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Recode Daily: Champs and chumps of Super Bowl 52 — the best and worst commercials

Plus, should Amazon buy CBS? DraftKings is building a sports betting product, and Apple Music is catching up to Spotify.

A screenshot from the Netflix-produced movie trailer for “The Cloverfield Paradox” shows the actors in sci-fi military garb.
Netflix won the Super Bowl with its surprise movie launch of the J.J. Abrams-produced “The Cloverfield Paradox.”
Netflix / YouTube

Here are the real champs and chumps of Super Bowl 52 — the TV commercials. Adweek reviewed each new spot as it aired and tweeted out the mini verdicts in real time; they’re all collected here, grouped by quarter. Among the winners: the “meta, self-referential” “It’s a Tide Ad” (and “It’s Another Tide Ad”) and the perfectly cast “Doritos Blaze vs. Mountain Dew Ice”; losers included Febreze’s “The Only Man Whose Bleep Don’t Stink.” The four main strategic themes of this year’s commercial crop: Multiple spots during the game; holding back ads until airtime instead of pre-releasing or “spoiling” them; a return to humor after last year’s spate of serious spots about equal pay and immigration; and an increase in altruism, with brands like Stella Artois and Budweiser showing how much they care about the world. [Aneya Fernando / Adweek]

Drivers don’t trust Uber. This is how it’s trying to win them back. The $70 billion company can’t work if people won’t work for it. Inside Uber’s campaign to fix its relationship with its drivers. [Johana Bhuiyan / Recode]

Should Shari Redstone sell CBS to Amazon instead of merging it with Viacom? The notion boils down to the real prize for the media company and the online retail giant: Sports. The NFL in particular. [Edmund Lee / Recode]

Daily fantasy sports company DraftKings is building a sports betting product, although it has long argued that it’s not in the gambling business. [Kurt Wagner / Recode]

Apple Music may pass Spotify for U.S. subscribers this summer. That’s according to music industry sources who spoke to the WSJ, which doesn’t report how many subscribers either service has in the U.S. Globally, however, Spotify (70 million subscribers) remains far ahead of Apple Music (36 million). [Anne Steele / The Wall Street Journal]

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This is cool

Netflix was the biggest Super Bowl winner with its surprise movie launch. In a groundbreaking, unprecedented move by a studio in its use of publicity and advertising, Netflix promoted a movie in front of TV’s biggest audience of the year — and then started streaming the J.J. Abrams-produced “The Cloverfield Paradox” to a captive audience right after the game. [Anthony D’Alessandro / Deadline]

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