Which Super Bowl Advertisers Really Bettered Their Buzz?
One More Postmortem Identifies the Brands That Benefited -- and Those That Lost Luster
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Despite becoming the most-watched event in TV history, this year's Super Bowl did not deliver positive buzz for every marketer that advertised during the game. The Colts lost in an upset, but brands such as Ford, Budweiser, KGB, Electronic Arts and Volkswagen also took a beating.
As part of its annual study, YouGov interviewed a sample of 5,000 adults every day, starting Jan. 1 and going through three days after the game, using its BrandIndex service to measure consumer perception of participating brands. The before and after scores are net scores, which represent the percentage of respondents who have heard recent positive buzz about a brand advertised in the Super Bowl minus the percentage of respondents who have heard recent negative buzz about that brand.
Big buzz winners
This year's big winners were Denny's and E-Trade, which saw an overall positive change in buzz of 11.1 points after the game, as well as Doritos (10.5), Skechers (9.2) and Coca-Cola (8.9). Amongst men, Doritos (19.2) saw the biggest bounce in positive buzz, followed by Motorola (15.9), GoDaddy.com (12.6) and KGB (11.2). And Google's first brand spot paid off, resulting in an increase of 8.7 points among men. Scoring highest with women were E-Trade (25.5), Denny's (21.9), Dr Pepper (15.2), Coca-Cola (12.4) and Skechers (9.9).
That not a single brand was able to score in the top five for both men and women didn't go unnoticed by Ted Marzilli, global managing director of BrandIndex for YouGov Polimetrix.
"There were very few of the commercials that played to both men and women," Mr. Marzilli said. "E-Trade was off the charts with women and flat with men, and Coke was one that did relatively well in both groups. But it's an interesting phenomenon because as much as you think of football as being a men's event, the Super Bowl does become more of a cultural event for Americans, so there is a fair amount of women watching the game as well. So I understand why some people tailor ads towards women but I'm surprised there isn't more crossover appeal among the ads this year."
Overall, Volkswagen saw the biggest dip in positive buzz, at -6.2 points. The bottom five, which included two other automakers, was rounded out by Acura (-4.9), Electronic Arts (-4.7), Snickers (-4.5) and Ford (-3.7).
"I was surprised at how many auto advertisers there were, which acted as a bit of a dilution for all of the brands," Mr. Marzilli said. "Also, right now there is a huge Toyota recall, and that may be causing a little residual effect across the industry and causing some general safety concerns. Hyundai had multiple spots and they were able to stand out from the crowd. Dodge did well against men and Audi did well against women."
Still worth it
In spite of the negative buzz some brands experience after the game, Mr. Marzilli still feels the Super Bowl is worth the money advertisers shell out for a 30-second spot.
"In terms of the audience that you're reaching for the Super Bowl, I think it makes economic sense on a relative basis when you look at how much spots cost on other shows," he said. "The reach is incredible at the Super Bowl, so on a lot of other shows on which you may be advertising there's a real question if whether people are fast-forwarding through the commercials or going to grab a drink. Here you have a higher percentage of people paying attention to the ads."