Doritos, Marmot and Heinz produced the most engaging Super Bowl ads, according to a study which tracked people’s facial expressions while they watched the ads.
The study, in which software company Lucid and insight platform Qualtrics teamed up with Realeyes and tracked the facial reactions of over 3,000 people via their Webcams during the ads. Forty-nine key facial points were monitored to determine various key emotions as well as overall levels of engagement.
Doritos’ “Ultrasound” scored better than 99.2 percent of ads ever measured in terms of emotional engagement. This is a combined measure of how well the ad grabs viewers’ attention, keeps it and leaves a lasting impression. The Top 9 Super Bowl 50 ads all scored in the top 10 percent of ads ever measured.
“The winning Doritos ad bucked the trend by being the only one of this year’s Top 10 not to have an animal or celebrity,” said Mihkel Jäätma, CEO of Realeyes, in a press release. “In what’s been described as a very safe year, it divided opinion online ahead of the game while facial tracking showed it evoked above average levels of disgust, particularly in men. However, pushing the boat certainly paid off.”
At the other end of the scale, Colgate’s “Every Drop Counts” scored worst of all Super Bowl 50 ads – being in the bottom 21.7 percent of ads ever measured
“The barometer of a successful ad shouldn’t just be whether people like and share it but also whether it actually makes them spend money – ads that connect emotionally with people are more likely to make this happen,” explains Jäätma. “The four key tips to doing so are to hook the audience early, retain their attention, invoke a reaction – the stronger the better – and finish with impact.”
The much discussed “PuppyBabyMonkey,” which mocked those same elements recurring in the top 10, didn’t actually resonate that well among those under 30, which brought down its score. It was much more popular among those between 30 and 49 years old and the over 50 crowd, who clearly appreciated the irony.
The full scores for all the Super Bowl ads are available here.