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Here is a look at some of the outstanding Super Bowl ads.
Two compelling commercials for Bud Light, brewed by the Anheuser-Busch division of Anheuser-Busch InBev, featured Stevie Wonder as a mysterious purveyor of "mojo" for football fans in New Orleans. He was spooky enough to warrant a shout-out at his next concert, "Do do that voodoo that you do so well." Agency: Translation.
A spot for Budweiser beer, also from Anheuser-Busch, about a Clydesdale and a trainer, wore its heart on its sleeve, or its hoof. But the corn was sweet and tasty. Agency: Anomaly.
In a hilarious commercial for the M&M's candy brand, sold by Mars, the character Red warbled "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)" to express his desire for a human woman, played by Naya Rivera of "Glee." She reciprocated his ardor with a disturbing hunger for more than hugs. Agency: BBDO New York.
The plot of a commercial for the new Mercedes-Benz CLA echoed everything from "Faust" to "Damn Yankees." And a dream sequence echoed a 2012 Super Bowl spot for Kia.
Still, the commercial was infinitely better than an overheated teaser spot that promoted it. It also had a nice New Orleans atmosphere, Willem Dafoe as Lucifer, clever cameo appearances by Conde Nast magazines like GQ, and a punch line centered on a selling point, the car's sticker price. Agency: Merkley & Partners.
A spot for Oreo, sold by Mondelez International, also stood out for its focus on a selling point, in this instance the longtime debate among brand fans over the "best part": Is it the cookie or the cream filling?
The most delicious moment came when a police officer trying to break up an Oreo fight in a library whispered through his bullhorn. The commercial ended with a 21st-century twist by asking viewers to "choose your side on Instagram." Agency: Wieden & Kennedy.
OK, a spot for the Taco Bell division of Yum Brands - about elderly friends who escape a retirement home for the kind of night out their grandchildren would enjoy - plays like a product-placement version of "Cocoon" crossed with the "Kick the Can" segment of "Twilight Zone: The Movie."And the Spanish-language version of the Fun. tune "We Are Young" that played on the soundtrack might make the song a hit all over again. Agency: Deutsch L.A.
A delightful commercial for Tide, sold by Procter & Gamble, told a fanciful tale of a "miracle stain" on a 49ers fan's jersey that resembled the team's former star quarterback, Joe Montana. The sendup of media hype was knowing, and the surprising punch line was perfect. Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi.
A commercial for the Toyota RAV4 evoked the "60s sitcom "I Dream of Jeannie," with Kaley Cuoco stepping in for Barbara Eden. But the spot had its own charms, particularly how the wishes granted by the genie careered from charming to chaotic. Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi Los Angeles.