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The Patriots? The Rams? No, the real winner of the Super Bowl is the viewing audience, who tunes in to see highly polished, highly anticipated and (hopefully for the sponsors) highly discussed ads.
Heck, the game is so big that Pizza Hut changed its name to generate some buzz. So, yeah, the Super Bowl truly is the Super Bowl of advertising. This year, CBS charged $5.25 million for a 30-second spot,so we've rounded up some of the more memorable commercials to see if was indeed money well spent.
Bud Light/Game of Thrones
Well, this one took a dark turn. What started out as another medieval-themed "Dilly Dilly" Bud Light ad took a hard left when a few characters from HBO's "Game of Thrones" showed up. Anyone who has watched the show, which begins its final season in April, can guess that things didn't end well for beer pitchman the Bud Knight.
As this year's commercials prove, combining people who may not seem like they'd be a natural fit on the surface makes for snappy spots. Steve Carell, astonished that a waiter would ask a customer if a Pepsi is OK, dominates the first half of this ad, then gets help from Cardi B and Lil Jon.
Jeff Bridges reprised his iconic role of the Dude from "The Big Lebowski" and Sarah Jessica Parker is Carrie Bradshaw from "Sex and the City." That alone is pretty cool, so where's the hook? Well, the Dude eschews his cocktail of choice — a White Russian — while Bradshaw passes up her signature cosmopolitan in favor of a Stella Artois.
A Super Bowl commercial without Budweiser would feel as odd as a Super Bowl without a football. This year, the beer brand gives us its signature Clydesdales, a dalmatian and the classic Bob Dylan song "Blowin' in the Wind" to promote the fact Budweiser is now brewed with wind power.
Luke Wilson is a close talker who pushes the merits of Colgate Total by getting waaaay too close to everyone in an office. It's OK, though, because he uses the toothpaste.
Chance the Rapper is surprised to discover original Doritos are now hot. We're then taken to an airstrip where cars are driving over the sounds of Backstreet Boys' "I Want It That Way." Chance then starts rapping and dancing along with said Boys as they perform "I Want It That Way" in the airport hangar, much like they did in the popular video for the song years ago.
"I Know What You Did Last Summer" star Sarah Michelle Gellar returns to the horror genre in this spot where she's at home when a masked lunatic breaks in. She tries to unlock her phone to get help, but it doesn't recognize her anymore because she's been using Olay, which has transformed her skin.
The rapper 2 Chainz is doing his thing in a music video when Adam Scott, playing a record company pencil pusher, interrupts him to let him know he's going to need receipts for everything if he wants to get reimbursed. 2 Chainz remains cool as the iced car he's driving, though, by saying it's taken care of because he's got Expensify.
Pringles has a little fun with modern technology in this ad, in which a digital device laments that it cannot enjoy any of the chip's 318,000 flavor stack combinations that exist because, well, it's a device and can't eat food. Adding insult to injury? One of the men feels no sympathy and coolly asks the device to play the classic Lipps Inc. song "Funky Town."
Buble and Bubly
Never has pitchman and product so perfectly matched. Crooner Michael Bublé has some fun with the difference between his name and the sparkling water drink Bubly.
Tony Romo didn't just broadcast the big game for CBS. He was also hawking shoes for Skechers in this commercial, in which he says he likes everything in his life to be easy, including wearing slip-on shoes, which — you guessed it — slip on and off with no real effort.
Sure, Alexa is great, but there are just some places it won't work well. Alexa in a hot tub? A toothbrush? A dog collar? A bad idea. And on the space station? A really bad idea. Forrest Whitaker, Harrison Ford and "Broad City" stars Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer all lend their talents to this kitschy commercial.
BON & VIV
Bon & Viv Spiked Seltzer makers Bonnie and Vivian appear as mermaids making their pitch for their drink to a group of talking sharks underwater in a nod to "Shark Tank." We don't know if they're more memorable than any baby sharks, but we salute the effort.
Mr. Peanut does some really intense driving that causes Charlie Sheen to say, "And people think I'm nuts." Mr. Peanut then arrives at a house just in time to slide a container of mixed nuts to Alex Rodriguez, saving him from kale chips.
Christina Applegate is a fed-up driver who reaches her wit's end with a couple of misbehaving M&Ms in the backseat.
Jason Bateman plays an elevator attendant who takes people to less than desirable destinations, like jury duty and a dentist's office. When he gets to the floor for car shopping a couple declines to get off because they used Hyundai's Shopper Assurance, which made the car buying experience a snap.
Avocados from Mexico
Kristen Chenoweth stars as a judge in a human show, where dogs judge people on things like shaking hands, sitting and staying, all in the hopes of winning avocados from Mexico.
It may have been a football game, but Microsoft went for a home run with this commercial about children with disabilities who are able to enjoy gaming thanks to technology that enables them to play.
Burger King brought some pop art to the Super Bowl with some footage of 60's pop art icon Andy Warhol munching a burger. But what was up with that stubborn ketchup bottle? Here's the deal with the eye-catching, fourth quarter Burger King ad.