The price of a 30-second Super Bowl commercial has soared to $5 million, putting even more pressure on companies to hit home runs with their precious air time.

Super Bowl 51 — which pits Tom Brady and the Patriots against Matt Ryan and the Falcons — was expected to draw about 114 million viewers. Whether the ads are funny, heart-wrenching or just plain weird, brands are doing all they can to create a long-lasting buzz on television’s largest audience.

Some commercials are duds, others make us chuckle. Then there are the ones that last with us for years to come.
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I’ve used at least 10,000 text messages to argue Jordan vs. LeBron James with my best friend and his two younger brothers. It’s a two-on-two text thread that never stops, and it didn’t stop dinging through the drama with Charles Barkley last week. I don’t know how much better or worse basketball really is now, but I guess I don’t care. I enjoyed watching Jordan more than any other basketball player. Part of that came from the belief that, no matter what the score was, I felt like the Bulls were going to win.

If you want to argue the same about James — especially after he led Cleveland back from a 3-1 deficit against Golden State in the 2016 NBA Finals — that’s fine. My generation is stubborn. We’ll still text Jordan in reply.
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We should feel he same way about Brady. You can argue Montana, Peyton Manning, John Elway, Johnny Unitas, Bart Starr, Terry Bradshaw or Otto Graham. But nobody has won quite like Brady. The Patriots have dominated the NFL for the last 16 years with seven Super Bowl appearances and five championships in that stretch. It’s bordering on a two-decade dynasty.