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A Messy Super Bowl Ad Blitz With a Few Family-Friendly, Retro-Themed Winners

Toyota's 2014 Super Bowl commercial
Toyota's 2014 Super Bowl commercialPhotograph by Toyota via AP Photo

Last night’s Super Bowl was a blowout almost from the first snap. It made for dull viewing, but at least the results were clear. The advertisements were a messier game.

The evaluations, as always, came in almost instantly from all corners and with little consensus on what makes a winner. To bring a little method to the madness, Bloomberg Businessweek checked in with Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, which runs an annual panel to assess Super Bowl ads, and with TiVo, which collates playback data from a sample of 30,000 anonymous households using the company’s recorders.