. Extra credit for putting Downtown Julie Brown and Uptown Joyce Brothers in the same ad, but demerits for dumbest new slogan of the Just-Say-No ’90s: ”Gotta Have It.” C

The ‘Toons of Glory Award to Nike for its pairing of the real Bugs Bunny and the implausible Michael Jordan. Extra credit for Casablanca reference at the end. A-

The We Care (Not!) Award to Reebok, for trying to make epic heroes of Dan and Dave, decathletes headed to the Olympics with their Pumps pumped. Demerits for most deflating slogan: ”Life is short. Play hard.” C

The Kiss Me Skates Award to Merrill Lynch for the most beautifully filmed ad of the Big Show, a slo-mo homage to speed skaters that was a lot more thrilling than ) Buffalo’s running game. A

The ‘Cop Rock’ Most Unlikely Musical Award and Best in Show ribbon to the Diet Pepsi spot showing Ray Charles and some adorable backup singers before a congressional committee, breaking into song. If only the Thomas/Hill hearings had been half as much fun, we might even have seen Orrin Hatch get down. A+

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