Press Release

February 7th, 2012

Doritos Crashes the Super Bowl Once Again and So Does M&Ms

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA—February 7, 2012— Ace Metrix™, the authority in television advertising effectiveness, today revealed the official rankings of the most effective and least effective ads from Super Bowl XLVI. The most effective ads of the Super Bowl were Doritos’ “Sling Baby” ad and M&M’s “Just My Shell” ad, both of which tied for the honor with an Ace Score of 671. Chrysler’s “It’s Halftime America” ad starring Clint Eastwood was the most effective automotive ad, achieving an Ace Score of 633 and ranking 6th on the overall list. Budweiser aired three of the five least effective ads, including the lowest scoring ad of the Super Bowl.

The average Ace Score for this year’s Super Bowl ads was 552, up slightly from 2011’s 549. While the automotive category provided the largest number of ads, soda and snacks ads once again dominated the top scoring list with seven of the top 10 ads.

An Increase in Super Bowl Storytelling
This year saw the continued trend in storytelling, a trend towards longer, more emotive spots. Thirty percent of this year’s Super Bowl spots were 60 seconds or longer vs. 17 percent in 2010. The trend continues as evidenced by the longer form ads showing strong performance.

It was also a year of more blatant sexual themes with 13% of the ads having this attribute vs. 2% in 2011. Interestingly, none of the seductive ads made the top 10 list and most were in the bottom third of Super Bowl ads.

Most Effective Super Bowl Ads, 2012
“The Super Bowl has a diverse set of brands and advertising objectives on the world’s largest stage. The winners on the Ace Metrix list scored exceptionally well with consumers on criteria that is far beyond how likeable an ad is,” said Peter Daboll, CEO of Ace Metrix. “For example, the two top ads from M&M’s and Doritos used humor to achieve high likeability and attention scores, as well as top scores in relevance and desire. They also had broad demographic appeal, a key consideration for an audience as large and diverse as the Super Bowl.”

Rank Brand Ad Title Ace Score
1 M&Ms Just My Shell 671
1 Doritos Sling Baby 671
3 Coca-Cola The Catch 654
4 Doritos Man’s Best Friend 645
5 Coca-Cola Superstitions 640
6 Chrysler It’s Halftime in America 633
7 Honda Matthew’s Day Off 630
8 Skechers Go Run Mr. Quiggly 629
9 Pepsi King’s Court 628
10 Coca-Cola Argh 600
10 GE Building Something Big in Louisville 600

*Definition: Ace Score is the measure of ad creative effectiveness based on viewer reaction to national TV ads. Respondents are randomly selected and representative of the U.S. TV viewing audience. The results are presented on a scale of 0-950, which represents scoring on creative attributes such as relevance, persuasion, watchability, information, attention, etc.

Coca-Cola was the brand winner this Super Bowl, airing three of the top 10 Most Effective Super Bowl ads.

“Coca-Cola’s polar bear ads were quite effective with consumers—two ranked within the top five overall ads, trumping Pepsi’s star-studded ‘King’s Court’ ad, which was quite effective in its own right,” commented Daboll. “Skechers’ replacement of Kim Kardashian this year for Mr. Quiggly the dog was a brilliant move. The mix of canine cuteness with humor paid off, as the ad scored 629, a 24 percent increase over last year’s ad – proving the point that animals are often a better choice in Super Bowl ads than expensive celebrities”

Some serious commercials were also high performers. High performing examples include Chrysler’s Clint Eastwood ad, as well as GE’s “Building Something in Louisville” ad, both Top 10 ads.

Auto Bowl 2012
The automotive category ads represented 34 percent of all Super Bowl ads and claimed two of the Top 10 spots on the Ace Metrix Most Effective Super Bowl Ads list. Chrysler/ Clint Eastwood’s two-minute homage to Detroit during half-time performed better than last year’s much-discussed ad starring Eminem, delivering an Ace Score of 633 versus Eminem’s 591.

“The Clint Eastwood ad proved highly inspirational, and in addition to scoring very high on likeability and attention, it also performed extremely well on relevance,” said Daboll. “It performed well across demographics and across regions of the country. The only negative about it was that it had low brand ID, meaning people had trouble recalling the ad was specifically for Chrysler.”
The second most-effective automotive ad featured Matthew Broderick in a grown-up version of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” The ad for Honda’s CRV was a crowd pleaser, achieving an Ace Score of 630.

Acura’s “Transactions” ad starring Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Leno ranked third among automotive ads, achieving an Ace Score of 593, followed closely by this year’s installation of Star Wars-themed ads from VW (“Dog Strikes Back”), which delivered an Ace Score of 590, not quite measuring up to last year’s category-leading “The Force” ad, which achieved an Ace Score of 603.

Most Effective Automotive Super Bowl Ads, 2012

Rank Brand Ad Title Ace Score
1 Chrysler It’s Halftime America 633
2 Honda Matthew’s Day Off 630
3 Acura Transactions 593
4 Volkswagen Dog Strikes Back 590
5 Cadillac Green Hell 563
6 Chevrolet Happy Grad 558
7 Fiat Seduction 556
8 Hyundai Cheetah 552
8 Toyota It’s Reinvented 552
10 Chevrolet 2012 550

Least Effective Ads
While Budweiser produced five ads for the Super Bowl advertiser this year, three were in the bottom five, including both ads for Bud Light Platinum. Budweiser also had the lowest scoring ad of the Super Bowl with “Welcome to Halftime” show featuring the band LMFAO, which had an Ace Score of 396.

David Beckham’s ad for H&M was also among the 5 least effective Super Bowl ads, proving that sex does not necessarily sell.
“The Beckham ad, which performed best among 50+ women, proves that the inclusion of celebrities often fails to lift effectiveness except in rare cases where they are expertly applied,” said Daboll. “Chrysler and Honda demonstrated the right way to do this, as opposed to Hulu’s baffling use of Will Arnett– a great example of humor gone terribly wrong.”

Least Effective Super Bowl Ads, 2012

Rank Brand Ad Title Ace Score
1 Budweiser Welcome to Halftime 396
2 Hulu Hulubratory 438
2 Budweiser Work 438
4 H&M David Beckham’s Bodywear Collection 450
5 Budweiser Eternal Optimism 456

Watch the ads and see the full list of scores at

Note: The measure of ad effectiveness is a more robust measure than mere popularity and takes into account such criteria as an ad’s watchability, likeability, relevance, information, persuasiveness, ability to alter opinion, and ability to create desire.

About Ace Metrix
Ace Metrix is the industry authority in measuring and understanding the impact of advertising creative. Through patent-pending Ace Score™ measurement technology, Ace Metrix collects and measures the consumer impact of every nationally breaking TV ad in near real-time. Through its Creative Lifecycle Management™ suite of products, Ace Metrix provides actionable creative analysis, from ideation through real-time in-market performance optimization, to many of the world’s leading advertisers and agencies. Ace Metrix works with leading global advertisers. For more information, visit

Note: Ace Metrix, Ace Metrix Live, Ace Metrix Mobile, and Ace Score are trademarks of Ace Metrix. Other trademarks are property of their respective owners.


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