The ad featured a dejected Clydesdale working out for a year -- to the theme music from the movie "Rocky" -- with a Dalmatian as his personal trainer. After a year of working out, the horse makes the team.
"It's a spot about tradition, about the little guy succeeding," Anheuser-Busch Chief Creative Officer Bob Lachky told USA Today. "There's a real era of cynicism right now and America was read for this message," he said.
The ads, which cost $2.7 million per 30 seconds to air, are a noted feature of the Super Bowl. Thirty-seven advertisers aired spots during the game with viewer reactions measured in real time by USA Today's Super Bowl Ad Meter.
A FedEx ad featuring huge, destructive carrier pigeons placed second. A Bridgestone ad showing a squirrel almost being hit by a car placed third.
Anheuser-Busch also aired the most ads -- seven. It was the 10th consecutive year an Anheuser-Bush ad was chosen as the best, USA Today said.