As we all try to finally decide the officially best and worst Super Bowl ads of 2012, there’s one clear winner – and it’s Facebook.

Top commercials are now sending us straight to the company’s Facebook Page, rather than their website – for a chance at a Like, and a lasting connection with fans.

Commercials like Bud Light: Rescue Dog, General Electric: Building Something, and Pepsi Max: For Life completely replaced the typical website mention with a reference to the company’s Facebook Page.

Bud Light: Rescue Dog

General Electric: Building Something Big

: For Life

The trend is sure to be good for Facebook, as it prepares for it’s IPO.

By replacing the company’s website with its Facebook Page, these brands send a signal that an action-oriented, long-term bridge between online and off-line marketing channels will continue to be critical for marketing success, both on and off the web.

Of the 90 total Super Bowl ads, calls-to-action included referrals to:

Website: 52 (57%)
None: 21 (23%)
Twitter #Hashtag: 11  (12%)
Facebook Page: 10 (11%)
YouTube Channel: 1 (1%)
Text Message: 1 (1%)

Even if Twitter #hashtags edged out prompts to Facebook Pages, the payoff of a new Facebook Like has much greater long-term value than the one-time (or so) use of a #hashtag. New followers would be the Twitter equivalent of a Facebook Like, and none of the ads @mentioned the brand.

Surprisingly, second to website references, “no call to action” (no reference an online platform) came in only second. Ads that stood on their own without reference to an online platform tended to reflect iconic brands that were working to deeply connect with personal identity.

Chrysler: Halftime in America

Budweiser: Eternal Optimism

20th Century Fox: “Star Wars” The Epic Saga Begins

With the barrage of online campaigns connected to a company’s overall brand strategy, it’s interesting to see Facebook continue to emerge as a front-and-center player in helping businesses connect with customers.

*Thanks to Kira Marchenese for contributing to the idea for this post.  

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