Ace Metrix Finds Humor and Animals Most Popular Creative Elements of Last 3 Years of Top Super Bowl Ads

Key to Doritos Three-Year Super Bowl Ad Domination

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – Information from Ace Metrix®, the new standard in television and video analytics, shows that nearly every top 10 Super Bowl ad for the last three years employed the use of either humor and/or animals as a key creative tool. Doritos, the most effective Super Bowl advertiser over the last three years, has seen great success using both of these elements: their #1 ranked 2011 Super Bowl hit, “Pug Attack,” is a great example. Budweiser’s use of its emblematic Clydesdales in 2010 earned them the top spot among Super Bowl ads that year, though the beer maker has not seen the same Super Bowl success since.

“Humor that appeals to the masses is really the hallmark of a good Super Bowl ad. Some advertisers make the mistake of using humor to appeal to only one demographic—Budweiser and Bud Light have made this mistake during past Super Bowls, trying to earn a chuckle from the male audience while turning off women,” commented Peter Daboll, CEO of Ace Metrix. “On the other hand, Budweiser’s use of the Clydesdales—which we are rumored to see again in this year’s Super Bowl– has been extremely effective. This more mature approach, at least for beer, plays better with the broad Super Bowl audience than humor that is polarizing.”

As for animals, Coca-Cola’s polar bears rival any other consistently used animal by a brand during the Super Bowl. Three of the top 10 Super Bowl ads of 2012 featured the Coke polar bears, which performed much better with audiences than Pepsi’s glitzy attempt at using celebrities.

“It will be interesting to see how Coca-Cola attacks the Super Bowl this year given their recent anti-obesity campaign that has seen such success among consumers. Its latest two-minute ad achieved an Ace Score of 669 rivaling some of the company’s past Super Bowl creative,” commented Daboll.

In 2011, Pepsi Max benefited from the “Crash the Super Bowl” contest, beating out Coca-Cola even; but, in comparing the two years, the Polar Bears trumped humor in the soda category.

Automotive, which is such a prevalent category in the Super Bowl, succeeded, first and foremost, not by using humor or animals, but by using strong corporate messaging like “Made in America.” Chrysler’s two-minute homage to Detroit starring Clint Eastwood was the most effective Super Bowl automotive ad from the last three years (and the only auto ad to rank among the Top 10 in 2012), followed closely by Honda’s funny take off on “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” starring Matthew Broderick and Volkswagen’s successful use of animals in 2011 with “Dog Strikes Back” and “Black Beetle.”

Brand Ad Title SB Year Ace Score Ranking during SB Year
Doritos Sling Baby 2012 671 #1
M&Ms Just My Shell 2012 671 #1
Doritos Pug Attack 2011 662 #1
Doritos Man’s Best Friend 2012 645 #4
Pepsi Max Love Hurts 2011 643 #2
Doritos House Sitting 2011 635 #3
Pepsi Max Torpedo Cooler 2011 634 #4
Honda Matthew’s Day Off 2012 630 #7
Skechers Go Run Mr. Quiggly 2012 629 #8
Doritos Underdog 2010 621 #2
Brand Ad Title SB Year Ace Score Ranking during SB Year
Doritos Pug Attack 2011 662 #1
Coca-Cola The Catch 2012 654 #3
Doritos Man’s Best Friend 2012 645 #4
Coca-Cola Superstitions 2012 640 #5
Skechers Go Run Mr. Quiggly 2012 629 #8
Budweiser Fence 2010 626 #1
Doritos Underdog 2010 621 #2
Bridgestone Carma 2011 618 #6
Coca-Cola Argh 2012 600 #10
Volkswagen Dog Strikes Back 2012 590 #13
Volkswagen Black Beetle 2011 590 #18
*Definition: Ace Score is the measure of ad creative effectiveness based on viewer reaction to national TV ads. Respondents are randomly selected and representative of the U.S. TV viewing audience. The results are presented on a scale of 1-950, which represents scoring on creative attributes such as Persuasion, Relevance, Information, Attention, Change, Desire and Watchability.

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Ace Metrix® is the new standard in television and video analytics, dedicated to delivering better, faster, and more cost-effective solutions for evaluating video advertising within competitive context. Through the Ace Metrix LIVE™ platform, companies can now access timely, actionable data wherever, whenever they need to, enabling real-time advertising campaign optimization. Combining leading edge technology and patent pending methodology, Ace Metrix is revolutionizing the way marketers measure themselves and their competitive landscape. The Company is privately held and is backed by leading venture capital firms and industry leaders including Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, Palomar Ventures, Leapfrog Ventures, and WPP.

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