A fourth-quarter Doritos commercial featuring two men attacked in a gym for stealing someone else’s Doritos was seen by an estimated 116.2 million viewers during the Super Bowl, making it the most-watched television commercial of all time, according to Nielsen. The ad ran at 9:30 p.m. ET.
“For an advertiser to make its pitch to more than 116 million viewers at once shows that the Super Bowl remains the single largest television platform for marketers,” said Pat McDonough, senior vice president for insights and analysis at Nielsen. “And with Super Bowl advertisers adding thousands — if not millions — of commercial views through online and social media exposure, they are able to extend their multi-million dollar investments beyond the game itself.”
Nielsen’s official ratings list the as “Gym,” but it is also known as “Snack Attack Samurai.”
The second-most-watched spot in the game, the Audi “Green Police” ad, came just a few minutes earlier at 9:26 and garnered an audience of 115.6 million. In fact, all but one of the top 10 rated ads appeared in the fourth quarter of the game, whose outcome was decided in the final minutes.
Third ranked was the Electronic Arts Dante’s Inferno spot, “Hell Awaits,” at 9:15, which garnered just over 115 million viewers.
Focus on the Family’s anti-abortion spot “Tim Tebow” tied for the least-viewed ad of Super Bowl XLIV, despite heavy pre-game buzz, per Nielsen.
Nielsen found that the much-discussed 15-second promo for CBS’s Late Show with David Letterman featuring cameo appearances by Jay Leno and Oprah Winfrey was seen by an estimated 110.4 million viewers.