Feb. 4, 2013 at 12:06 AM ET
They say advertising doesn't lead, it follows. So if the Super Bowl XLVII ads are a mirror, then Americans love babies, cute animals, patriotism, and sex. And Twitter. This year, they got all that, plus an unexpected blackout.
This year, advertisers had a tough line to walk. They needed to stand out from the competition and grab attention as Super Bowl ads always have, going for those "oh my!" moments. But they have to recognize that the Super Bowl is viewed more as social, and less exclusively male, experience.
Some advertisers tried to have it both ways, releasing edgier teasers and web-only videos online days or weeks in advance, and then showing their more mature, mainstream ad during the game itself. Others bucked the online "leak" trend and kept their ads secret until the very moment they showed during the game.
But with everyone's heads so buried in their smartphones and other "second screens," those advertisers run the risk of viewers not lifting their heads in time to catch their 30 second spot. Which is why still companies opted for 60-second epics and/or building conversation around, or even the very ad itself, social media content.
If you were too busy tweeting or running out for more chips and missed an ad, you can catch all the top Super Bowl commercials right here.
And if you missed all the fun, here is our live-blogging during the game.
Now let's get to everyone's favorite part: Voting on which was the very Super Bowl ad of the game.
Watch these videos and then go to the bottom of this post to vote for your favorite.
Jeep: "Whole Again"
Jeep salutes the USO and the return of American troops to their families and communities in this solid spot.
A simple wordless story of a man who raises a Clydesdale from foal to adult was one of the big tear-jerkers of the game.
Kia: "Space Babies"
Where do babies come from? Planet Stork.
Wonderful Pistachios: "Get Cracking"
Korean superstar Psy brought out "Gangnam Style" for one last romp, smashing open pistachios. After this, he will probably be happy to never have to sing the song again for a long time.
Milk: "Morning Run"
The Rock plays a Popeye-esque character who faces danger and disaster with milk as his spinach.
E-Trade: "Save it"
At this point, it's not a Super Bowl without an appearance from the talking E-Trade baby.
Coming out of nowhere, with no teases, trailers, or hints, Dodge's pro-farmer elegy with voiceover taken from a recording of radio personality Paul Harvey's speech before the National Future Farmers of America convention, quickly emerged on Facebook as one of the top advertising talkers of the game.
Go Daddy: "Perfect Match"
A long closeup of model Bar Refaeli smooching a nerd played by Hollywood extra Jesse Heiman.
Volkswagen: "Get Happy"
VW courted controversy with an ad that had a white guy from Minnesota with an authentic Jamaican accent because his Volkswagon made him so cheerful.
Tide: "Miracle Stain"
An amusing ad where a sauce spills forms on a shirt in the shape of Joe Montana and becomes a holy shrine for the faithful, until it goes into the wash.