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Elton John in heels; Clint Eastwood's 'Halftime' (and Madonna's 'oops' moment)

At $3.5 million for a 30-second commercial, with well over 100 million Americans watching, the pressure was intense on the creative minds behind this year's Super Bowl ads.

The results are in, at least according to one measure. Ace Metrix, a research firm that tracks the effectiveness of advertising, has released its scores from Sunday night's Super Bowl broadcast.

The Toronto Globe and Mail summarizes Ace's findings as follows: "In the most important advertising competition of the year, early results have chips, candy and pop coming out on top, and David Beckham’s behind coming in dead last." In essence, Doritos wins; H&M loses. Here's the whole story.

Meanwhile, New York Times advertising reporter Stuart Elliott graded the ads in this analysis. And the Daily Beast makes a case for Clint Eastwood's "Halftime in America" ad for Detroit's carmakers as the clear winner.  Here are video links to some of the highlights, including my favorite: Elton John, dressed even more elaborately than usual, as a Pepsi-withholding king.

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On a related topic, watch here to see Madonna's minor glitch during an otherwise slick halftime performance. (Overheard in the coffee line this morning, one fiftysomething woman to another, talking about Madonna's show: "I need to start getting to the gym again.")

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The halftime show gave NPR's Linda Holmes a chance to write this perceptive appreciation of the pop star, remembering her decades-ago appearances at Live Aid in Philadelphia.  She includes a video clip of Madonna in 1985 and notes, "This was really just singing and dancing and anyone who comes to think of her as purely an imagined concoction, all elaborate hat and no cattle, someone who never existed outside of video, is misremembering." 

This should bring a smile:

 

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