Dive Insight:

Following a Super Bowl that was considered boring by many and featured the lowest score in the game’s history, a 10-year ratings low and commercials that were relatively bland, the Ace Metrix analysis shines a light on some of the ads that were able to spark an emotional connection with viewers, although the takeaway from advertising experts is that marketers played it too safe overall with their Super Bowl ads this year, thereby missing an opportunity to make a meaningful engagement. For its report, Ace Metrix measured the emotional reactions of 500 viewers based on five sentiments: funny, heartfelt, ingenious, eerie and WTF.

PepsiCo seems to have gotten a lot right with the first-ever commercial for its sparkling water brand Bubly. The spot topped the list of the funniest ads and the most ingenious, thanks to humorous performances by Bublé and comedian Aparna Nancherla and the cleverness of playing off how close the Bublé and Bubly names are. In the ad, Bublé is convinced that the beverage is named after him, and he uses a marker to correct the “misspelling” on the cans.

Humor and heartfelt emotions are commonly embraced by marketers to connect with consumers, but many are also stepping outside the box and looking to nontraditional emotional tactics to make memorable impressions. Ace Metric’s measurement of eerie, ingenious and WTF sentiments provide several examples of how marketers are attempting to be more innovative in their strategies.

Burger King’s #EatLikeAndy was ranked No. 2 on both the eerie and WTF lists, signaling that viewers found the commercial to be bewildering and possibly creepy. The commercial featured actual footage of pop artist Andy Warhol eating a Whopper that originally appeared in the 1982 film “66 Scenes from America” directed by Jorgen Leth. Warhol died in 1987. Hacking pop culture and setting up marketing stunts has been a key part of Burger King’s marketing strategy of late, and the efforts seem to be paying off with consumers.