NEW YORK (Reuters) - Along with the New York Giants, Budweiser, Tide and Pepsi came out the big winners in Super Bowl XLII.
Closely watched advertising polls showed on Monday that U.S. audiences went for humor above all else, with four of the top five spots in USA Today's Ad Meter taken by commercials aiming for laughs.
Anheuser-Busch Cos Inc's Budweiser spot showing a Dalmatian training an underdog Clydesdale horse -- the beer's mascot -- scored the highest marks on the Ad Meter, which tracks the second-by-second response to commercials from a viewer panel.
Second through fifth places went to advertisements from Fedex, Bridgestone, Doritos, and Bud Light.
Another review, from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, rated commercials from Tide, which featured a talking stain, and E-trade, which starred a day-trading toddler with an attitude, among the top spots for the year.
"Overall it was a great year for Super Bowl advertising," said professor Tim Calkins, who leads the Kellogg review.
Broadcast by Fox, the Super Bowl came down to the final seconds, with the New York Giants pulling off an upset of the New England Patriots in what will probably be the year's most-watched TV event in the United States.
At an average price of $2.7 million for 30-second spot, the advertisers and the agencies that created the spots were anxious to make a lasting impression with audiences and win honors in poll ratings.
TiVo Inc, using second-by-second audience measurement data from subscribers, rated the spot from E-trade, as well as a PepsiCo commercial with singer Justin Timberlake and a Doritos commercial known as "Mouse Trap," as the most popular.
And among bloggers, Pepsi scored the most buzz during and after the Super Bowl with its advertisements, according to Collective Intellect.
As always, however, some companies dropped the ball, creating either forgettable or poorly received commercials with the millions they spent.
A pair of animated commercials from Salesgenie.com landed in the bottom two spots in an AOL poll. One showed a couple of panda bears, speaking with Asian accents as they worried about going out of business, while the other showed an American boss chewing out his Indian employee.
An online poll by The Wall Street Journal, meanwhile, found CareerBuilder ahead in the rankings of worst commercial.
The spot for the online job site run by Gannett Co, Tribune Co, McClatchy Co and Microsoft Corp showed a heart jumping out of a secretary's chest, hopping over to her boss, and holding up a sign that says: "I Quit."
Editing by Lisa Von Ahn