Auto Industry, Pepsi (PEP), Coke (KO) Among Super Bowl Winners

As I wrote last week and Jason Cimpl reiterated this morning, investors should be rejoicing today after the New York Giants won the Super Bowl. According to the mythical Super Bowl Stock Market Predictor, when “original” NFL franchises like the Giants win the Super Bowl, stocks go up that year. Wins by former AFL franchises like the New England Patriots typically mean stocks will fall that year.

So investors really dodged a bullet when Tom Brady’s last-second, 50-yard heave barely eluded tight end Rob Gronkowski’s grasp for what would have been a miracle Patriots victory.

The real winners from last night’s game, however, were the advertisers. With a record 111 million U.S. viewers tuning in, Super Bowl XLVI offered an enormous platform for the companies who shelled out hundreds of millions of dollars for NBC to run their ads.

Judging by the day-after Internet reaction and just my own impressions from watching the game, auto makers stole the night with their clever, poignant and sometimes moving commercials.

Chrysler’s Clint Eastwood-narrated “halftime in America” tugged at the emotional heartstrings and won over viewers and pundits alike. Chevy also impressed with an end-of-the-world, post-apocalyptic sketch and another ad in which stunt drivers pulled off purportedly real-life, death-defying acts behind the wheel of a Chevy (bungee jumping in a car!).

Volkswagen’s “dog getting in shape” ad, Honda’s Matthew Broderick “Ferris Bueller” re-enactment and Audi’s vampire spot all earned rave reviews as well.

But with the exception of Honda (NYSE: HMC), most of those companies aren’t publicly traded on U.S. exchanges. Given that this is an investment site, let’s dig a little deeper to examine which companies with publicly traded stocks may have helped themselves last night.

  • Pepsi (NYSE: PEP) and Coke (NYSE: KO): The Hatfields and McCoys of the soft drink world waged their usual Super Bowl war last night, and each acquitted themselves well. Coca-Cola won the night on sheer volume, with several of their usual polar bear ads running throughout the course of the night. But Pepsi’s Elton John-as-king spot was the more memorable ad. Also, the Doritos “sling baby” commercial – ranked as the No. 1 Super Bowl by USA Today readers – was good news for PepsiCo, which owns the chip company. Neither stock budged much today, but both Super Bowl stalwarts made their presence known once again.
  • Anheuser-Busch (NYSE: BUD):  Another Super Bowl regular that delivered. A Bud Light commercial featuring a rescue dog named Weego fetching a beer every time his sports-watching owner yelled “Here we go!” was a crowd pleaser. The stock fell 0.8% today, but only after hitting a 52-week high of $64.64 on the final trading day before the Super Bowl.
  • E*Trade Financial (Nasdaq: ETFC): The E*Trade baby continued its Super Bowl run with a semi-clever “speed dating in a hospital nursery” sketch. The stock was up slightly today, with a 0.3% gain.
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