Doritos' user-generated "House Rules" was the top-ranked ad in the Super Bowl this year, according to TiVo's second-by-second analysis of roughly 30,000 subscribers to its DVR service.
The snack foods marketer has run a user-generated spot in four consecutive Super Bowls, including Sunday's game, and each time the ad has reached TiVo's top-five ranked commercials.
The TiVo ranking includes repeat viewing of spots during the game, although the company does not break out live and playback viewing (or specific ratings) in the data it releases publicly. But Todd Juenger, vp, gm, audience research and measurement, TiVo, did note that this year total rewinding and replaying of spots was down significantly from 2009, possibly indicating that viewers didn't find this year's batch of ads as compelling. That's in line with buzz measurements this year from Zeta Interactive indicating that positive chatter about the ads is down 15 percentage points.
No. 2 on the TiVo list of paid commercials was the Snickers ad with Betty White. However, Juenger noted that TiVo's ranking does not include network promotions for upcoming shows that appear in the game as part of the net's Super Bowl telecast rights agreement. If it did, the No. 2 ranked
spot would have been the David Letterman spot with Oprah Winfrey and Jay Leno, which Juenger noted would have been the only network promo to make TiVo's top 10 list.
The controversial Tim Tebow spot, from conservative Christian organization Focus on the Family, was ranked third, followed by Doritos' "Underdog" spot and an ad from Intel. Rounding out the top 10: E*Trade Financial, Bud Light ("Observatory"), CareerBuilder ("Casual Fridays"), truTV and Hyundai (Brett Favre).
This year TiVo altered its methodology to get a better read on engagement by reporting the spots with the biggest bump in viewership relative to the surrounding 15 minutes of programming. The new approach minimizes the impact of a spot's placement relative to action in the game, said Juenger, adding that the change affected the ranking of only a small minority of ads.
In fact, the company said, last year most of the highest-rated spots aired in the fourth quarter of the game when the overall audience was also highest due to the down-to-the-wire finish. One sponsor who might have been affected: GoDaddy, which had the top-ranked spot last year for an
ad appearing during the final two minutes of the telecast. This year both of GoDaddy's spots were well out of range of the top 10, Juenger said.
"It seems the common theme in this year's list is yet again humor, as all of the ads that scored the highest make people laugh," Juenger said.
As for the halftime show, the TiVo data showed that viewing The Who was almost identical to the numbers generated by Bruce Springsteen last year.
The big play of the Super Bowl this year, Tracy Porter's title-clinching interception and touchdown return late in the fourth quarter, was by far the night's most watched game moment, per the TiVo data.