As promised in our Super Bowl LVII emotional impact analysis, we’re back from the Big Game with our Super Bowl ad analysis. We all know the Super Bowl has become the pinnacle of the advertising industry, and throughout the years, people have remembered the ads that kept viewers glued to their screens during commercial breaks just as fondly (or not) as the big plays that decided the games.
This year was no exception. With 113 million viewers, it’s no surprise brands spent a lot of money to get a spot on the biggest stage. While $7 million for a 30-second commercial may seem excessive, the Super Bowl provides a unique opportunity for brands to reach a huge audience in a single moment.
With so much riding on it—investment, production, reputation—getting it right is critical. However, as with the game itself, not everyone will walk away with a trophy. Some commercials deliver more value than what was invested in their creation through a combination of creativity and ad placement. Others simply fall short.
Emotional impact and placement combine to deliver ad performance
More than any other commercial activity on the planet, Super Bowl ads are ranked, stacked, scored, and dissected. So, what makes MindProber’s measurement approach different?
First, there’s our proprietary Emotional Impact Score (EIS), which measures viewers’ implicit or physiological reactions to the ads on a second-by-second basis in real time. This lets us go above and beyond what traditional and legacy methodologies can do in terms of delivering a true measure of emotional engagement. EIS allows brands to understand how their target audience is feeling and reacting while watching advertisements, providing them actionable insights to optimize content.
Second, commercial success in terms of audience engagement is the result of more than just creative development. The ad’s placement during a specific break, or the position it occupies within that break, also has an effect on how viewers perceive the ad. A good ad with poor placement can result in a missed opportunity, while ads with weak creative elements can compensate by capturing the best placement within a commercial break.
MindProber’s Super Bowl ad analysis considers these two factors to calculate the true value of a commercial’s emotional impact during the broadcast. In building our rankings, we focused only on commercials for products and services, leaving out trailers for upcoming movies and TV shows. (But in case you’re curious, the trailer for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny was the clear winner with a 547 EIS.)
Touchdowns: Top 3 Super Bowl LVII ads
With that explained, let’s unveil our top 3 Super Bowl LVII ads. These commercials combined creativity and good media planning to achieve the highest EIS of measured ads, all of which scored higher than MindProber’s benchmark EIS for sports broadcasting of 500.
1. T-Mobile: “The Re-Write” | EIS: 542
2. Planters: “Roast of Mr. Peanut” | EIS: 532
3. Bud Light: “Hold” | EIS: 531
Fumbles: Bottom 3 Super Bowl LVII ads
As with all competitions, for every winner, there must be a loser. These were the ads that scored lowest on our EIS metric:
58. Avocados from Mexico: “Make It Better” | EIS: 369
59. Michelob Ultra: “New Members’ Day” | EIS: 368
60. Rémy Martin: “Inch By Inch” | EIS: 309
Wild Card: Tubi made the crowd go wild
The most impactful moment during a commercial break was delivered by Tubi, the free ad-supported television (FAST) platform owned by FOX. While technically not part of our rankings, as it was self-promotion for a FOX product, Tubi got the highest EIS of all commercial break content, even beating Indiana Jones.
How did they do it? By pulling a clever and really well-executed prank on the audience that also benefited from good media placement. At the end of a commercial break deep in the 4th quarter, the Tubi promo started with the duo of FOX’s game commentators discussing the game, but they were suddenly replaced by a Tubi interface mimicking someone scrolling past shows. Panicking viewers quickly grabbed their remotes to get back to the game broadcast, only to realize they had been fooled.
Here’s how Tubi pulled a really emotionally impactful stunt, which earned an EIS of 583!
The winning mix wins the Super Bowl ad game
Once again, the Super Bowl delivered some great examples of advertising creativity. But being creative sometimes is not enough to get the best results. The best recipe for success is to mix creative elements capable of engaging the audience with a well-defined media placement that looks into the best positioning for your ads.
By leveraging MindProber’s EIS, brands can better understand if their ads are capable of capturing audience attention and engaging them emotionally, plus how to better position ads within a broadcast to reach maximum potential.
If you want to know more about our ad analysis methodology and our full Super Bowl ad rankings, contact us.
Interested in more use cases? Check out our White Paper and Case Studies page.