USMagazine, Monday, February 4, 2013, 7:30am (PST)
The Feb. 3 Super Bowl was chock full of big events -- from Jennifer Hudson's tear-jerking performance with the Sandy Hook Elementary choir, to Beyonce's uber-fierce halftime show (and subsequent stadium blackout), to the Baltimore Ravens' narrow win over the San Francisco 49ers. But in between all of those huge moments were a bunch of smaller yet still memorable moments -- namely, the much-hyped Super Bowl commercials, which went for around $4 million per 30 seconds.
The buzziest ad of the night, according to USA Today's Ad Meter -- and a flood of adoring tweets -- was Budweiser's Clydesdales commercial, a 60-second spot about the love between a trainer and his horse. Set to Fleetwood Mac's heartstring-pulling "Landslide," the clip begins with a man training his infant Clydesdale to join the Budweiser team and ends with a touching reunion years later that is somehow predictable and yet still powerful. (Watch it above.)
The poignant ad was an instant favorite on social media, with fans flocking to Twitter to share their tearful reactions. By Monday, Feb. 4, it was the third most-shared Super Bowl commercial of all-time, with more than 1.5 million shares, according to Mashable. As Jimmy Fallon tweeted, "Budweiser has done it again. Well done."
Here are a few other ads that viewers couldn't stop talking about:
Best Buy's "Asking Amy" spot featured Parks and Recreation star Amy Poehler wandering around a Best Buy asking questions like, "What's LTE? Is it contagious? Can I use a dongle with this? Does it make you uncomfortable when I use the word dongle? What makes a smart TV so smart? What's the cloud? Where is the cloud? Are we in the cloud now? Will this [e-reader] read 50 Shades of Grey to me in a sexy voice? Will you?"
In Tide's "Miracle Stain" commercial, a San Francisco 49ers fan drops some salsa on his jersey in the shape of Joe Montana's face. The so-dubbed "Montana Miracle Stain" becomes a sensation, appearing on talk shows and drawing crowds from all over the world. But at the end of the one-minute spot, the fan's wife -- a Baltimore Ravens diehard -- "accidentally" washes the stain out with Tide. The tagline? "No stain is sacred."
Jeep wrangled Oprah Winfrey for its "America Will Be Whole Again" ad, a patriotic spot touting the return of military veterans. "In your home, in our hearts, you've been missed, you've been needed, you've been cried for, prayed for," Winfrey says in a voiceover, as images of soldiers and their families flash across the screen. "You've been the reason we push on. Half the battle is just knowing this is half the battle. Because when you're home, we're more than a family. We are a nation that is whole again."
Samsung's fourth-quarter "Next Big Thing" spot, meanwhile, featured Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd bantering back-and-forth for almost two minutes about how absurd it is that they can't say "Super Bowl" in a Super Bowl ad. "So we're planning a commercial for the 'Big Plate' featuring the San Francisco 50-minus-1-ers and the Baltimore Blackbirds?" Rudd asks incredulously, before LeBron James appears to steal the show.
Tell Us: What was your favorite Super Bowl ad of 2013?