The Budweiser Clydesdales rode off with the coveted Cocky
Award for the best Super Bowl commercial in the University
of South Carolina's 10th Super Ad Poll.
The spot, which tells the story of the bond between a Clydesdale
and its trainer and features the song "Landslide" by
Fleetwood Mac, came in first in the overall, likeability and
brand identity categories. It finished second in persuasiveness.
More than 100 students in advertising
professor Bonnie Drewniany's "Super Bowl of Advertising" class
gathered Sunday evening to watch the commercials (and the game).
The students critiqued the national ads that aired during the
game for likeability, persuasiveness and brand identity.
"Budweiser had great brand ID and had a sweet story," said
Drewniany, who has studied Super Bowl advertising for more
than 20 years.
The students voted the Tide Joe Montana Stain ad second and
the Oreos Cookie Debate placed third. In the online voting
open to the general public, the Clydesdale ad was the clear
winner, followed by the Paul Harvey farmer/Ram truck ad.
Student Kim Barrett, a senior public
relations major from Philadelphia, said the Clydesdales ad
was her top choice.
“Budweiser told a story in 30 seconds and captivated
the Super Bowl audience with their classic Clydesdales,” she
said. “I also enjoyed it because it is a reflection of
the brand. They didn't try and use sophomoric humor or bad
celebrity endorsements. “They stayed true to the brand
and went with a concept that has been successful in the past
and that's why it worked.”
One common theme this year that was not evident
in previous years was the integration of Twitter into the ads,
“Pretty much all of the commercials had a hashtag on
screen during the entire commercial or on the last frame with
the brand name. By using hashtags, brands were trying to encourage
viewers to talk about their commercials on the second screen
- iPads and smartphones. Companies could follow what the Super
Bowl audience thought about their ad by following the hashtags
associated with their commercials,” she said.
Dominique Johnson, a senior broadcast journalism major from
Columbia, said she also favored the Budweiser Clydesdales ad
because it was “emotional, funny and didn't go over the
edge with stupid jokes or slapstick comedy.”
“When the farmer drove to
Chicago to see his horse, I started tearing up, and that's
how I knew it was good,” Johnson said.
She also wasn’t a fan of
the Go Daddy commercial, featuring a long kiss between a model
and a geek (which ranked close to the bottom in the USC student
“No one needs a close up of people kissing for over
10 seconds. Ever. Under any circumstance,” she said.
Advertising major Hunter Scofield of LaPlata, Md., said his
top pick was the Oreo cookie or cream debate commercial.
“It was extremely likable since it takes place in a library and as a
college student that's my second home, but it's also a debate many of us has
had, or will now have,” Scofield said.
This is the 10th year USC has offered the class that covers
advertising principles and the relationship between culture
and advertising. Each year, the winning advertising team has
come to Columbia, S.C., to claim the Cocky award and to speak
to students in the College of Mass Communications and Information