Video: And the Super Bowl winner was ...

Oh, not the football game, which went down as one of the strangest Super Bowls ever, and which the Baltimore Ravens barely hung on to win, 34-31.  No, we’re talking about the advertising game, as companies competed for the hearts and minds of consumers everywhere.  By acclamation — at least on my twitter feed — the winning ad came from Dodge and the late Paul Harvey, whose long-ago sermon heralding farmers as God’s steward of the land and of values touched the hearts of nearly everyone:

This ad got more than 329,000 views overnight — not bad for a car ad.  The worst ad, in my opinion, came from (no surprise) GoDaddy, which turned a funny concept into a rather disgusting presentation.  Having Bar Rafaeli make out with a geek to argue that the Internet service is both hot and solid was a pretty funny concept.  Its execution, complete with close-up and enhanced audio, produced more gag response than gag.  Note to admakers: There’s a reason why filmmakers add music to these scenes in movies.

If Dodge was the good and GoDaddy the bad, then the power outage in the Superdome was the ugly.  Half of the lights when out shortly after the second half started, which had the effect of cooling off the Ravens and allowing the 49ers to regain their poise.  Whether that was a good or bad thing depended on which team one was rooting for, but all sides could take some pleasure in the fact that the power outage cut Phil Simms’ mike in the middle of another Captain Obvious explanation.

A few viewers attempted to post video of the outage on YouTube, but the NFL rushed to claim copyright infringement.  CNN used photos to report on it:

No one is still quite sure what happened:

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu promised answers.

“In the coming days, I expect a full after action report from all parties involved.”
The power company said it wasn’t to blame, and stadium officials apologized but said little else until well after the game.

And then, in a statement hours later, Superdome officials said a piece of equipment designed to monitor the electrical load “sensed an abnormality in the system.”

“Once the issue was detected, the sensing equipment operated as designed and opened a breaker, causing power to be partially cut to the Superdome in order to isolate the issue,” the statement said.

It still isn’t clear what the “abnormality” was — but more than a few people had their own suspicions.

The only thing that’s sure is that we nearly saw the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, but it fell five yards short.