In the end, it was a shell game.
M&M's "Just My Shell" commercial from BBDO New York, introducing the new Ms. Brown character, was crowned the winner of YouTube's 2012 Ad Blitz, in which the site's users voted for their favorite commercials from Super Bowl XLVI. Chrysler's "It's Halftime in America" spot by Wieden + Kennedy finished second. Scroll down to see the top five.
The M&M's spot was was announced as the winner this weekend and was featured on the YouTube homepage on Saturday.
"Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle!" said Debra Sandler, chief consumer officer of Mars Chocolate North America, when congratulated by Adweek on the M&M's win. She attributed the victory to a couple of factors. "You had a new character added to the mix, which consumers asked us to add. We did a fair amount of teasing leading up to it, to build anticipation. And fundamentally it was a fun ad. The music didn't hurt, with the LMFAO song. That certainly helped to contemporize it. And I think BBDO just came through with a really entertaining spot. I think it brought a smile to your face, and you really want to share it with someone else."
Mike Yapp, director of creative content at YouTube, said the sports lounge at the video site's offices was like "a NORAD command center" on the day of the game, as advertising strategic manager Sue McCauley and her team of 20-plus people assembled on Super Bowl Sunday to monitor the entire social graph as the commercials aired.
USA Today has long had a stranglehold on post-game Super Bowl commercial rankings through its Ad Meter, but Yapp said YouTube's voting system—allowing the whole world to vote on the ads for a week—provided a great and comprehensive final ranking of likability. "YouTube is like a giant disco ball. It's basically a mirror on the trends, emotions and experiences of the whole world," he said. "With the biggest thing that comes down in the United States in terms of sports media, we can sit there and say, 'This is what the people are thinking when they look at this is real time.' That's the intrinsic magic of YouTube."
Some Ad Blitz stats: As of Sunday, Feb. 12, viewers had watched Ad Blitz videos 133 million times, up 43 percent from last year. The days that saw the highest volume of views were Super Bowl Sunday, then the following Monday and Tuesday, in total making up 82 percent of total views over the week. Nearly 18 percent of all views came from outside of the U.S. The most popular ads drove the majority of views, as 65 percent of video views came from the top 10 commercials.
More than 32 percent of all mobile votes came from tablet devices in YouTube's first year running Ad Blitz on a tablet-optimized channel. That was a key innovation this year, said McCauley, as was partnering with NBC on the project.
"We also partnered with Madonna, who premiered her video pre-game on our site. Working with NBC, we were able to post the Ad Blitz gallery on NBC.com and NBCSports.com. The video-wall gallery of Ad Blitz was prominently displayed on their sites to encourage more views and votes and expand distribution and exposure of the commercials that participated in Ad Blitz."
Below, check out the top five Ad Blitz commercials of 2012.
DORITOS • Man's Best Friend
Agency: None. (Directed by Jonathan Friedman.)
CHEVY SILVERADO • 2012
Agency: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco
BUD LIGHT • Rescue Dog
Agency: mcgarrybowen, Chicago
CHRYSLER • It's Halftime in America
Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
M&M's • Just My Shell
Agency: BBDO, New York