Ace Metrix: Big Drivers Of Super Bowl Ad Success

Superbowl-Ad-Doritos-BAlthough not a big shocker, Ace Metrix confirms that nearly every top 10 Super Bowl commercial for the past three years has used humor and/or animals as a key creative element.

Doritos, the most effective Super Bowl advertiser over the last three years, has seen great success using these elements. 

Based on Ace Scores, Doritos had five of the 10 most effective ads using humor and three of the 10 most effective ads using animals in the 2010 through 2012 Super Bowls (the two lists overlap to some degree).



Budweiser’s use of its emblematic Clydesdales in 2010 earned the brand the #1 Ace Score -- although it hasn’t seen similar Bowl success since.

“Humor that appeals to the masses is really the hallmark of a good Super Bowl ad,” sums up Ace Metrix CEO Peter Daboll. “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.” 

He adds that Budweiser’s use of the Clydesdales (which it’s rumored to be using again in this year’s Bowl) is a more mature approach that plays better across demographics, at least for beer.

The Cola Wars

Coca-Cola has, of course, also scored with its polar bear ads, snagging three of the top 10 highest Ace Scores in 2012’s Bowl (#3, #5 and tied for #10 with GE). 

Pepsi’s celebrity-focused 2012 approach pulled one top-10 ranking (“King’s Court” was #9). In comparison, in 2011, Pepsi Max bested Coca-Cola, with two humorous ads generated through PepsiCo’s “Crash the Super Bowl” contest (“Love Hurts” and “Torpedo Cooler”) pulling #2 and #4 Ace Score rankings, versus Coca-Cola’s one top-10 entry (“Border Crossing,” #7).

Automotive: Mixed Approaches Succeed

Chrysler’s decidedly serious, somewhat controversial 2012 two-minute homage to Detroit starring Clint Eastwood was the most effective automotive Super Bowl ad from the last three years.

However, it was followed closely by Honda’s funny takeoff on “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” starring Matthew Broderick, and Volkswagen’s successful humorous use of animals in 2012 and 2011, respectively, with “Dog Strikes Back” and “Black Beetle.” 

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