February 5th, 2018

Super Bowl 52: The Ads Worth Watching Again


Ace Metrix

While the Eagles made history, brands tried to make us laugh, cry and feel included. As a whole, advertisers continued the trend of less risky, more safe creative, not wanting to offend the country’s largest viewing audience. Light humor, messages focused on universal truths and celebrities galore seemed to be the main themes of the day, with some inspirational pieces as well.

Tide broke the rules and managed to produce multiple surprise creatives throughout all quarters of the game with its “Another Tide Ad.”. The innovative executions, promoting the brand’s stain removal capabilities, surprised us and  made us laugh while it mocked, imitated, and paid homage to Super Bowl ad classics (including some of P&G’s own brands). Another battle of the brands was witnessed in the showdown between PepsiCo’s Mountain Dew Ice and Doritos Blaze. Steering clear of divisive political statements, many brands opted to deliver universal truth messaging, whether it was about a charitable cause, the significance of first responders, or the importance of family.

One celebrity after another graced our screens in between touchdowns and tackles. Amazon Echo replaced Alexa’s voice with that of different celebrities, making it easy for viewers to find a celebrity story they found funny. Now, Amazon might have to consider making one of them the new voice of the Echo since the spot generated positive purchase intent from 61% of viewers!

Now that the Ace Metrix Super Bowl ad data is in and analyzed, we present to you the Top 10 Breakthrough Ads,  Top Message-Forward Ads, and, possibly what brought you here, the Funniest Ads of Super Bowl 52. (You could say, Tide won the night since every ad listed below is, of course, a Tide Ad).

Top Breakthrough Super Bowl Ads

In a game where every brand is fighting for Attention from more than 100 million people, these brands pulled off an impressive feat, achieving the highest combined score for Attention and Likeabilty that is to say: these brands had the top ads! Familiar  Super Bowl veterans (M&Ms, Mountain Dew/Doritos, Amazon Echo) stuck to their humorous heritage while others (Toyota, Verizon, Budweiser, Hyundai) relied on moving messages. And newcomers Tourism Australia, and the NFL itself made us laugh with throwbacks to 80s movie classics.

Toyota delivered the Top Breakthrough Ad this year with its powerful storytelling and emotionally charged “Good Odds.” Not only receiving the highest scores in Attention and Likeability, it also received the highest Information score for a Super Bowl ad since 2010. With one of the lowest polarity scores in this year’s Super Bowl, Toyota was able to appeal to a broad audience with their corporate branding message despite not communicating much about their vehicles.

Danny DeVito does not look very appetizing, but viewers still found the M&M’s spot very Likeable, making it the most liked celebrity Super Bowl ad since 2010 (stealing the spot from Acura’s “Transactions”). Mountain Dew & Doritos, Amazon, and Universal Studios Resort also made that list. The contrast between fire & ice in the Mountain Dew and Doritos ad was effective in driving Desire (702) and positive Purchase Intent in 69% of viewers – the highest among this year’s Super Bowl ads.

Verizon and Budweiser tugged at our emotions by reminding us about all the do-gooders in the world, whether they’re first responders or brands that helped disaster ravaged areas of the country. Both were big hits with viewers.

Jeep tightly wove its product and brand name into its tie-in ad with Jurassic Park, resulting in higher than average brand recognition of 92%. Aside from Breakthrough, Watchability drove the NFL’s “Touchdown Celebration.” The spin on Dirty Dancing’s iconic scene resonated best with females, 46% of whom reported they would “very likely” share with their social circle (perhaps a first for the brand).  

Rank Brand Ad Title Length Attention Score Likeability Score
1 Toyota Good Odds 1:00 836 795
2 M&M’s Human 0:30 785 786
3 Mountain Dew


Doritos Blaze vs. Mountain Dew Ice 1:00 791 755
4 Verizon Answering the Call 1:00 785 753
5 Universal Studios Resorts Vacation Quarterback 0:30 772 762
6 Jeep Jeep Jurassic 1:00 782 750
7 Amazon Echo Alexa Loses Her Voice 1:30 760 754
8 NFL Touchdown Celebration 1:00 744 711
8 Australia Dundee 1:00 745 717
9 Budweiser Stand By You 1:00 732 717
10 Hyundai Hope Detector 1:00 733 712

Top Message Forward Ads

These ads didn’t need over the top stunts, celebrities, or well-played humor to grab Attention and appeal to viewers. However, high scoring message-forward ads almost always forgo the brand as the focal point for a universal truth-type message that appeals across demographics, which makes them very appropriate for a Super Bowl audience.

Aside from Breakthrough, these ads received high scores for Relevance, Change, and Persuasion. High Change scores arise from these ads presenting a new “side” of the brand – i.e. Budweiser’s disaster relief efforts, Toyota’s change from auto to a mobility company. The highest Desire scores and reported purchase intent were for message forward ads with strong product tie-ins, like those from Coca-Cola and Hyundai.

Rank Brand Ad Title Length Attention Score Likeability Score
1 Toyota Good Odds 1:00 836 795
2 Verizon Answering the Call 1:00 785 753
3 Budweiser Stand By You 1:00 732 717
4 Hyundai Hope Detector 1:00 733 712
5 Coca-Cola The Wonder Of Us 1:00 698 722

Honorable Mention: T-Mobile’s “#LittleOnes”

Funniest Super Bowl Ads

It wouldn’t be the Super Bowl without brands making us laugh. Over the last six years we have seen brands take fewer risks, and tend toward lighter humor that delights as many people as possible. 2018 continued on that trend. All five ads made us all laugh, and with the addition of Pringles “Wow” which came in sixth, they all managed to break into the top quintile of funny ads across all our spots (25k+) from the last three years.

Danny Devito brought the giggles and the guffaws at the Ace Metrix watch party, while that last interaction between Morgan Freeman and Peter Dinklage brought a grin to people’s faces. Perhaps the most re-watchable ad of the game, the NFL’s “Touchdown Celebration” had multiple moments that brought the LOL’s. “Dilly Dilly” managed to crack the humor list, with the kingdom members incentivized to battle by Bud Light. As previously mentioned, Amazon had a celebrity for everyone, with most people unclear whether to laugh or hide from the always awesome Anthony Hopkins.

Rank Brand Ad Title Length Attention Score Likeability Score
1 M&M’s Human 0:30 785 786
2 Mountain Dew & Doritos Doritos Blaze vs. Mountain Dew Ice 1:00 791 755
3 NFL Touchdown Celebration 1:00 744 711
4 Bud Light Ye Olde Pep Talk 0:30 693 660
5 Amazon Echo Alexa Loses Her Voice 1:30 760 745

And some ads missed their mark. Diet Coke should have known better. With a rebranding effort that includes packaging updates and product line extensions, this ad gave us nothing new and mostly left viewers confused for everyone. The ad attempted to appeal to Millennials with that awkward humor they seem to love and appreciate. However it even fell short with them, ranking as the least Likeable ad among that age group. One viewer verbatim comment sums it all up: “For the brand being represented that commercial was really weak. An awkward person dancing on a wall looks more like a school project than a multi billion dollar company.”

Dodge Ram’s “Built to Serve” found itself at the center of social media controversy. Dodge’s use of Martin Luther King Jr.’s powerful speech to sell a truck was seen as insensitive and offensive by many. There is a line that consumers can tolerate, and it seems like Ram crossed it to the chagrin of many demographics. Viewer’s vocalized their disgust on Twitter, as well as our viewer verbatim comments. Some missed the insensitive aspects, perceiving it as an ad with a moving message from an influential historical figure.  

Check back for additional Super Bowl coverage later this week.


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