As Americans gear up for Super Bowl XLIX, many are looking forward to one thing: commercials. Data from Ace Metrix provides insights from the past five games, breaking down the biggest Super Bowl ad myths and facts. The study has tracked 263 Super Bowl ads in the past five years.
Myth: Sex sells. Many Super Bowl ads really turn up the heat (e.g. David Beckham for H&M).
Fact: Super Bowl ads with sexual themes can be a big turn-off for consumers. Sexy Super Bowl ads score about 8 percent lower overall than ads without sexy themes (average from last five Super Bowls).
- Seven out of 10 GoDaddy Super Bowl ads (from 2010-2014) can be categorized as sexual. One of GoDaddy’s most memorable sexy ads is “Perfect Match.” Four percent of the survey respondents from that ad called it sexy.
Myth: Celebrities sell. Super Bowl ads are often celebrity-laden.
Fact: Celebrities can often be polarizing but when it comes to Super Bowl ads, ads with celebrities typically score.
- While celebrities make appearances in one-third of all Super Bowl ads, only one of the top 10 highest scoring ads of the past five years includes celebrities. RadioShack generated the fourth highest scoring ad of the 2014 game and fourth highest scoring for the past four years. The ad featured not one but a full cast of characters from the 1980s to effectively make fun of itself and announce a new launch of the stores. The celebrities in this case – Hulk Hogan, Mary Lou Retton, Alf, Chucky, Cliff from Cheers and a slew of other time-stamped characters – were used to parody the company rather than to endorse the brand or leverage current day celebrity power to earn brand buzz.
Myth: A brand’s Super Bowl ad must be funny to get attention.
Fact: Last year, there was only a two-point (0.3 percent) difference between Super Bowl ads with humor and those without humor. While humorous ads can be a big win with consumers, going for an emotional story can also be a winning path. In fact, many of last year’s top Super Bowl ads chose non-humorous paths.
- Budweiser’s “Puppy Love” and Hyundai’s “Dad’s Sixth Sense” went emotional to gain consumer attention, earning the second highest scores of last year’s Super Bowl. However, RadioShack’s “Good Bye 80s” (a humorous ad) came in fourth with Doritos’ ads not too far behind.
Myth: Super Bowl ads are over-hyped.
Fact: On average, over the last five games, Super Bowl ads actually score over 3 percent higher than every day ads. Last year, 2014 Super Bowl ads scored 4 percent higher than the average 2014 ad.
- It’s quite common for some Super Bowl ads to become the best in their category for the entire year. For instance, Budweiser’s “Puppy Love” is the highest scoring Beer ad of all 2014. Likewise, Hyundai’s “Dad’s Sixth Sense” was the highest scoring luxury auto ad of last year.