NEW YORK — Cue the Kleenex.
Sentimental won by a landslide in this year’s Super Bowl ads. Maybe because there about as much humor in the ads as there was defense being played by the Denver Broncos on the football field.
Creators of the General Mills “Gracie” ad for Cheerios took the top prize in the University of South Carolina’s Super Bowl ad poll – decided by a class that spends the entire semester studying Super Bowl commercials.
In the ad, a father is using Cheerios to show his daughter how many people are in the family and that they are adding one as she will soon have a baby brother. She adds a fifth Cheerio for a puppy, too. Dad takes the deal, but the look on the surprised Mom’s face is less than enthusiastic.
The poll also is opened up for public voting. The public also went with an awwww-worthy spot: Budweiser’s “Puppy Love,” which tied for second in the students’ poll.
In that commercial, a big, fluffy puppy repeatedly escapes an adoption rescue to be with a horse at a nearby barn. When the puppy is adopted, Clydesdales surround the car until the puppy is released – presumably to stay with its horse forever as they frolic together in a field.
Watch it online: http://youtu.be/uQB7QRyF4p4
Advertisers are in the game to win. The Super Bowl is advertising's biggest showcase, with more than 108 million people expected to tune into the game. And companies are paying an estimated $4 million to have their ads be a part of the action.
Here are more ads that were worth watching Sunday:
GENERAL MILL'S CHEERIOS: The cereal maker brings back an interracial family that starred in a prior spot. This one shows a father telling his daughter that they're going to have an addition to the family, a baby boy. Then, the little girl strongly suggests they also get a puppy. The ad airs during the first unscheduled time-out of the game.
BANK OF AMERICA: The bank will promote its partnership with AIDS nonprofit (RED) by having music group U2 sing their new single "Invisible." between the first and second quarter. The song will be a free download on iTunes during the game and for the following 24 hours. Bank of America will donate $1 each time it is downloaded to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS.
SODASTREAM: The Israeli at-home soda maker company has stirred up controversy on two fronts. Their ad features "Her" actress Scarlett Johansson touting the health and environmental benefits of the soda maker and will run in the fourth quarter. The ad first made waves when the company said it would delete its last line, "Sorry, Coke and Pepsi," at a request by Fox. Then on Thursday, Johansson resigned her Oxfam ambassadorship. The nonprofit was unhappy she was linked with SodaStream, which operate a factory in an Israeli West Bank settlement. Oxfam is opposed to that.
H&M: The clothing maker's ad in the second quarter features nifty technology that will allow people with some Samsung Smart TVs to order soccer star David Beckham's Bodywear products with their remote control in real time.
NESTLE'S BUTTERFINGER: A suggestive teaser ad showed a couple, "Chocolate" and "Peanut Butter," in '70s-style couple's therapy talking about the need for "change" and "excitement." The actual ad in the third quarter will have a related theme and Butterfinger is expected to introduce its Peanut Butter Cups with some tongue-in-cheek double entendres.
BEATS MUSIC: Ellen DeGeneres reimagines the Goldilocks and The Three Bears fairytale in this ad running in the third quarter that introduces Beats Music, a streaming music service.
WONDERFUL PISTACHIOS: The snack producer showcases comedian Stephen Colbert running amok in two 15-second ads in the second quarter.
KIA: In the carmaker's third-quarter ad to introduce its K900 luxury sedan, Laurence Fishburne reprises his "Matrix" role as Morpheus and displays some surprising operatic skills.
CHRYSLER: The automaker is bound to surprise. Always mum ahead of the game, Chrysler has produced some of the best loved and most remembered spots during the big game, from Eminem's "Imported from Detroit" ad in 2011 to last year's "Farmer" ad featuring scenes of American farmland and a voiceover by conservative radio broadcaster Paul Harvey. This year's surprise: Bob Dylan.
RADIO SHACK'S "The '80s called and wants its store back" spot drew a dozen recognizable faces from television and movies.
AUDI'S ad follows the story of a mixed-up breed dog (look for the hilarious cameo by an animal rights activist).
AXE Peace body spray will bring about world peace. Really?