super bowl

By The Numbers: Some Top-Rated Super Bowl Ads

As usual, a day or so after the Super Bowl, various rankings come out naming the best commercials of the game. Most prominent is USA Today’s Ad Meter, which graced the winning ad, from The Farmer’s Dog, 6.56 out of a possible score of 10.

The top-rated 34 Super Bowl ads all scored 5.00 or better. The lowest-scoring ad, promoting U2 live at the Sphere in Las Vegas, got a 3.70. The next-lowest scoring ad was the M&M’s ad starring Maya Rudolph, which got a 4.29.

The ratings were interesting because the winner, The Farmer’s Dog “Forever” spot, wasn’t a big hit in the crowd I was watching it with, who are in fact all dog owners.

As various publications listed their favorite Super Bowl ads, the same few rose to the top. Some that got attention, scored middling ratings, like Rakuten’s ad starring Alicia Silverstone in her Clueless getup and Paramount Plus’ “Stallone Face” ad.



It could be that the product had something to do with it. Like, no matter how great an ad, maybe no one wants to think about doing taxes, which puts Turbo Tax at a disadvantage.

Maybe Super Bowl advertisers should consider the context of the big game. It’s not just exposure to 100 million customers, but it’s a certain type of exposure in which light products that don’t require much thought (Pop Corners, Dunkin Donuts, Bud Light) enjoy an advantage, while more considered purchases (tax software, web software) don’t. Then again, it may just come down to the jokes. Downy and Michelob Ultra didn’t make people laugh, but Pop Corners, T-Mobile and Dunkin’ did. And either way, it helps to have a dog in your ad.

3 comments about "By The Numbers: Some Top-Rated Super Bowl Ads".
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  1. John Grono from GAP Research, February 15, 2023 at 5:04 p.m.

    Todd, what the devil is the 'Ad Meter' and how does it work?

  2. Todd Wasserman from none, February 15, 2023 at 5:20 p.m.

    It's USA Today's ranking of ads and it's been around since 1989. It's results are determined by a live poll during TV telecasts.

  3. John Grono from GAP Research, February 15, 2023 at 5:45 p.m.

    Thanks Todd.

    I wonder if the 'scores' were higher, the same, or lower back in 1989 compared to recent SBs.  

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