February 9th, 2018

Super Bowl 52: The Ads that Connected


Ace Metrix

While all Super Bowl advertisers are looking to breakthrough and entertain the biggest TV audience of the year, spots go beyond just Attention and Likeability in order to connect with viewers.

Ace Metrix has recently developed Ace Emo, giving our clients the ability to quantitatively understand emotional impact on viewers. Ace Emo is based on a system of word/phrase vector embedding that allows us to project each ad onto a set of concepts/emotions, based on the actual verbatim comments from viewers.   We do this for tens of thousands of ads –representing tens of millions of viewer free form responses from over 25,000 recent ads which we use as reference for norms. Every ad has an emotional fingerprint and Ace Emo helps advertisers uncover it.

As we’ve mentioned in our previous posts, Super Bowl 2018 was characterized by funny ads and those that looked to connect with viewers through message forward ads. However, there were several other emotions that popped for some of the spots and are worth exploring.

Most Memorable Super Bowl 52 Ads

Ads that fall on this list strongly evoked free-form responses from viewers that included words such as ‘memorable,’ ‘unforgettable,’ and ‘catchy.’ These ads stood out from the crowd for their originality and ability to stick in our minds-even after we’ve watched 60+ ads competing for our attention. Each of the ads on the list used a different method to stick with us, from catchy, familiar music to a catchphrase that has entered the zeitgeist- Dilly Dilly!

Several of the Most Memorable were also among the most mentioned on Twitter. Avocados from Mexico saw the most mentions within the first half of the game, and Bud Light’s #DillyDilly was among the most posted photos overall. In fact, the Twitter-sphere saw lots of photos with Avocados from Mexico and Bud Light together.

Two of the spots from Bud Light’s Dilly Dilly campaign were among the Most Memorable Ads. Leveraging a campaign that has been running since August, Bud Light stuck with viewers who were already familiar with the refrain.  “Ye Olde Pep Talk” was the top performing ad in the trilogy that included a conference championship teaser. Both spots were highly Watchable, but the spot that actually used Dilly Dilly was the one that stuck with viewers best.

Avocados from Mexico’s fourth consecutive Super Bowl appearance was its most Likeable. The brand uses a similar formula every year, combining humor and celebrities. This year the brand portrayed the breadth of recipes in which avocados can be used. Appealing to viewers’ varied taste buds, the ad scored well on Desire (634), and saw positive purchase intent from 54% of viewers.

Ram leveraged Queen’s “We Will Rock You” for its viking spot, likely getting the song stuck in more than a few people’s heads. With Super Bowl 52 taking place at the Minnesota Vikings’ stadium, the intense Vikings were a humorous touch. Landing just outside the Top 10 ads of the game, the spot achieved Attention and Likeability scores above advertising norms.

Rank Brand Ad Title Ad Length Likeability Score
1 Bud Light Ye Olde Pep Talk 0:30 660
2 Avocados From Mexico #GuacWorld 0:30 677
3 Bud Light Bud Knight 1:00 634
4 M&M’s Human 0:30 786
5 Ram We Will Rock You 1:00 689


Most Nostalgic Super Bowl 52 Ads

Ah,memories. The most nostalgic ads brought about reminiscent feelings, whether they were about iconic cultural moments or the personal memories viewers’ share with their own families. Pepsi won for most nostalgic Super Bowl ad with its tribute to classic Pepsi (and non-Pepsi) moments. Jeep brought back a star of Jurassic Park stir up some nostalgia, build excitement for the new movie coming out and its Wrangler.

Pepsi’s “This is Pepsi” was powered by Likeability and Relevance. Reminding viewers of some of Pepsi’s most iconic Super Bowl moments during the actual Super Bowl stirred up feelings of nostalgia that resonated significantly above advertising norms across every age and gender. The product’s relevance to the visuals made it a close tie for single best thing about the ad, with 20% of viewers naming ‘visuals,’ and 18% for the ‘product itself.’ It also aided brand recognition and recall.

In Kraft’s Super Bowl debut the brand made an homage to families everywhere with a continuation of its Family Greatly campaign. Nostalgia can encompass a feeling of “home” which is exactly what Kraft capitalized on with its spot. Kraft, a nostalgic brand for many people already, made that feeling even stronger with its family-centered spot. Kraft leveraged social media before and during the game to pull together the fan content for its Super Bowl ad. Pre-game awareness may have helped with brand recognition as 94% were able to successfully recall Kraft.

Rank Brand Ad Title Ad Length Likeability Score
1 Pepsi This is Pepsi 0:30 696
2 Jeep Jeep Jurassic 0:30 750
3 Kraft Brand Family Greatly 0:30 669
4 M&M’s Human 0:30 786
5 Ram We Will Rock You 1:00 689


Most Striking Super Bowl 52 Ads

Ads that pop on our Arresting emotion have something about that that make an impact and “hook” viewers, whether it’s via music, visuals, or a sense of wanting to know what’s next. Jeep instantly drew in viewers with an action packed ad from start to finish combined with recognizable scenes from the original “Jurassic Park.”  

Airing one of the most intense lip sync battles, Doritos and Mountain Dew also used contrast and color to keep our eyes drawn in. These ads were eye-catching, and therefore successfully grabbed Attention and earned a spot on our list of Top Breakthrough Ads. Learn about the ad’s success with viewers, here.

The Tourism Australia ad had to use highly cinematic overtones to trick viewers into thinking it was a trailer for a new Crocodile Dundee movie, only to reveal it was for the country itself. The movie-like build up, captivating visuals and a cast of big-name celebrities had viewers eager to see what happened next. The ad performed well with across viewers of all ages, but especially with the generation that travels most, Millennials.

While not among our Top Breakthrough ads, Turkish Airlines drew viewers in with stunning and cinematic scenery landing it on the list of Most Striking ads. With an interesting voiceover and soothing music, the ad was well liked by viewers, despite many feeling a disconnect with Dr. Oz.

Rank Brand Ad Title Ad Length Likeability Score
1 Jeep Jeep Jurassic 0:30 750
2 Doritos vs. Mountain Dew Doritos Blaze vs. Mountain Dew Ice 1:00 755
3 Ram We Will Rock You 1:00 689
4 Australia Dundee 1:00 717
5 Turkish Airlines Five Senses 0:45 662

Measuring emotions in advertising is the key to uncovering creative drivers. From there, brands have a better understanding of how they connect with consumers and can consistently build on that connection with future creative

This post wraps up coverage of Super Bowl LII- if you’re interested in a more in depth analysis or access to individual ad scores, contact us.


{{ title }}



{{ category }}


{{ date }}


{{ rank }}

Scroll To Top