The real competition on Super Bowl Sunday is not between the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos, but among the dozens of advertisers vying to stand out from the crowd of commercials airing during the Big Game -- advertising's very own Super Bowl.
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Acura: "What He Said" (Extended version)
The guitar riffs and other-wordly vocalizations of Van Halen's "Runnin' With the Devil" are really the only musical accompaniment you need if you're behind the wheel of the Acura NSX -- at least, that is what we come away with from this year's most gloriously fetishized car ad. Now, if only its manufacturers' suggested retail price were a bit south of $156,000. Agency: Mullen Lowe.
Audi: "Commander" (Extended Cut)
Instead of merely relishing the looks of a car, this ad for the Audi R8 V10 plus celebrates the thrill of actually being in the driver's seat, as experienced by a former NASA astronaut nostalgic for the days of space travel. The 610 horsepower engine may be a bit less than a Saturn V rocket, but it'll do. Agency: Venables Bell and partners.
Buick: "The Big Game Meets the Big Day"
Odell Beckham Jr. is a wedding guest, but it's a bouquet-catcher who shows all the right moves. Oh, and the bridge and groom drive a Buick. Agency: Leo Burnett Detroit.