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Super Bowl 43

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Super Bowl commercials cost as much as $3 million this year, but the contest between the Arizona Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers wasn't an advertising blockbuster. Longtime marketers such as General Motors (GM) and FedEx (FDX) pulled out of the game, and marketers were snapping up discounted airtime right up to kickoff. BusinessWeek's advertising and marketing mavens—Jon Fine, Burt Helm, and David Kiley—settled down with a bucket of wings and a dose of disbelief at some of the branding plays they were forced to witness. Behold their picks and pans of Super Bowl advertising, 2009.