April 3rd, 2018

Super Bowl Creative Dominates Q1’s Top 10 Breakthrough Ads


Ace Metrix

The first three months of 2018 brought with it outstanding creative from events like the Super Bowl, Oscars, and the Winter Olympics, and consequently raised the advertising bar for the rest of the year. During these events, advertisers had to go above and beyond in order to grab viewers’ Attention away from other ads and the events themselves. While some speculated that less risk taking would lead to a boring Ad Bowl, US viewers were still wowed. As a result, seven ads from Super Bowl 52 made it in the Top Breakthrough list for Q1 – a significant increase compared to 2017’s Q1. Inspirational creative from PyeongChang 2018 and two ads with eye-catching, lovable pets are also among the top ten. It goes to show, viewers remain in favor of ads that make an emotional connection, entertain with visuals or celebrities, and, when all else fails, feature animals.

Below are this year’s top Q1 ads ranked by Breakthrough performance, which combines the Attention and Likeability component scores. These are the best of the best, achieving Breakthrough levels recorded by less than 1% of all ads.

Top Breakthrough Ads of Q1, 2018:

Rank Brand Ad Title Ad Length Attention Score Likeability Score
1 Toyota Good Odds* 1:00 836 795
2 M&M’s Human* 0:30 785 786
3 Subaru Love and Pets 0:30 781 789
4 Mountain Dew / Doritos Doritos Blaze vs. Mountain Dew Ice* 1:00 791 755
5 Eukanuba Healthy Dog 0:30 766 772
6 Verizon Answering the Call* 1:00 785 753
7 Universal Parks & Resorts Vacation Quarterback* 0:30 772 762
8 Jeep Jeep Jurassic* 1:00 782 750
9 Comcast Second Chance 1:00 767 750
10 Amazon Alexa Loses Her Voice* 1:30 760 754
*Ads from Super Bowl 52

Attention-grabbing visuals (Subaru, Mountain Dew/Doritos, Eukanuba, Jeep) and Likeable characters (M&M’s, Universal Parks & Resorts, Amazon) were the overriding creative forces behind Q1’s top breakthrough ads, with a few inspiring messages (Toyota, Verizon, Comcast) making the list as well. All ten spots received well-below average polarity scores indicating viewers across various demographics agreed on the effectiveness of these ads – an especially impressive feat for those that undertook a humorous approach (M&M’s, Mountain Dew/Doritos, Amazon).

Topping several lists this past quarter, Toyota’s “Good Odds” holds up as a powerfully moving ad that combines music and visuals to deliver its inspiring message. Without stating product attributes, statistics, or any facts for that matter, viewers found the creative extraordinarily informative, making it one of the strongest aspects about the spot (as shown in the ad personality below).

Aside from entertaining, Subaru’s “Love and Pets” was effective in relating to viewers. The compilation of cute clips, named the top Single Best Thing, made viewers want to watch again and share with their social circles. After all, what’s more universally attention-grabbing than pairing adorable animals and children together. Viewers’ verbatim comments concur:

“Anything that mixes puppies or other young pets — or any kind of pet, young or old — with little kids grabs your attention. No matter what the ad nothing brings a smile like a kid and a puppy. Subaru did well by tying the message of animals and people with unconditional love. It was a great way of showing a human side to the automotive industry and a brand of vehicle that has been dealing with issues. Great commercial, but a greater message.” – Male, 50+

“Puppies, cute animals, and babies are the way to everybody’s hearts. This definitely caught my attention, and caught my attention even more when I realized it was a car commercial.” – Female, 21-35

“Children and pets usually are a magnet for attention, and the product was not revealed until the end – a good marketing ploy.” – Female, 50+

“Very cute ad – tiny animals always get people’s attention” – Male, 36 – 49

“Totally kept my attention very cute kids and animals. I will remember it was a Subaru ad just because it was so cute” – Female, 36-49

Famous faces caught viewers’ Attention, but M&M’s, Mountain Dew/Doritos, Universal and Amazon further appealed to them using humor, captivating scenes, or both. M&M’s ad with Danny DeVito is now the most liked celebrity Super Bowl ad since 2010, stealing the spot from Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Leno in Acura’s “Transactions.” On top of the hilarious lip sync battle in “Doritos Blaze vs. Mountain Dew Ice”, the eye-catching visuals, meant to embody the products, drove Desire with 69% reporting positive purchase intent. Viewers also felt more compelled to purchase an Echo after watching different celebrities butcher Alexa’s job in Amazon’s Super Bowl spot.

Single Best Thing Chart
Universal Parks & Resorts; Mountain Dew vs. Doritos; Amazon Echo; M&M’s

Beyond the loveable puppy growing into a strong dog, Eukanuba pulled heartstrings to further connect its message with consumers. Viewers were able to relate the food that fuels the animal to the extraordinary things it was able to accomplish as a service dog. Unfortunately, unaided brand recall was only 47%, suggesting viewers were too distracted by the puppy.

Jeep took viewers on an exhilarating test drive with Jeff Goldblum through Jurassic Park during Super Bowl LII. Our data shows movie tie-in ads are effective in generating viewer Attention, but it doesn’t guarantee success on other metrics, like brand recall. However, after tightly weaving its product into the storyline, Jeep distinguished its ad from a trailer and generated brand awareness among 92% of viewers.

Comcast’s “Second Chance” stood out to viewers as one of the most inspirational ads from Pyeongchang 2018. While emotions were high throughout the 60-second spot, it also packed in a lot of new Information about Rico Roman, the featured athlete. His story steadily built engagement and had viewers hooked until the end.

Congrats to the brands that made it on our list of the Top 10 Breakthrough Ads of Q1!


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