Chrysler's Jeep ad featuring a patriotic salute to U.S. troops and narration by Oprah Winfrey, an Oreo ad asking viewers to vote cookie or creme, and a scantily clad male Calvin Klein model were among standout commercials during a Super Bowl that suffered a half-hour partial blackout delay on Sunday.
Ads by Budweiser and PepsiCo's Doritos were less engaging, according to advertising experts, in the game that is annually the largest showcase for U.S. consumers with more than 100 million viewers.
The Baltimore Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers 34-31 after the 49ers staged a furious comeback following a 34-minute partial blackout of the Superdome in New Orleans.
During the blackout, CBS filled the time with recaps by the network's commentators and did not use any of the ads, but the game broadcaster said it would honor its commitments to advertisers who paid an average of $4 million for a 30-second commercial. As a result of the delay, the game ran until 10:45 p.m. on the East Coast.
"Hands down, the winner was Chrysler because of American pride," said Jim Joseph, president of North America division for Cohn & Wolfe. "Unlike other carmakers, they didn't talk about their features. Instead they showed what they're doing in partnership with USO to bring home troops to their families."
The National Football League's big game started off on a somber note with a rendition of "America the Beautiful" by Jennifer Hudson and the chorus from Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., where 20 children and six adults were killed in a Dec. 14 shooting.
Mayors Against Illegal Guns, including more than 800 mayors led by New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, ran an ad in the Washington, D.C., area that urged U.S. lawmakers to pass rules requiring background checks on gun buyers.
CBS spokespeople did not elaborate on how they would honor commitments from advertisers. Jim Joseph of Cohn & Wolfe said that by "honoring their commitments," CBS guaranteed that the placement of ads would not be affected, with those in the third and fourth quarter appearing where they had been contracted to appear.
While the game was being played, advertisers offered the kind of humor-laced ads that have annually been a part of the game.
An M&M ad featuring "Glee" star Naya Rivera romancing a red M&M was a crowd pleaser, while an Oreo ad asking viewers to visit the social network Instagram to vote on whether they prefer the cookie