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Doritos and Budweiser: Two Each In USA Today's Super Bowl Ad Meter



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The Seattle Seahawks had a blowout victory Sunday night, but there was no big winner in the Super Bowl ad contest.

Many advertisers went for a more serious, toned-down feel than in previous years. Budweiser, Coca-Cola and Chrysler all hit patriotic notes. RadioShack got praise for its surprisingly frank acknowledgement of its dated image - and its use of 1980s pop culture figures including Alf. And "Seinfeld" characters Jerry, George &  Newman held  a mini reunion for Jerry Seinfeld's show "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee."

AP PhotoOn Social Media, the ads were  upstaged by Joe Namath. When he went on the field for the coin toss wearing a massive fur coat, Twitter lit up.  A few examples:

--" Joe Namath's Coat or Bruno Mars' hair. Discuss"

--"I'm not a big PETA guy but I don't agree with what #JoeNamath did to Lassie

--"Forget it. Game's over. Joe Namath's jacket wins the Super Bowl."

and on Twitter, under the handle of "Namath's Coat" --"First you complained when I wore folks are not easy to please. "


At The Bottom of This Page
How would you rate the Super Bowl commercials this year?
Better than usual!
( 6% )
About average.
( 24% )
Below average!
( 70% )

  The top five ads, as voted upon by this year's USA Today Ad Meter panel, including final ratings are:

1-     Anheuser-Busch – Puppy Love – 8.29

2-     Doritos – Cowboy Kid – 7.58

3-     Budweiser – Hero's Welcome – 7.21

4-     Doritos – Time Machine – 7.13

5-     Radio Shack – Phone Call – 7.00


From The Associated Press:
Here's a look at some things you might know - and some things you don't - about the ads.


Legendary musician Bob Dylan appeared in a Chrysler ad walking  through the streets of Detroit explaining that the city made cars and that "cars made America."

"Let Germany brew your beer, let Switzerland make your watch, let Asia assemble your phone. We will build your car."

It was the second appearance of the night for Dylan, if you count his popular 1960s tune of "I Want You" that played in a Chobani ad featuring a picky eater grizzly bear .


Sightings of "Seinfeld" actors filming in New York City this week sparked rumors of a reunion.

It turns out they were shooting an ad for Jerry Seinfeld's show on Crackle, "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee."

In the ad, George gripes that he wasn't invited to a Super Bowl party. After some prodding, Jerry tells him it's because he "over-cheered." After some more prodding, Jerry admits the real reason: it seems George "availed himself" in the bathroom of the host's master bedroom.


At least Radio Shack understands its problem - and can laugh about it.

The company poked fun at its outdated image by having pop culture characters from the past ransacking its store for an "'80s Giveaway."   See the Ad

Among those spotted: Hulk Hogan, Teen Wolf, that evil Chucky Doll, the California Raisins and Alf, who wasn't eating a cat.


Tim Tebow wasn't on the field, but he still got to enjoy the Super Bowl spotlight.

T-Mobile used the former Broncos quarterback to show how great life can be without a contract. In the ads, Tebow delivered a baby and tackled Big Foot.


If you're happy and you know it, slap the back of a (glass) ketchup bottle. That was the suggestion in a Heinz ad.

The ad may have been catchy, but it's worth noting that the majority of Heinz ketchup sold in the U.S. comes in plastic bottles, which were introduced in 1983.

The Pittsburgh-based company is still the country's No. 1 ketchup maker, with 60 percent of the market in North America, according to Euromonitor. Hunt's, made by ConAgra, is second.


Many advertisers played it safe by promoting a cause or focusing on sentimental issues.

Chevrolet's ad showed a couple driving through the desert in remembrance of World Cancer Day. And Bank of America turned its ad into a virtual video for singing group U2's new single "Invisible" to raise money for an AIDS charity.


Jokes were tamer.'s ad, for instance, showed it helping a small-business owner quit her job.

Volkswagen featured a take off on "It's a Wonderful Life," saying that German engineers earn wings every time a VW goes over 100,00 miles.

Stephen Colbert appeared in a pair of 15-second ads for Wonderful Pistachios. In one he predicted the nuts would sell themselves because "I'm wonderful, they're wonderful." He was back a few seconds later covered in bright green branded messages because the nuts hadn't sold out in 30 seconds.

Buffalo's Early News In Depth: Hear Bill Collins, Principal, Travers-Collins Agency with John Zach and Susan Rose commenting on the ads for much of the 7 am hour 
A conversation in three parts :  Part I | Part II | Part III

On The WBEN Liveline: CBS's Jill Schlesinger talks of a flagging Super Bowl market


 America the Beautiful?: A Coca Cola ad unleashed a flurry of comments on social media shortly after it aired. Coca-Cola's  spot features a number of people from different backgrounds singing "America the Beautiful" in different languages, prompting the hashtag #SpeakAmerican to break out on Twitter and Facebook

"WON'T DRINK COKE AGAIN... Can't sing 'America the beautiful' in English?? Really??? This is America and the language is ENGLISH!!!. wrote one Western New Yorker.

The same ad showed a quick shot of gay couple and their daughter, marking the first time a gay family was included in a Super Bowl ad, according to GLAAD, an advocacy group for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

A longer version of the ad is set to air during the opening ceremony of the Olympic winter games in Sochi

A Bi-Racial Family:   Cheerios flew in the face protests over some previous commercials by again depicting a bi racial family, this time explaining the upcoming birth of a baby to the daughter who wants a puppy.  See the ad

How Lackluster Were the Ads?

 Asked for their favorites, the morning team at Buffalo's Early News was hard pressed to name any ultimate winners.  Here's their picks, offered with a lot of reluctance and hedging and comments about how no advertiser hit a home run.

John Zach: "  I liked the Doritos cardboard box and the Tim Tebow ones. They were really the only ones that stood out for me. "

See the Doritos ad above  | See the Tim Tebow ad here

Susan Rose:  " I don't know. The (Audi) Doberman Chihuahua one was funny, but I 'm not sure I know what it was advertising. I guess I'd have to say Radio Shack, but you could convince me otherwise"   
See the Audi ad | See the Radio Shack Ad

Randy Bushover:  "I'm going to  have to go with none of them.  I'm looking for something quirky that makes me laugh, but I didn't see it. If I have to pick one I suppose the Budweiser soldier homecoming"    See the Soldier Ad

Dave Debo: "The Bob Dylan GM one was warm and atmospheric and I liked that. I thought the Tim Tebow ads were funniest and still  had a connection to the product. Sometimes the funny ones make you laugh but you can't remember what the product was. T -Mobile  didn't do that" 
See the Tim Tebow ad here | See the Bob Dylan GM ad

Traffic Command's Allan Harris :
At first Allan said," I don't remember any of them", before doing some online research and selecting the " Budweiser and the Puppy" ad. 
See the Video

from USA Today:
 Anheuser-Busch's 'Puppy Love' was ranked the top commercial in the 26th annual USA TODAY Ad Meter, the industry-leading tool used to measure public opinion surrounding Super Bowl ads. The top spot highlighted the friendship between a Budweiser Clydesdale and a puppy. The ad was similar to last year's Anheuser-Busch 'Brotherhood' ad, which also won USA TODAY Ad Meter, showing the connection between a trainer and the horse he raised.

This is Anheuser-Busch's 12th USA TODAY Ad Meter win, the most all-time. Anheuser-Busch and Doritos, which combined, have won every USA TODAY Ad Meter since 1999, placed two ads apiece in the top five, with both of Doritos commercials featuring user-generated ads.

For the second consecutive year, USA TODAY recruited thousands of panelists from across the country to participate in Ad Meter. Panelists voted on every national ad that aired immediately following the coin toss through the end of regulation, giving each ad a numerical score from 0-10 via a password-protected website. The winning ad was determined by the highest average score.

This year, for the first time in Ad Meter history, USA TODAY will provide in-depth analysis on how the ads resonated across a wide variety of demographic sets, including, gender, age, geography and household income. All the Super Bowl ads, as well as complete results and analysis, can be seen at

The top five ads, as voted upon by this year's Ad Meter panel, including final ratings are:
1-     Anheuser-Busch – Puppy Love – 8.29

2-     Doritos – Cowboy Kid – 7.58

3-     Budweiser – Hero's Welcome – 7.21

4-     Doritos – Time Machine – 7.13

5-     Radio Shack – Phone Call – 7.00

USA TODAY created the Super Bowl Ad Meter in 1989 to gauge consumers' opinions about television's most expensive commercials. In 2013, Ad Meter became a broader franchise with USA TODAY Ad Meter: Year In Sports, which honored the "Best of the Best" in sports. USA TODAY Ad Meter's extended platform will include future extensions across multiple sports, entertainment and lifestyle events.

Previous USA Today Ad Meter winners and ratings:

2013 - Anheuser-Busch - Budweiser Brotherhood - 7.76
2012 - Frito-Lay Doritos - Man's Best Friend - 8.82
2011 - Tie - Bud Light - Dog sitter puts dogs to work, Frito-Lay Doritos - Dog's revenge
           for Doritos teasing - 8.35
2010 - Mars Snickers - Betty White and Abe Vigoda in casual football game - 8.68
2009 - Frito-Lay Doritos - Crystal ball sees free Doritos - 8.46
2008 - Anheuser-Busch - Dalmatian trains Clydesdale to make beer wagon team - 8.73
2007 - Anheuser-Busch - Crabs worship a cooler of Budweiser on the beach - 8.56
2006 - Anheuser-Busch: Secret refrigerator stocked with Bud Light - 8.39
2005 - Anheuser-Busch: Pilot jumps out of airplane for Bud Light - 8.65
2004 - Anheuser-Busch: Owners demonstrate how their dogs fetch Bud Light - 9.04
2003 - Anheuser-Busch: Replay - 8.99
2002 - Anheuser-Busch: Satin Sheets - 9.11
2001 - Anheuser-Busch: Cedric's dream date - 8.63
2000 - Anheuser-Busch: Rex the Dog recalls his worst day - 8.09
1999 - Anheuser-Busch: Separated at Birth - 8.01
1998 - Pepsi: Flying Geese - 9.08
1997 - Pepsi: Dancing bears - 8.22
1996 - Pepsi: On security camera, Coke driver nabs Pepsi - 9.42
1995 - Pepsi: Boy gets sucked into bottle - 9.66
1994 - Pepsi: Chimp escapes lab, hits the beach - 9.34
1993 - McDonald's: Jordan and Bird shoot hoops - 9.00
1992 - Nike: Bugs Bunny and Michael Jordan team - 8.51
1991 - Diet Pepsi: Ray Charles' new jingle catches on - 8.52
1990 - Nike: Famous announcers call imaginary game - 8.17
1989 - American Express: Dana Carvey and Jon Lovitz travel to the Super Bowl - 7.52.

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