This Super Bowl the Simpsons were schmaltzy, Betty White was on her game, and Letterman genius

Sure the economy is down and big budget Super Bowl ads are passe. But creative advertising doesn’t need a big budget. You just need a solid concept. This year all but three Super Bowl ads disappointed. Here are my top three favorites from this year, which isn’t saying much.

Good: The Simpsons Coca-Cola Spot
Yes, it was fun seeing the Simpsons do a spot for Coca Cola. But it was schmaltzy and void of any of the acerbic Simpson wit we’ve come to expect. Couldn’t Coca-Cola have allowed the writers to poke a little fun at those big love-fest Coke ads that taught the world to sing?

Better: The Betty White Snickers Spot

Betty White proves she’s as awesome as she ever was. But did you remember this spot was for Snickers? It, like many other Super Bowl ads this year, seemed to rely entirely on a gimmick that overshadows the product. Nevertheless, I do love Betty White.

Best: The David Letterman, Oprah Winfrey and Jay Leno ‘Late Show’ Spot

Clearly, the hands down winner for concept, casting and memorableness. The spot reprises the brilliant 2007 Super Bowl Late Night spot in which Oprah (pulling for the Chicago Bears) and Letterman (pulling for the Indianapolis Colts) are sitting on a couch together, in love, despite their longtime public animosity.

Super Bowl Ads Letterman Winfrey LenoThis ad was the brainchild of David Letterman, according to staff members of the “Late Show with David Letterman.” The spot done in a hurry last week. Winfrey and Leno — reportedly wearing a hooded sweatshirt, glasses and a glued on mustache — flew into New York to meet up at the Ed Sullivan Theater where the Late Show is taped. I can only guess the reason Leno and NBC agreed to participate was because they were taking a cue from Letterman himself who recently used his trademark brand of self-deprecating humor to successfully diffuse the fallout from the Employee Benefits Plan he was operating in the suite above the set of the Late Night show. While Leno definitely could use some diffusing of the Conan debacle this just ended up making him look sad — and Letterman a genius.