Super Bowl sells more than just football

Last year the Super Bowl was watched by an estimated 166 million people, according to Sports Illustrated magazine. Was it because that many people worldwide love American football so much? As much as I want that to be the answer, unfortunately it is not the case.

The Super Bowl is a yearly event that brings together both sports and entertainment demographics and collides them into one big day-long extravaganza with football, commercials and the halftime show. Parties are held at homes, bars, and even out in public (if your home team is in the game), and only during the Super Bowl will someone shout at you to shut up when the commercials come on.

While we avoid commercials like the plague the rest of the year (I will mash every button on the remote to get away from that Sarah McLachlan song featuring the abused animals), suddenly we cannot wait to see them in between the plays. We eagerly sit on the edge of our seats as the announcers tell us they'll be right back after this commercial break, ready and waiting for the funny to overwhelm our senses from the new Doritos "Goat 4 Sale" ad.

Last year it cost $3.50 million to air a 30-second commercial. This year the price has jumped to a cool $4 million and companies have no qualms shelling out for the ad space. And with the social media websites like Facebook and Twitter nowadays, you can easily embed and share your favorite commercials with your friends for free, and it doesn't cost those companies a penny.

The way I see it, there are four different Super Bowl commercial categories; the truly funny, the trying-too-hard funny, the heartwarming, and the corporate plug.

The truly funny commercials are the well-crafted ones, relying on storytelling and timing. It could jump around in different situations in the allotted time or take-up one scene during the 30-second entirety.

These are the commercials you'll be talking about the next day around the water cooler at work. The car commercials tend to excel at these, with Mercedes-Benz's deal with the devil (Willem Dafoe), KIA's explanation for where babies come from and Hyundai's all day adventure with the Flaming Lips. And while I can't stand Taco Bell, their commercial featuring old people partying all night to fun.'s "We Are Young," sung in Spanish absolutely slayed me.

The ones that try too hard usually tend to be cringe-worthy and awkward, because everything from the acting to the jokes seem forced. You almost feel insulted because the company that produced the commercial thinks very lowly of your tastes and sees you as being a sucker who will laugh at anything because it's a Super Bowl commercial and automatically funny.

Speed Stick's commercial of a mix-up at the laundry room was unoriginal and boring, AXE's commercial of a drowning model choosing a nerdy astronaut over a hot lifeguard had me rolling my eyes and GoDaddy's rich guy being the first at securing a web domain failed on both set-up and execution. GoDaddy has been known for their controversial commercials over the years (controversial as in thinking Danica Patrick and Jillian Michaels are supposed to be considered sexy), but it finally feels that they're not making enough money nowadays to afford quality commercials. I encourage you to message/tweet/shout your "BOO!" to the companies in question.

The heartwarming commercials tend to remain on your mind and if executed properly, will emerge anytime you see that product in real life. They're not too over the top and sentimental, but can cause you to shed a tear or two if relatable enough. The one that really tugged at my heartstrings this year was Budweiser's Clydesdale commercial, when the horse and farmer reunited on the streets after the parade. I'm not going to lie, I shed some major tears from that one.

And finally, the simple corporate plug. Not every company gets into the Super Bowl spirit with the Hollywood blockbuster kinds of commercials, but rather knows millions of guaranteed eyes will already be glued to the screens and will watch your entire commercial in hopes of a twist ending. It's that simple. This tends to cause the viewer to ask, "That's it?" as they become slightly disappointed that it was just a commercial.

As for the Pepsi halftime show this year (one giant commercial), it was none other than Beyonce since Sasha Fierce was unavailable. The entire performance was visually stunning, with bursts of fire and Beyonce's signature choreography as they did a showcase of all her biggest hits.

The grand surprise for viewers was the reunion of Destiny's Child, the group that first introduced Beyonce to the world. Together they performed "Independent Women," "Bootylicious" and my favorite number of the entire performance "Single Ladies."

Closing things with "Halo" was a nice was cherry on top, for Beyonce had a lot to prove this evening after the pre-recorded controversy during the President's inauguration last month. She came, saw and conquered, making this Super Bowl halftime show truly Beyoncelicious.