The 7 most moving Super Bowl ads to watch

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By Ben Popken

This year, Super Bowl ads show their softer side.

It's hard to beat the heartwarming combination of puppies and ponies for the ad that gets people clicking and sharing. As of Friday, Budweiser's "Lost Dog" is already on pace to become the number one ad of the Super Bowl with over 1.7 million shares.

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That would make it two years running Budweiser has seized the advertising bowl with this approach. And with it costing a record $4.5 million for a 30-second spot, advertisers really need their bets to pay off. So many seemed to have followed suit with what worked well for the brewer last year with a slew of touching commercials featuring dads, puppies and tears. Here's seven of the best to look out for:

7. McDonald's - Pay With Lovin'

They say money can't but you love, but now at least love can get you a burger. McDonald's ad focuses on a stunt where, until Valentine's Day, customers will be randomly chosen at checkout to pay for their meals not with cash but with "love." They can call their mom and say I love you, hug each other or do a little dance. No matter what you think of McDonald's, it's hard not to get misty and joyful watching surprised people and families sharing a moment.

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6. Coke - "#MakeitHappy"

The full Coke ad has not been released yet but the brand has planned a spot targeting people who make negative comments online. Judging some of the teases and by its effort last year, a pan-American sweep of all the different faces that make this country great, including the first gay family featured in a Super Bowl ad, this should be another stirring number.

5. Budweiser - "Lost Dog"

The stars of Budweiser's hit spot from last year, a horse trainer, a Clydesdale and of course, a puppy, reunite for another adventure that will make you go "Awwwww." 

4. Toyota - "One Bold Choice"


This ad uses Paralympic athlete Amy Purdy and a famous speech by Muhammad Ali to show what you're able to achieve when you keep getting up and trying again after getting knocked down, no matter what the odds.

3. Dove - "#RealStrength | Men Care"

Dove resurfaced a Father's Day ad to show that the strongest men are the ones who let their kids know they care. Get your hankie ready before you watch.

2. P&G - "Like a Girl"

P&G is bringing back its viral hit "Like a Girl" that explores the meanings behind the charged phrase "like a girl." Actors of various ages are told to "run like a girl" and "throw like a girl." They give their comic interpretations, all of which show the girls as silly and weak. But when pre-teen girls are given the same prompt, they have no reservations showing girls' fearless action.

1. NO MORE

A chilling spot based on a real domestic violence 911 call. The caller pretends to order pizza to alert the 911 operator about a domestic abuse situation. The NFL has been under pressure to repair its image after a series of domestic violence scandals involving its players. This ad is the latest is a series it made in partnership with anti-domestic violence organization NO MORE.

To see all of the ads in one spot, check out our list of the top Super Bowl 2015 ads and click back for updates.

Email ben.popken@nbcuni.com or tweet @bpopken.