Babies say the darnedest things, and apparently they can even make stock trading seem simple and even a little humorous.

That's according to the folks at Salt Lake City-based advertising agency Richter7, who on Monday voted the spot the "most valuable ad" of its 2008 Ad Bowl.

The spot for E-Trade featured an infant mouthing words about how easy it is for even someone as young as him to manage his online trading account and was hands-down the favorite of most of the room full of Richter7 employees reviewing the commercials.

"The whole idea of this baby being able to do E-Trade made their point in a playful, enjoyable kind of way," said Richter7's chief executive officer Scott Rockwood. "The baby talking was funny, they had good copy written for him."

Elsewhere around the nation, however, Budweiser was one of the big winners. The beermaker's ad featuring the company's iconic Clydesdale horse being trained by a Dalmatian dog was the top pick of USA Today's Ad Meter real-time consumer focus testing group.

The USA Today group was made up of 234 adult volunteers from Chicago and McLean, Va. Their No. 2 pick was FedEx's ad featuring pigeon carriers who can't compete with FedEx, and Bridgestone's ad where critters scream before a car nearly misses a squirrel on the road came in third.

Rockwood said about 60 ads ran during the game, the majority of which were what he described as decent ads, but nothing really special.

For many people, the commercials run during the Super Bowl are as much fun as the game itself, he said, so companies try to do what they can to stand out.

"The Super Bowl has become a platform for companies to introduce innovative, creative and entertaining ads and campaigns to the largest audience of the year," he said.

The 97.5 million viewers who saw the New York Giants' last-minute win over the New England Patriots made it the most-watched Super Bowl ever and second biggest event in American television history.

Only the "MASH" series finale in 1983, with 106 million viewers, was seen by more people, Nielsen Media Research said Monday. Sunday's game eclipsed the previous Super Bowl record of 94.08 million, set when Dallas defeated Pittsburgh in 1996.

A 30 second spot during this year's game cost $2.7 million, but companies can make that money back easily if the ad is effective and resonates with viewers.

Rockwood said because of the publicity that surrounds the Super Bowl ads, companies have a high standard to reach each year.

"There's no question that people become extremely harsh critics and probably hold a different standard for the advertising during the Super Bowl than they would ordinarily," he said.

If the ad is successful, however, a company can ride that positive publicity for a long time.

"If it becomes the one that's constantly talked about at the water cooler, that's like another run of the ad each time," he said.

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