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Head-spinning moments: Special Super Bowl edition

If the Broncos’ performance lulled you to sleep, these restaurant-related moments might have slipped past during yesterday’s sports lollapalooza. They were certainly more likely to turn heads than Peyton Manning’s performance.

Oh, to be a fly on Taco Bell’s wall

Quick, what mega fast food chain uses a Mexican snack chip as a brand-name ingredient in a menu signature? The answer is no longer just Taco Bell, the home of the Doritos Loco Taco. One of the few quick-service ads to air during the Super Bowl was Subway’s spot for a new flatbread sandwich, the Fritos Chicken Enchilada. That’s Fritos, as in Frito-Lay North America, the same company that owns Doritos. The “enchilada” features Fritos chips sprinkled atop the pulled chicken and “authentic enchilada sauce,” according to the commercial.

You have to wonder how Taco Bell reacted to the deal between Subway and Frito-Lay. There were likely some interesting conversations in Taco Bell headquarters about what constitutes a competitor and partnering with two chains that undoubtedly compete for share of stomach.

Was that really Jimmy John’s?

The other sandwich chain to run a spot during the Super Bowl might’ve been more of a surprise than the errant snap that opened the game. Yes, that 30-second spot set in an old folks’ home was indeed a plug for Jimmy John’s delivery service. If there’s any doubt the fast-casual chain can hold its own with the big quick-service brands, it was dashed by the commercial.  A Super Bowl ad confirms that an emerging brand has arrived.

New spokesmen on the bench?

Restaurant chains looking for a high-profile pitchman must’ve done some deep thinking after the game.  First, there were the possibilities raised by what happened on the field. Will Peyton Manning return to the game, or is he shifting into the heavy-duty endorsements phase of his career? And what about upstarts like Russell Wilson and Richard “The Mouth” Sherman?

Commercials suggested some off-beat options. Yes, that was Bob Dylan who did a spot for Chrysler. Amazingly, he could be clearly understood. And one of his songs was used for a yogurt spot during the game. Is the voice of his generation ready to try some voice-overs or pitches? He’s already done a spot for Victoria's Secret.

Then there’s the real media star to emerge during the game: The puppy that bonded with a Clydesdale.

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