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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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recipes

Nom Nom Nom: M&M Bars

For someone with 647 food-related Pinterest pins, you would think I cook more often. Unfortunately, I do not have the time or resources to become a master chef/baker just yet, but I’m still going to try. I made these M&M bars last weekend for my boyfriend’s family Thanksgiving/game night, and let’s just say they we’re half way gone before the rest of the family arrived.

M&M Bars (adapted from Fantastic Family Favorites)

Ingredients:

2 1/8 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 & 1/2 stick butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg white (the original said one egg yolk – i can’t read, and it tasted great)
2 tsps vanilla extract
1 12oz bag M&M’s, divided in half

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a 9X13-inch baking pan with foil, letting the excess hang over the edges of the pan by about 1 inch so you can grab those edges and pull the bars from the pan after they have baked. Spray the foil-lined pan with nonstick cooking spray. FYI – foil lining is gods gift to baking, because clean up was a BREEZE!

2. Mix the flour, salt, and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside. Whisk the melted butter and sugars in a large bowl until combined. Add the egg, egg white and vanilla and mix well. Using a rubber spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture until you can’t find any more dry ingredients. Fold in 1 cup of M&M’s and turn the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with the spatula. Sprinkle remaining M&M’s on top and press in slightly.

3. Bake until the top of the bars is light golden brown, slightly firm to the touch, and edges start pulling away from sides of pan, (mine took 26 minutes, but check after 24). Cool on a wire rack to room temperature. Remove the bars from the pan by lifting the foil overhang, cut into squares and serve.

And magic – super soft, chewy M&M bars! They reminded me of Schnucks’ sugar M&M cookies (which are delicious!)

You could definitely use Reese’s Pieces instead of M&Ms. I would even be interested to try it with the Pretzel M&Ms!

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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.