By Noel Young, Correspondent

February 4, 2013 | 3 min read

By now, almost everyone has had their say about the best Superbowl ad. And needless to say not everyone agrees about ONE winner. But if this were a democracy , what would the result be?

Well, the nearest thing to that is the USA TODAY Admeter, which has been pounding out the results for 25 years.

To celebrate its big anniversary, USA TODAY vastly expanded the scope of the Admeter by going online to 7,619 pre-registered panelists. You can't be more democratic than that.

And the result : Anheuser-Busch won the accolade for the Super Bowl's top commercial with a heart-tugging tale of the bond between a trainer and the Budweiser Clydesdale he raised. Shades of War Horse!

It pipped Tide's Miracle Stain by just point - with a shore of 7.76 to Tide's 7.75.

The winning tale is of a guy who breeds and raises a Clydesdale horse, only to wistfully watch it leave for the big-time. Then, three years later, at a big-city parade, man and horse re-unite in an emotional embrace.

"That was absolutely heart-warming," says Tyler Stocks, an Ad Meter panelist and journalist from Greenville, N.C. "When I think of Budweiser, I think Clydesdale horses."

For A-B, it's a return to marketing glory after slipping out of Ad Meter's top five last year. Through the years, A-B has won 12 Ad Meters, more than any other advertiser.

Executives were toasting the win at A-B on Sunday night. Paul Chibe, vice president of U.S. marketing, says he's incredibly proud of the Clydesdale ad. It "touches a chord," in consumer hearts, he says.

The baby Clydesdale featured in the ad was born on Jan. 16. Prior to the big game, A-B launched a social media campaign asking consumers to suggest names. Among those suggested: Barley, Buddy and Brewster. A-B expects to announce the foal's name tomorrow.

Procter & Gamble's Tide laundry detergent pulled off a close No. 2, ahead of many Super Bowl regulars

This ad had an image of sporting legend Joe Montana miraculously appearing in a salsa stain on a fan's jersey.

The miracle stain causes a media uproar and becomes a target of fan worship until the fan's wife — who happens to be a Baltimore Ravens fan — washes the stain out with Tide.


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