Coca-Cola, Budweiser shine while Nationwide falls flat in USC's Super Ad Poll

Published: Feb. 2, 2015 at 3:41 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 12, 2015 at 3:41 PM EST
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After paying $4.5 million for a 30-second Super Bowl spot, advertisers are hoping to have the ad everyone will be talking about Monday morning.

The Cocky Award, which goes to the best spot of the night, has created a lot of buzz in the industry. Tonight, the University of South Carolina's Super Ad Poll was held at WIS to decide what was hot and what was not.

Over 100 students took a seat in Studio A to vote, and the winner was clear: Coca-Cola's spot about spreading optimism online struck a nerve with the tech-conscious students.

"They kinda took all of these bad messages that you see on the Internet and made them all happy messages, it said it's on us to make things happy on the Internet," student Danielle Padgett said. "I like that one a lot. It brought tears to my eyes."

Meanwhile, Budweiser's Clydesdale horses and a cute puppy took second place after making a big splash during last year's game. Student Robert Maloof said both got to him again this year.

"I'm a sucker for the Budweiser commercials with the puppies and the dogs," Maloof said. "I love those commercials. Those have always done well."

As for the spot that failed to hit the mark, most threw a flag on Nationwide Insurance's spot with the child who died of an accident, saying the company just made a bad play.

"With a little boy saying, 'I'll never get to do all these things because I'm dead,' basically and I think it had a very powerful message. but not in a good way," Padgett said. "I think it was too sad. Maybe they took it a little bit too far."

"It caught everyone off guard," freshman Kaleb Partilla said, "Everyone was expecting funny commercials or heartfelt, Clydesdales, Budweiser. It was sad. It was depressing for a Super Bowl."

Nationwide Insurance actually put out two controversial commercials that both became trending topics on Twitter with over 22,000 tweets --- overwhelmingly negative response.

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