By Barry Janoff
January 25, 2016: From Super Bowl XL (2006) through Super Bowl XLIX (2015), the NFL's ultimate championship game has generated $2.4 billion in network ad sales from more than 130 marketers.
Over the past 10 years, the top five Super Bowl advertisers have spent $745 million on network advertising during the game, accounting for 31% of total ad revenue. In order, they are Anheuser-Busch InBev, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Chrysler and General Motors according to research from Kantar Media, NY.
Anheuser-Busch has gotten its money's worth, with Budweiser claiming the top three spots and four of the top six "most-liked" commercials to run during national broadcasts over the past five games — Super Bowl XLV (2011) through Super Bowl XLIX (2015), according to "Ace Score," compiled by advertising research and consulting firm Ace Metrix, Los Angeles.
Among all Super Bowl commercials that have been analyzed by Ace Metrix, "Puppy Love" (Super Bowl XLVIII) was No. 1 overall, followed by "Brotherhood" (Super Bowl XLVIII) and last year's "Lost Dog."
Doritos, a brand from PepsiCo's Frito-Lay, was No. 4 with "Slingbaby" (the "Crash Super Bowl XLVI" winner); "The Catch" from Coca-Cola was No. 5 (Super Bowl XLVI); and Bud's "Hero's Welcome" (Super Bowl XLVIII) was No. 6 among the Ace Metrix Top 25.
Ace Metrix said that its "Ace Score" is the "measure of ad creative effectiveness" based on a panel of at least 500 consumers. The results are presented on a scale of 1–950, which represents scoring on such creative attributes such persuasion, likeability, information, attention, change, relevance, desire and watchability.
"Puppy Love" scored 821 on the Ace Score, "Brotherhood" 804 and "Lost Dog" 802.
The automotive category has four companies on the list: Toyota, Bridgestone, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen.
Other categories with multiple ads on the list include candy, via M&Ms and Snickers; and soda, with one from Coca-Cola and two from Pepsi.
With an audience that has been topping 100 million, have ads been making an impact?
Over the last five years, Super Bowl ads have become "progressively longer, as well as more effective," according to Ace Metrix.
In 2011, 20% of Super Bowl ads were 60 seconds or longer. By Super Bowl XLIX In 2015, 43% were longer than 60 seconds, per Ace Metrix.
During that period, more brands have used their Super Bowl ads as part of an overall event, rather than a “one-and-done” investment.
According to Ace Metrix, the number of ads released ahead of time, via social media, teasers and other activations, has grown from 8% in 2011 to 61% in 2015. In addition, the number of ads that have included what could be described as a social component within their message has gone from 8% to 51% over the same period.
The Top Ten on Ace Metrix' "most-liked" Super Bowl ads also includes Microsoft's "Empowering" (Super Bowl XLVIII), "Rescue Dog" from Bud Light (Super Bowl XLVI), "Pug Attack" from Doritos (Super Bowl XLV) and M&M's "Just My Shell (Super Bowl XLVI).
One of the top-rated ads from last year's Super Bowl XLIX, according to various industry surveys, "The Brady Bunch" from Snickers — with often-movie baddie Danny Trejo as Marcia Brady — came in No. 17 on the Ace Metrix Top 25.
One of the top ads from Super Bowl XLV, Volkswagen's "The Force" — with a kid trying to channel the powers of Darth Vader — came in tied for No. 23.
During Super Bowl XL, ABC charged what now seems like a paltry $2.5 million for a 30-second spot. During Super Bowl XLIX last February, NBC charged upward of $4.4 million for a 30-second spot and generated a Super Bowl broadcast record of $345.4 million, according to Kantar Media, NY.
With CBS charging upward of $5 million for 30-second spots, TV ad revenue is projected to set a new record during Super Bowl 50 on Feb. 50
“As Super Bowl ads have evolved in tone, length and appeal from some of the iconic ads of yesteryear, comparing ads from the last half decade to those older legends is no longer apples-to-apples," Peter Daboll, CEO for Ace Metrix, said in a statement.
"Brands today have to think about the life of their ad prior to and beyond television with the proliferation of digital distribution and social media," said Daboll.
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