Top Super Bowl 2016 Advertisers' Scores Based On Digital Media Performance

Super Bowl 2016 advertisements might have lacked the same luster of previous years, but brands like TurboTax, Avocados for Mexico, and T-Mobile showed how cross-channel media strategies can score big points pre-game, during the event and post-game.

Ad agency Merkle analyzed advertiser footprints across paid search, search engine optimization (SEO), social media, display advertising and email to identify the brands that scored big. The analysis from Merkle's 2016 Digital Bowl Report evaluates advertisers based on their online efforts to maximize the impact of their investments.

TurboTax ranked high in multiple categories, with perfect marks in display advertising. It tied for the second-highest score in SEO with Taco Bell not far behind Doritos, which came in No. 1.



The tax software also did well in display advertising because it took advantage of an increase in site traffic with tracking pixels that will allow for remarketing down the road.

On YouTube, TurboTax teased its ad and took advantage of pre-roll ads and companion banners to remain visible on Super Bowl-related YouTube searches. A Super Bowl-focused landing page ranked high for related queries.

Avocados from Mexico came in second, tying for first in paid search and finishing in the top ten in SEO, display advertising, and social media. The report says last year’s champion Wix slipped to No. 11 overall, but performed well in social media.

T-Mobile took No. 3 followed by Squarespace at No. 4; ShockTop with No. 5; Taco Bell at No. 6; Amazon with No. 7; Mini USA at No. 8; Budweiser with No. 9; and Butterfinger, No. 10.

Amazon took the No. 1 position in social media -- outranking TurboTax, which came in at No. 2. PayPal got noticed for using a trivia contest to drive social engagement.

Merkle says the door also was "left open" for those not running Super Bowl ads on television to capitalize online.

Mercedes-Benz, which opted out after appearing in Super Bowl XLIX, owned the leaderboard spot on the NFL’s Web site from kickoff until the final whistle. Subway dominated with a roadblock.

Pandora bought multiple ad spots on, which Merkle considers a key win one week before Valentine's Day.

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