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#BrandBowl Recap – Winners, Losers, and Those That Made You Scratch Your Head.

OH the Super Bowl. A day of overeating, excessive drinking and the only time people go to the bathroom during play. Let’s recap, shall we?

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Advertising Done Right: NASCAR, Diet Coke

The second big Sunday of 2013 did not disappoint. From the Daytona 500 to the Oscars, brands had another large stage to showcase their talents.

NASCAR: Twist

NASCAR has been on a branding tear in the past few years, and this seasons spots lived up to their predecessors. From the great imagery to Tony Stewart’s flying helmet, NASCAR’s “Twist” made me excited to watch cars driving 190 MPH – something that hasn’t happened since my childhood.

Diet Coke: Credit

In general, I’m a sucker for Hooray for Hollywood, thanks to Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studio’s Great Movie Ride. But the timely spot so brilliantly displays the backbone of the movie industry. Plus, can we talk about how gorgeous January Jones looks as a classic starlet?

Did any of Oscar Sunday’s ads catch your eye? 

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Advertising Done Right & Wrong: Volkswagen

OK – this years VW Super Bowl spot is awful. Sorry, but compared with 2011’s The Force and 2012’s The Dog Strikes Back, Get Happy doesn’t cut it.

THIS, however, is great.

BONUS: Proof that Patrick Kane & Jonathan Towes should stick to hockey.

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This Is How You Do Advertising: Monsters University & Nike

I love great advertising. Plain and simple. And the Monsters University spot shown during the Rose Bowl and Fiesta Bowl this past week is just that: great.

It fit in SO well with the college football experience (I have teared up at the Mizzou spot a time or two), and the website is fantastic. Plus, it’s Disney-Pixar. They can’t screw up in my mind.

Also this week, Nike released what might as well be ad of the year (to hockey fans, at least).

Is hockey really Nike’s? Not in America. But dammit, it’s not the NHL’s. And the fact that Steve Stamkos is holding a fish and Ovechkin is just hanging out, speaking Russian in Russia is fabulous.

What ads are you crushing over in 2013?

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What We Learned – Super Bowl Style

The Super Bowl has come and gone with a close win by the Giants, minor middle finger mishap during half time, and enough new commercials to fill a weeks worth of American Idol. While it wasn’t the best year for the #BrandBowl, there were some lessons to be learned.

1. Dogs can sell anything. This seasons top ads had one thing in common – no, not an exceptional strategy – they all used dogs. From Volkswagon’s preview ad “The Bark Side” to the beloved Bud Light rescue dog Weego, this seasons ads created a real dog-eat-dog world. Below are some of my favorite publicized pooches.

Bud Light: WeeGo the Rescue Dog

Sketchers: GO RUN Mr. Quiggly! 

Volkswagon: The Dog Strikes Back

2. Betty White’s Still Got It: OK – this can be up for debate with some, but I still love Betty White, and her appearance in NBC’s “The Voice” spot was priceless.

NBC’s The Voice: Vocal Kombat

3. #Hashtags #Sell: #MakeItPlantinum and #SoLongVampires started off the first quarter. Tying in the Twitter hashtags boosted online traffic for the brands who used it. My favorite? #MarryBacon

Jack In The Box: Marry It

4. You Mess With American, Clint Eastwood Messes With You: Step aside Chuck Norris. Chrysler’s “Imported From Detroit” campaign took another one of America’s icons, Clint Eastwood, to show that halftime doesn’t mean the game is over. America, eff yeah.

Chrysler: It’s Halftime America

5. We Love Beer. This is something we all knew, but Budweiser’s “Eternal Optimism” proved it.

Budweiser: Eternal Optimism

6. At a loss for strategy? Throw in everything you possibly can. Kia included Adriana Lima, Motley Crue and Chuck Liddel. Samsung used The Darkness, Miranda Kerr and a stylus (seriously, a Stylus?) Did it work? Personally, I’ll take my iPhone any day.

Kia: A Dream Car. For Real Life.

Samsung: Galaxy Note

7. Twinkies will Survive 2012. OK – The first thing that was said when this commercial came on was “interesting choice of song” by my boyfriends dad. Little did we know that the song would just ad to the hilarity. It should be noted that I was raised on Ford trucks, but I always appreciate someone having the balls to call out their competitor.

Chevrolet: 2012

You could also talk about the (terrible, lip synced) halftime “performance,” the fact that Coke & Pepsi should just stop producing bad ads, or the unfortunate idea of leaked ads (it wasn’t nearly as fun to watch ads I’ve already seen), but I’d rather just post a few more videos. Which was your favorite?

M&M: Sexy and I Know It: How can you not chuckle at that?

Budweiser: Flash Fans: This was aired in Canada, but gained ridiculous digital recognition.

NBC Sports Network: The Next Ones: Obviously I’m going to like an ad with kids and hockey in it, but overall I’ve loved the NBC Sports campaign. And that child in the Flyers jersey is absolutely precious.