Did the Super Bowl Ad Buzz Last?

Fewer than half of advertisers had significant lifts in perception

Dozens of brands spent close to $4 million each to run 30-second spots in the Super Bowl. But did they get their money’s worth? 

Budweiser, Doritos and Audi had the biggest improvements in consumer perception after the game, according to YouGov’s BrandIndex, a brand research service. But out of 25 Super Bowl advertisers measured, only nine had a statistically significant increase (8 points or above).

The results could reflect the fact that as much as people engage with Super Bowl ads, they’re also seeing more of them. Viewers saw 47 minutes of ads in 2012, up from 40 minutes in 2003, per Kantar Media.

“The Super Bowl is still an amazing platform for getting your brand in front of people,” said Ted Marzilli, global managing director of BrandIndex. “But it’s still very, very hard to get noticed.”

Humor and absurdity seemed to play well, as evidenced by big gains in buzz for Doritos, Audi and Coca-Cola. But sentimentality and spectacle (that's you, Budweiser, BlackBerry) also made a big impression.

Social media turned out to be a leading indicator. The brands that got the most online comments during the game often had the biggest increase in buzz score afterwards. Exceptions were Taco Bell and Calvin Klein, which didn’t crack the top 10 in brand buzz improvement, despite having high levels of social mentions. (Oreo, Ram and Wonderful Pistachios had notable ads but weren’t measured by YouGov.)

Despite the Super Bowl being another car ad blitz, with eight automakers buying ads, three made it into YouGov’s top 10.

YouGov surveys consumers online about their perception of brands and assigns a score of -100 to 100.

BrandIndex Super Bowl Analysis: General Population Buzz scores
Brand Baseline Average: (December 30th – January 19th) Average Day 1 and Day 2 (Feb 4-5) Change in Score (Day 1-2 vs. Baseline)
Budweiser 10.2 28.9 18.7
Doritos 15.9 32.3 16.4
Audi 9.0 23.7 14.7
BlackBerry 0.2 12.8 12.6
Coca Cola 17.6 29.5 11.9
Samsung 21.2 31.1 9.9
Toyota 14.0 23.2 9.3
Volkswagen 15.6 24.8 9.2
Pepsi 12.1 21.0 9.0
M&M's 19.9 26.7 6.7