Marketing firms are weighing in on how well the Super Bowl ads did this year in terms of buzz and consumer opinion. Mars' ad for Snickers won big, according to Allen & Gerritsen's 7th annual Meaningful Messages Super Bowl Ad Survey, which ranks commercials by performance, rather than popularity, with a basic question: "Will the ad make you buy the product or consider buying it?"
Survey respondents rated Super Bowl ads using a five-point scale based on four criteria: Did the commercial clearly portray the value of the product or service advertised? Did it respect you and what you believe? Did the ad clearly communicate a reason to respond (e.g., purchase, go online, call for info)? And did the commercial fit in with the Super Bowl and did it make sense that it ran there?
Based on the survey, the top five ads were Snickers; Denny's; Anheuser-Busch's latest Clydesdale ad featuring a cow that wants to be a horse; HomeAway.com, featuring Chevy Chase, and Hyundai's Bret Favre ad.
The least meaningful were GoDaddy; Bridgestone's "Your Tires or Your Life" spot; the Vizio Forge spot, another GoDaddy spot and the Diamond Foods Awesomer ad.
According to Andrew Graff, CEO of Allen & Gerritsen: "The ads that were most meaningful were clear in what they were telling consumers what to do but were still entertaining: Revive yourself with a Snickers, get a free breakfast at Denny's and buy a Hyundai that has a 10-year warranty that may or may not outlast Brett Favre's football career."
"Consumers don't buy ads that are predictable and formulaic. We've seen the Go Daddy schtick for a few years in a row now. The least meaningful ads were certainly not worth spending $2.5 million for a chuckle."
Good or bad, advertisers have seen a big increase in social media activity since the game. Media communications company Initiative says that of the 38 brands that ran ads during the commercial breaks, 75% saw the number of blog posts about them double, compared with the same evening over the past six months.
More than 30% of advertisers in the Super Bowl saw a threefold rise in the number of blog posts about them, and Flo TV -- a first-time advertiser in the NFL finals -- experienced a spike of 50 times the number of blog posts it would usually enjoy, the highest for any advertiser during this year's event, per the firm.
The firm says Doritos saw the level of buzz increase by 13 times, Vizio by seven times, Hyundai rose by fourfold and Kia and Budweiser both experienced threefold hikes. In terms of positive impressions, the firm says Vizio -- whose spot featured Beyonce, the face of Vizio -- saw the highest uplift in sentiment, rising by 20% to 70%, or three-quarters of all the social media posts about Vizio during Super Bowl.
The firm says Snickers' commercial was the most blogged-about, celebrity-endorsed spot during the game, with 281 posts. Vizio's Beyonce spot came in second with 203 posts, and Hyundai's ad featuring Brett Favre came in third with 126 posts. Kia's ad using puppets got 68% positive sentiment, putting it second place after the Vizio ad in popularity.
The firm says that overall, blog posts about the Super Bowl increased sharply from 15,702 in 2009 to 25,725 this year. The posts were made across 57 countries -- from Afghanistan to Venezuela -- compared with 42 countries last year. Over 3600 of the posts were specifically about the advertising. Not surprisingly, a hefty 81% of all the posts were made in the U.S.
Initiative's Prophesee unit, which did the survey, said there were over 720,000 tweets about the game. Coca-Cola added over 250,000 Facebook fans over the course of the Super Bowl weekend.