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Branding 101: The Best Ads from the Big Game


Yesterday’s 49th Super Sunday was in line with most NFL championship games in recent years: a tight, back-and-forth contest with a thrilling finish, punctuated by ads that either played on our emotions or used humor in unexpected ways.

Snickers debuted a funny new edition of its long-running “You’re not you when you’re hungry” ads. McDonald’s introduced an ingenious, emotional concept that could help boost its brand: the idea of paying for hash browns with hugs.

So which brands do you think scored big time during Sunday’s game? Here are our top three picks, starting with number three:


BMW’s throwback to a 1994 clip of TV anchors Katie Couric and Brian Gumbel asking the question, “Can you explain what internet is?” made us chuckle. The ad captured our attention, and made us think about the future of BMW i3.


The “Sorta Pharmacy” commercial showed why a simple concept can be very effective. Bringing back Walter White was a well-played move that resonated with millions of “Breaking Bad” fans. His shifty persona was a perfect tie-in for the company’s “Sorta isn’t you” messaging.

Clash of Clans

The image of a Clash of the Clans iOS game might not have grabbed everyone’s attention. But, the quick shift to Liam Neeson having a serious monologue while playing the game in a coffee shop, followed by a coffee barista disrupting the scene, made many of us laugh.

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