Who Won The Super Bowl Ad Race? CBS Corporation (CBS), Anheuser-Busch InBev NV (BUD) and More

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Ahh. Life is sweet for Ravens fans as we watched the Super Bowl with a softly falling snow outside and our Old Bay spiced snacks. The cherry on top was our Jacoby Jones making a 108-yard kickoff return for a touchdown for B’More. What almost ruined the buzz was a number of mind-numbingly boring ads with few real standouts and notable omissions.

Who Was the Big Winner

With over 20 advertisements for itself, CBS Corporation (NYSE:CBS) was the undisputed champion. Not the most interesting nor entertaining, but for sheer volume it was CBS, which hosted the big game. And at $4 million charged to outsiders, it gave itself $80 million plus in free ads. A 35-minute delay due to a power outage in the stadium gave them an opportunity to air a few extra ads.

The usual car, beer, phone ads cluttered up the airwaves with several notable no shows like Under Armour Inc (NYSE:UA), NIKE, Inc. (NYSE:NKE), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), etc. Again this year Budweiser, owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev NV (NYSE:BUD) , not only had a heartrending Clydesdale ad but its Bud Light New Orleans voodoo themed ads with Stevie Wonder, one featuring voodoo dolls and the other a “lucky” chair were funny and imaginative. Forbes also agreed that the Clydesdale ad was a winner and I thoroughly agree the GoDaddy.com ad with supermodel Bar Rafaeli tongue kissing the nerd was just a stomach-churner.

A surprise runner up was the Joe Montana-stain commercial for Tide — funny and unexpected in comparison to the usually bland ads from The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) . Again, Forbes agreed it was a winner for Procter & Gamble. A risque but humorous ad came from first time Super Bowl advertiser Gildan Activewear Inc (NYSE:GIL). Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE:TM) also ran a cute Wishes Granted campaign featuring CBS star Kaley Cuoco from The Big Bang Theory.

The main trend this year, which was a carryover from last year, is more “crowdsourced” content or ads in which facebook or online votes had a role, like the Lincoln Continental ad that was a result of 6,000 customer tweets; the Cokechase.com ad, which asked viewers to vote on the outcome; or the annual Pepsi Doritos ads created by average people, not ad agencies.

Another asked Oreo commercial viewers to weigh in on Instagram whether the cookie or the cream are better. Unfortunately for Coke and PepsiCo their ads were flat compared to campaigns of previous years. Monday morning quarterbacks loved the baby Clydesdale ads and Anaheuser Busch added a social media kicker allowing fans to suggest names for the foal.

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