Sex sells. Babies sell even more. And advertisers are hoping animals will make you laugh all the way to their stores.
While the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens battled on the field during Super Bowl XLVII, marketers from Best Buy to M&M to Toyota competed against each other on advertising’s biggest stage.
The stakes are high, with 30-second spots going for an average of $4 million this year. And more than 111 million viewers were expected to tune in.
Here are some ad highlights:
BABIES, ANIMALS AND FAMILIES OH MY
Audi’s 60-second ad in the first quarter, with an ending voted on by viewers, shows a boy gaining confidence from driving his father’s Audi to the prom, kissing the prom queen and getting decked by the prom king.
Toyota’s ad stars Kaley Cuoco from CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory” granting wishes to a family, from a boy wanting to go into space to a dad wanting to lose his “spare tire.”
Budweiser’s Clydedales made another appearance in an ad that shows a man and his horse reuniting after several years.
HUMOR IS KEY
Best Buy’s 30-second ad in the first quarter starred Amy Poehler, of NBC’s “Parks and Recreation,” asking a Best Buy employee endless questions about electronics.
M&M’s showed its red spokescharacter singing Meatloaf’s “I Would Do Anything For Love,” and wooing beautiful women, but stopping short when they try to eat him.
Oreo’s ad featured a showdown in a library between people fighting over whether the cookie or the cream is the best part of the cookie. The joke — the fight escalates into thrown chairs and other destruction, but because the fight is in a library, everyone still has to whisper.
Doritos went for humor with its two user-created spots. Winners of the “Crash the Super Bowl” contest included one about a Doritos- crazy goat. Another showed a dad playing princess with his daughter to get Doritos. His buddies catch him, but instead of making fun of him they join in the fun. “Is that my wedding dress?” says his wife when she sees them playing.
Budweiser showed rival 49ers and Ravens fans each creating a voodoo doll for the other team with the help of a mysterious figure in a bar.
Tide showed a guy who gets caught in an awkward moment in the laundry mat, holding a woman’s yellow panties in his hands.
R&B legend Stevie Wonder and actress Zoe Saldana appeared in a Voodoo ad for Bud Light, granting people’s wishes.
Subway uses celebs, including Olympic speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno, boxer Laila Ali and Blake Griffin of the L.A. Clippers, trying to say “Febru-any.”
The Milk Processor Education Program, known as MilkPep and popular for its “Got Milk?” print ads, featured actor and professional wrestler Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in a 30-second ad in which he battles all kinds of oddities on his way to get milk.
Chrysler made a splash with a two-minute spot during halftime showing families waiting for their family members to return home from serving with the armed forces abroad. Media mogul and TV personality Oprah Winfrey read a letter from the Jeep brand to encourage families to stay hopeful.
SEX STILL SELLS
Calvin Klein upped the sex appeal with a 30-second spot showing male model Matthew Terry strutting around in underwear.