Tickers in this Article: GOOG, KO, PEP, MCD, WEN
In addition to a classic, hard-fought football game, the Super Bowl has also come to signify something else in today's world: an advertising nirvana. With a global audience spanning over 1 billion viewers, businesses are eager to strut their stuff in front of a large consumer base. While many theories have been laid out regarding investing and the Super Bowl, I adhere to none.

What I focus on is the reality.

In Pictures: Top 5 Super Bowl Host Cities

The reality is that businesses spend more on a commercial during the Super Bowl than any other programing event, save for maybe the Olympics or the World Cup. This year, it was estimated that a 30-second ad spot went for $3 million or more depending on when it went live. With each Super Bowl, you can see a theme emerge. Here we take a look at some companies that sought to win over Super Bowl fans through their commercials and how their stocks are likely to perform for investors.

The Kickoff: Group Buying Sites
This year showcased two newcomers to the lineup of commercials - group buying sites Living Social and Groupon. Although both are privately held, they have generated tremendous buzz. Most recently, Groupon made headlines when it reportedly refused a $6 billion buyout offer from Google (Nasdaq:GOOG). The fact that these two names decided to advertise illustrates how mainstream they have become over the past year. Do not be surprised if a big deal is struck in 2011 in this rapidly consolidating area. (For related reading, check out 15 Outrageous Super Bowl Bets.)

The Cola Wars Continue
If the historic battle between Coke (NYSE:KO) and PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP) is judged by the number of Super Bowl ads these companies run, then Pepsi came out on top this year. Pepsi ran several commercials during the big game against just a couple for Coke. This is more likely due to the fact that Pepsi is currently the "official" soft drink of the NFL. What better way to cement such a relationship than by running ads on the NFL's biggest media event?

From an investment standpoint, investors may find Pepsi more intriguing today than Coke; Pepsi trades for 16 times earnings and yields 3%, while Coke trades for 19 times earnings and yields 2.8%.

Hungry Fans
Speaking of competition, the Super Bowl started off with an ad from fast food giant McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) and ended with one from rival Wendy's, part of the Wendy's/Arby's Group (NYSE:WEN). Unlike Pepsi and Coke, these two names have not been on the same playing field for quite some time. McDonald's has prospered during the recession and now commands a near $80 billion market cap. Wendy's, working to position itself as the fresher fast food burger chain, hasn't been so fortunate. That could be due to the company's marriage to Arby's. On January 20, the company announced a plan to sell Arby's and focus on Wendy's. As a standalone company, Wendy's will likely be well received by analysts. (For more, see Sinking Your Teeth Into Restaurant Stocks.)

The Bottom Line
The Super Bowl is a big time money and media event today. And while investors shouldn't go chasing stocks based on which companies advertise during the big game, there's certainly nothing wrong with generating an investment idea or two. (For more, see The Super Bowl Economy.)

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