The Baltimore Ravens won the 2013 Super Bowl, but of course there was another competition going on as well. Which Super Bowl ads would draw the most attention-grabbing laughs and/or tears?
Here, we present our favourites in five categories. If there were a Heisman trophy for commercials, it would go to these…
Best Celebrity Cameo
We loved watching Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen engage in comedic combat as they fought over who should be the Samsung pitchman. LeBron James got the job in the end (you just knew they'd get upstaged by a pro athlete), but it was good fun watching them take their best shots! William Dafoe played the perfect-for-him role of the Devil, trying to make a deal for a new Mercedes. And The Big Bang Theory's Kaley Cuoco was cute as a wish-granting genie for Toyota. But the winner in this category must go to The Rock (Dwayne Johnson), whose "got milk?" ad played like a mini-movie with a crisp punch line ("Ladies, gotta go to work") and a great message: Milk gives you protein to start your day. This ad sealed the deal: Somehow The Rock always manages to be tough and adorable at once.
Best Animals in an Ad
The Doritos "Goat for Sale" ad was funny in its utter oddness. (Who knew a goat could seem so scary?) And kudos to the Sketchers commercial with the guy who helps out the gazelle. (How many times have you wanted to intervene when watching the strong-devour-the-weak shows on Nat Geo Wild?) But the best use of an animal in an ad came from Budweiser, whose update on their traditional Clydesdale horse commercial was sweet as a baby colt.
Lifeguards might be manly, but "nothing beats an astronaut." That's what we learned from watching the ad for AXE Apollo. Study hard, kids! The nerd will get the girl in the end! Misfits ruled the ad for Hundai Santa Fe, too. When a bully steals a boy's football, his mom drives him around town, gathering his own team of outcasts. Guess who wins in the end? Truth is, though, the most satisfying underdog ad came from Audi, when the brave nerd goes solo to the prom, then plants one on the most beautiful girl in the room. The shiner he receives from her boyfriend? Worth it.
Best Audience Interactive Ad
Speed Stick deodorant featured a fast-thinking guy in a Laundromat, who insults a comely fellow patron, then fixes it, and then…insults her again. Then viewers were encouraged to tweet your "handle it" moment in a shameless bid for Twitter buzz. Ford enlisted viewer help in the weeks leading up to the big game, when its spokesman, Jimmy Fallon, asked people to tweet their favorite road trip stories. The company then incorporated 6117 Tweets into the plot of their commercial. The top prize in this category would have gone to Coke, which pitted three groups competing for a coke in the hot, hot desert. Viewers were invited to Coke's website to vote for their favorite. Unfortunately, shortly after the first ad ran, the site lost all interactivity, and it was spotty for the rest of the game. So the winner here would have to be Oreo Cookies ad, where a whisper war is staged in a library over that eternal oreo cookie question: Which is better, the cookie or the cream? On the Oreo site, viewers who voted got a chance to win up to $100,000.
Best Feel-Good Ad
Volkswagen's "Get In, Get Happy" ads were adorable, though they lost the thrill of surprise when they ran the angry You Tuber-themed one in the days leading up to the game. So the winner here would have to be the Coke ad with the Coke security cameras, which caught stolen kisses, crazy heroes and a host of other random acts of kindness that never get reported on the news.