Search Super Bowl 50 Scores, Creativity Fumbles

The metrics from Super Bowl 50 ads were more exciting then the content. While advertisers and their agency partners played it relatively safe this year when it came to creativity in Super Bowl 50 ads, metrics show the $5 million per 30 seconds of airtime paid off across media.

To what do your potential and existing customers connect? This could be the most difficult question to answer. It seems that simple ideas connecting us with the brand had staying power.

The Avocados from Mexico Super Bowl 50 ad campaign tied for first in paid search and finished in the top ten in SEO, display advertising and social media, according to Merkle. Taco Bell also held up strong in paid search leading up to and during the game and post-game. With a new mystery menu item the brand aggressively bid on very broad keywords such as "Super Bowl" and tied the campaign into a pre-ordering offer on It also used keywords for other advertisers such as Doritos, giving Taco Bell a broader brand exposure to tie in TV ads with search.



Asin past years with the Super Bowl, brands had a lot riding on the television spots in 2016. Kantar Media says the price per ad this year rose from $4.4 million in 2015 and nearly double the price compared with 10 years ago, reports USA Today. In 2015, 82 commercials ran for a total of 48:05 minutes of airtime, up by four minutes this year.

More ads meant more dollars for the network. Anheuser-Bush, PepsiCo, and Coca-Cola spent the most at $278.3 million, $172 million, and 118.4 million, respectively. The automakers followed with Chrysler Group spending $89.5 million, and General Motors $86.8 million.

"I didn't think they were all equally good, but the Audi ad stood out for me because I found it to be a great story," says James Green, CEO at Magnetic. "I thought that the Hyundai ads were all over the place. Some were good, others were dumb such as the kid who grew up with a Hyundai engine where his heart should be. Mostly there didn't seem to be a cohesive strategy."

Voice search made its way into a couple of Super Bowl 50 commercials this year. The Hyundai Elantra 2017 has a voice-activated quick-start feature. The ad showed off the voice controls with two bears chasing a man and a woman through a forest. The people escape by starting their car using a voice command through a smartwatch.

Edmunds showed a correlation between the advertisements running on television pre-game and during the game with a lift in searches on its Web site for specific brands and models, even in quarters after the ads ran. I'm pretty positive with other data we would see the same lift on other sites.

A few of the car manufacturers such as Audi, Jeep and Honda played on the American dream, along with Butterfinger, which capitalized on the old "bold" West and the trend toward country music sweeping across America. Bud Light featured Seth Rogen, Amy Schumer, Michael Pena, and Paul Rudd capitalizing on country and presidential caucus.

Amazon was the other Super Bowl advertisement sporting a voice-activated feature, Alexis, on Echo, a smart-home gadget. Some real-life Twitter users tweeted that the Super Bowl ad confused their Amazon Echo with the commands recited during the commercial.

It's about finding your audience across media, from television to search and YouTube running video. My favorites featured dogs. Since I love dogs and the wilderness, Honda's Super Bowl 50 spot featuring a field of sheep singing to Love Song by Queen became one of my favorites. But would it entice me to purchase a Ridgeline?

The Doritos ad also struck me as entertaining. When the dogs were shoed away from entering the grocery store to purchase Doritos until they got the idea to disguise themselves as humans to enter the store and buy Doritos. I don't eat chips, so this one probably wouldn't entice me to make a purchase, but I would remember and consider the brand the next time I had a party.

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