A still of the Budweiser "Flash Fans" spot. Curtesy of Budweiser/YouTube

As with any Super Bowl, this year’s big game had some great commercials to serve as a sideshow to the championship football being played in Indianapolis. Based on various polls, some of the big winners from the world of advertising last night were Doritos with their “Man’s Best Friend” and “Slingshot Baby” spots, as well as Chrysler with a stirring spot featuring Clint Eastwood as they continued their “Imported from Detroit” campaign.

Personally, my favorite spot was Chevrolet’s “Mayan Apocalypse” ad where the only remaining humans on Earth survive thanks to their new Chevrolet Silverados. The ad, which aired during the first half, utilized music, twinkies, and, yes, even a tongue-in-cheek jab at rival automaker Ford to deliver a very funny, very memorable plug for the American automaker.

However I watched last night’s Super Bowl in the United States; a dubious fact that, as it turns out, put me and the rest of Americans interested in the Super Bowl ads at a disadvantage. American beer stalwart Anheuser-Busch had a Budweiser spot that aired only in Canada that was arguably better than ANY commercial that aired in the United States.

The 2-minute commercial prefaces itself by saying that Budweiser told two hockey teams in Port Credit, Ontario that they were documentarians filming a piece on recreational hockey leagues. The two teams, as planned, come to the arena to play each other and, just as the action gets underway, a flash mob of fans for both teams rush into the arena, turning the hallow rink into a bona fide sports event. Broadcasters commentate the game, cameras and spotlights follow the action, and mascots even fire t-shirts into the crowd. Finally, when one team scores in a sudden-death overtime, confetti is fired over the ice and the arena absolutely erupts into pure pandemonium. The players for both teams marvel at the site and proclaim how good the moment felt. The spot then cuts away to Budweiser’s “Grab Some Buds” catchphrase and ends.

Despite not airing stateside, the commercial was uploaded to YouTube by the channel BudweiserCanada and has gone absolutely viral online, accruing well over 2 million views and 7,000 “likes”. You can watch the commercial for yourself at tinyurl.com/budcanada.

So did Canadians get the best Super Bowl commercial of the year? Probably, but there’s no need to stand up and protest. We don’t need to rename Canadian bacon “freedom” bacon or boycott the land of maple syrup. It’s just puzzling that a beer company formed in the United States and now owned by a company based in Belgium chose to make such an awesome commercial and not bother to air it where it might’ve gotten the most appreciation.

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