The Real Game Begins: Ad Metrics
by Karl Greenberg,
MM-Superbowl-AdThe most popular Super Bowl TV spots were those that held some surprises. In other words, they didn’t get an online airing-out before the game. In TiVo’s Top 10 list of most-viewed Super Bowl ads, based on anonymous audience research data, Doritos grabbed two of the top three spots this year with the No. 1 spot, “Man’s Best Friend.”
The brand has been on TiVo’s Top 10 list for six consecutive years, during which Doritos has been running user-generated advertisements.
TiVo said the No. 2 spot was M&M’s “Ms. Brown” ad, followed by Pepsi, Volkswagen’s “The Dog Strikes Back,” the NFL New Fantasy Game ad, Acura’s NSX spot featuring Jerry Seinfeld, Fiat 500’s “Supermodel” ad, Chevrolet’s consumer-generated “Happy Grad” spot featuring the Camaro, and the E*Trade baby.
Working from TiVo households, whose machines deliver anonymous data, the results are based on the measurement of the percentage of the TiVo audience watching in “play” rather than speeding through. Thus, the most engaging ads are determined by looking for spots with the biggest bump in viewership relative to the surrounding 15 minutes of programming.
TiVo also said the halftime show TV audience was 15.7% greater than the audience for the actual game. That represents a doubling of last year’s near 8% audience-size differential between the halftime show and the game.
Jonathan Steuer, VP of product and business development at TiVo, tells Marketing Daily that the viewing data are piggybacked on the normal “check-in” process that a TiVo machine does as part of the technical process TiVo uses to deliver feeds. “So it delivers anonymous viewing data back to us for everything played on the box, second by second,” he says.
Steuer says the company did a special aggregation of data through 3 a.m. Eastern on Monday morning garnered from 41,666 households that queried the TiVo servers in the hours after the game. The results, he says, prove the value of the ad spend. He notes that people not only watch the ads during the Super Bowl, they often watch them more than once. “All 10 of the Top 10 ads were watched more than the game, and the top 55 spots had retention over 100%, which means they were all viewed more than the game — even down to the very bottom of the list, where the lowest score was 93%,” he says.
“It’s an event where the ads are very much billed and delivered as part of the total experience,” he adds. “People are willing to give the spots a try. Once you get into the mindset of skipping, the default is to skip, not watch. But in the Super Bowl, the default is to watch.”
It’s a little surprising that Chrysler’s ad this year, which featured Clint Eastwood, didn’t make the Top 10, but Steuer says the ad’s placement after the half-time show and before resumption of play might have made a difference. “People are pausing to take a bathroom break, which they wouldn’t have done during the halftime, which was viewed more than the game,” he says. “Placement matters.”
Another firm, Ace Metrix, says its list of Top 5 ads included M&M’s “Mrs. Brown” ad, Doritos’ two Crash the Super Bowl spots, and two polar bear spots from Coca-Cola: “Superstition” and “The Catch.”
The firm says 13% of the Super Bowl ads were sexy, up from 2% in the Super Bowl last year. But the firm said sex didn’t sell. H&M’s David Beckham spot scored at the bottom quintile of its category in Ace Metrix’ ranking, and the firm said the ad appears to have been among the least effective of the entire game. The spot scored best with Females 50+ but struggled everywhere else, including across most income, age and gender breaks, per Ace Metrix.
Both of GoDaddy.com’s ads also scored in the bottom quintile for that company’s category. And the firm says people don’t get the linkage between the company’s “Body Paint” ad and the company’s business. One man said, “Sexy commercial, but confused as to how it relates to the site,” per the firm.
And, 59% of all Super Bowl ads were funny this year, with M&M’s “Mrs. Brown” ad neck-and-neck with the Doritos “Sling Baby” ad as current leaders for the Top Ad of the Super Bowl Award. Thirty-four percent of all ads this year were in the auto category, and Matthew Broderick’s Honda CRV ad was the most popular, scoring better than VW’s “Dog Strikes Back” ad. Ace Metrix also gave kudos to Chevy Camaro’s “Happy Grad” and Hyundai’s “Cheetah” ad.