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Super Bowl Ads: The Good, The Bad, The Funny

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NEW YORK (CBSDC/AP) — The Seattle Seahawks had a blowout victory on 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 hitting patriotic notes. RadioShack ad got praise for its surprisingly frank acknowledgement of its outdated image — and its use of 1980s pop culture figures including Alf. And there was chatter on social media about the mini reunion from “Seinfeld” characters Jerry, George and Newman in an ad for Jerry Seinfield’s show “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.”

Still, the ads seemed to be upstaged, at least in the chatter on social media, by Joe Namath. When the football legend appeared on the field for the coin toss wearing a massive fur coat, Twitter and other social media sites were buzzing with jokes.

Here’s a look at some things you might know — and some things you don’t — about the ads.

ABOUT THOSE HEINZ BOTTLES

If you’re happy and you know it, slap that the back of that ketchup bottle.

A catchy ad by Heinz, but it’s worth noting that the majority of Heinz ketchup bottles sold in the U.S. now come 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.

A ‘SEINFELD’ REUNION…SORT OF

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

Now we know what it was all about: an ad for Jerry Seinfeld’s show “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” on Crackle.

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.

NEW YORK CITY GETS A TUNE-UP

Halftime sponsor Pepsi got one of the sweetest ad spots of the night, with a 30-second lead-in to the show starring Bruno Mars.

The spot showed various New York City monuments at night being lit up and played like instruments — the Manhattan bridge is strummed like a guitar, Columbus Circle is spun like a record and the Guggenheim and famous Pepsi-Cola sign in Long Island City get played like drums.

MetLife stadium, the host of the big game, was turned like a dial, making the lights climb across the city’s skyscrapers.

TIM TEBOW MAKES IT TO THE SUPER BOWL AFTER ALL

Tim Tebow may not be on the field, but he’s still in the NFL spotlight.

T-Mobile wants to win over customers and who better than the former Broncos quarterback to show how great life can be without a contract?

The Broncos may have gone with Peyton Manning for its quarterback, but expect to see more Tebow tonight too; T-Mobile has more ads on the way.

RADIO SHACK HAS FUN WITH ITS ’80s IMAGE

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 its “’80s Giveaway.”

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

SLOW CLAP FOR…STEPHEN COLBERT’S EAGLE

The best part of the Wonderful Pistachios ads starring Stephen Colbert? The eagle perched on his desk wearing a little matching suit.

The spots launch a yearlong sponsorship for between Colbert and parent company Roll Global. Mainly, we’re looking forward to seeing what other outfits the eagle will sport.

Wonderful Pistachios says the eagle — played by a puppet — is female.

“Colbert calls her a girl in the teaser,” notes Rob Six, a Roll Global spokesman.

A second installment of the commercial, a 15-second spot, brought Colbert and the fancily-dressed eagle back.

CAR AD OR MOVIE TRAILER?

Chrysler’s first ad of the night ran 90 seconds long and looked more like a movie trailer. The spot for the Ghibli Maserati featured shadowy imagery and a dramatic voiceover by Quvenzhane Wallis, the young actress who starred in “Beasts of the Southern Wild.”

“We knew that being clever was more important than being the biggest kid in the neighborhood,” the voiceover notes.

It was directed by David Gordon Green, who directed “Pineapple Express.”

CHEERIOS FAMILY ADDS A NEW MEMBER

If the faces in the Cheerios ad look familiar, there’s a reason.

The biracial family was also featured in an ad that made headlines last year after it sparked ugly comments online. The remarks were subsequently eclipsed by an outpouring of support.

General Mills, which owns Cheerios, says it was looking to reflect the changing U.S. population when it cast the roles for the fictional family, made up of a black dad, a white mom and their daughter. In the new spot, the dad tells the little girl that she has baby brother on the way.

If the ad is popular enough, perhaps General Mills will keep following the family’s story line for years to come. Just picture it: the little girl as a sullen teenager sitting at the breakfast table, refusing to talk to her exasperated parents. Fade to black as they eat their Cheerios in silence.

BUD LIGHT’S FEAR OF MISSING OUT

How important is the Super Bowl to Bud Light? The beer has three ads airing during the game.

In case that wasn’t enough, it also has a massive party ship docked at a New York pier with the words “THE BUD LIGHT HOTEL” emblazoned on the side. The ship is on loan from Norwegian Cruise Lines and is serving as a base for more than 3,000 guests. After taking control of it earlier this week, Anheuser Busch slapped its Bud Light logo on just about everything in less than 24 hours, down to the tiny shampoo bottles in the cabins.

Even crew members’ uniforms have Bud Light stitched onto the sleeves.

Tucked away in a room aboard the ship on Sunday will be Bud Light’s “social command center,” complete with giant flat screen TVs and computers to monitor whatever may be happening.

In case the 18-member team is second-guessing a tweet it dreams up, Anheuser Busch says its legal team will be on call for consultation.

BOB DYLAN’S SUPER BOWL

Legendary singer Bob Dylan appears in the flesh for one of Chrysler’s surprise ads for the night. The two-minute spot is reminiscent of the car maker’s patriotic ad starring Eminem and celebrating Detroit in 2011.

Dylan walks through the city streets explaining that “Detroit made cars” and that “cars are made in America.”

In case you didn’t get the point, he goes on to explain in his familiar raspy voice:

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

It’s the second appearance of the night for Dylan, if you count the tune of “I Want You” in the Chobani ad.

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BY THE NUMBERS: PRE-GAME ADS

Ads and teasers released in the days leading up to the big game generated more than 130 million views online, according to iSpot.TV, which tracks digital metrics around TV ads, such as Facebook “likes” or Twitter retweets.

Budweiser emerged as the clear winner so far, with its “Puppy Love” ad featuring a Clydesdale and a Labrador capturing 33 million views on YouTube before the game even began. And that figure will likely climb after it airs in the fourth quarter.

(TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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