What Everyone Is Talking About Today

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NEW YORK ( -- Who won the Super Bowl’s contest of ads depends on whom you talk to. Any number of pundits are out with their winners and losers lists, including Ad Age’s very own Bob Garfield, but what you won’t find is a lot of consensus.
Super Bowl 06
Budweiser's 'Secret Fridge' spot won USA Today's poll, but FedEx's 'Caveman' won a group of ad pros nod.

According to TiVo’s sample of 1,000 anonymous households, Ameriquest’s pair of ads were among the most replayed, followed by Budweiser’s “Super Fan” (about a streaking sheep) Fed-Ex’s “Stick” (with cavemen) and Michelob’s “Touch Football” spot.

USA Today’s ad meter gave the crown to Anheuser-Busch for its Bud Light “Secret Fridge” spot that showed a man hiding his beer in a refrigerator that disappears behind a revolving wall, only to reappear, and be subsequently raided, in the apartment next door.

Budweiser snagged four of the top five slots in AOL’s Super Sunday Ad Poll, with “Super Fan” coming in at No. 1, followed by FedEx’s “Stick,” Budweiser’s baby Clydesdale, and Bud Light's "Secret Fridge" and "Office Party." Over 5 million Super Bowl XL ads were streamed on AOL.

A group of ad professionals crowned "Stick" as The Best of the Bowl. The ad pros, members of international ad network ICOM, also chose Ameriquest’s two spots as the “Funniest Spot -- But for a Brand I Forgot,” and Bud and Bud Light spots were named “Best Brand-Builder of the Bunch,” while Toyota Tacoma’s “Ocean” won the “Gee, I Wish I Did That” ad award.

But bloggers were mostly bored, found New Media Strategies, a firm that monitors Web chatter. While the ads generated record levels of conversation online, consumers generally regarded them as a "snooze fest," and several reviewers live-blogging the ads actually gave up mid-game “out of boredom.” But “Secret Fridge” and Sprint’s “Crime Deterrent” spots were two that were singled out for praise.

Garfield also had Sprint and Fed Ex among his top picks, each getting ratings of three and a half stars, along with Budweiser (the stadium card ad), Burger King, Dove (Real Beauty), Ford and Kermit the Frog, Hummer, Mobile ESPN, Motorola and Sharpie.

According to USA Today, A-B took six of the top 10 Super Bowl spots, with the others being Kathy Griffin’s Sierra Mist spot, Fed Ex’s spot and the two Ameriquest spots rounding out the ranking.

New Media Strategies found the night’s most talked-about ad was Crispin Porter’s Busby Berkeley-inspired spot for Burger King called "America's Favorite," which generated universally strong reactions as either loved or hated. Gillette Fusion’s spot was the most ridiculed ad online, with consumers posting their own homemade parody photos during the game of a Fusion-like razor with nine blades.

Despite the hype surrounding’s sophomore Super Bowl entry, the ad rated poorly among the USA Today panel and didn’t crack the top 10 most replayed by TiVo.

TiVo users had busy fingers during the game, hitting replay, pause or rewind buttons an average of 100 times during the broadcast. TiVo households hit the replay button alone about 30 times. All of the 10 most replayed ads were humorous spots indicating that funny ads are indeed the way to go during the game.

While in past years the commercials have far outscored the game as the most commonly replayed material, this year Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s diving second quarter touchdown and the Steeler's gadget play pass from Antwaan Randle El to Heinz Ward racked up almost as many replays, with an average of four per household.

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