Using YouTube sneak peaks and social media promotions, brands have elevated the prominence of their Super Bowl advertisements, making them nearly as important as the game itself.
The competition is stiff for best commercials, with some companies pulling out all the stops — supermodel make out sessions, movie-grade special effects, cute little animals, and talking babies.
The average 30-second spot costs upwards of $4 million in 2013, which is a 90 percent increase from a decade ago, according to Bleacher Report.
Watch some of the best and worst ads from the 2013 Super Bowl
Some of the best:
Best Buy – "Asking Amy"
Not only is everyone still talking about Amy Poehler's hilarious Golden Globes hosting gig
last month, but now she's making headlines again as the star of one of the funniest ads of the Super Bowl broadcast. Poehler spit rapid-fire questions at a Best Buy employee. "What's the cloud? Where's the cloud? Windows or Android? What's LTE? Is it contagious? Which one has a touch screen? Which one has a touchy feely screen?" she fired at the employee.
Doritos – "Goat 4 Sale"
An unassuming bearded man takes in a goat, but soon learns that his new pet really loves Doritos. There were a couple Doritos commercials during Sunday's broadcast, but this was by far the funniest, critics said, with some calling it their "all-time favorite."
Dodge — "So God Made A Farmer"
Chrysler took legendary conservative radio broadcaster Paul Harvey's words from a 1978 Future Farmers of American convention speech, So God Made a Farmer
, and resurrected them in its Super Bowl spot for Dodge Ram trucks. The audio of the speech was cast against a backdrop of poignant still images during the two-minute spot that aired during the fourth quarter. The automaker said the Ram brand commissioned 10 noted photographers, including National Geographic icon William Albert Allard and documentary photographer Kurt Markus, to take photos for the ad.
Wheat Thins – "Night Vision"
This commercial featured a paranoid husband camping out with night vision goggles to "keep an eye" on his Spicy Buffalo Wheat Thins was exactly what every Super Bowl ad should be—simple, funny and kind of stupid.
Taco Bell — "Viva Young"
A group of senior citizens looks like a rowdy bunch of teenagers when they snuck out of their retirement home to pool-hop, go clubbing, and get tattooed and before swinging by Taco Bell for a late-night meal.
And a few of the worst:
GoDaddy — "Perfect Match"
GoDaddy's spot featured a make out session between supermodel Bar Refaeli and a nerdy background actor
. While the logic behind GoDaddy's commercial was solid—the kiss was supposed to represent the domain name site's equal parts "sexy" and "smart"—it ended up being an unbelievably cringeworthy 30 seconds.
Coke — "The Chase"
A big budget advertiser, Coke is known for its elaborate commercials complete with movie-grade special effects, costumes and makeup. This year's spot was no different. It featured some Middle Eastern men with camels, a crew of cowboys, a motorcycle gang and a bus full of Las Vegas showgirls racing toward a huge Coke bottle in the desert. With no plot, dialogue, or humor, the ad more closely resembled an Indiana Jones action sequence (minus the showgirls) than a commercial.
Century 21 — "The Wedding"
Bleacher Report summed up this mediocre commercial pretty well: "Really though? A mother-in-law joke? Century 21 paid upwards of $4 million to air a mother-in-law joke. Terrible…just terrible."
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