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Brands tried all sorts of approaches in their Super Bowl commercials this year—uplifting, amusing, awe-inspiring and yes, even horrifying. But only a handful of the ads truly hit that sweet spot where brilliant idea meets flawless execution.
Notably, it was a night when many advertisers tried to be not just entertaining but edifying—in particular, socially conscious. But as both the Coca-Cola and McDonald's ads proved, it can be tough to make a great commercial with a noble message.