6 Super Bowl Commercial Winners and Losers

It’s that time of year, Super Bowl LII is here! In a day and age that is mostly digital, it’s important to market yourself well during the Super Bowl season. Marketing during the Super Bowl is an incredible way to create brand awareness, social media interaction, and top-of-mind recall.

5 Points For Why Digital Marketing is Important During the Super Bowl

  1. The 2017 Super Bowl was the third-most-watched broadcast in U.S. TV history with a population of 111.3 million viewers.
  2. It’s in the top 8 all time of most viewed US TV broadcasts.
  3. This is the biggest stage for commercials with 30 second spots going for $5 million as of last year – that’s a whopping $166,667 per second.
  4. This is the biggest stage for advertisers, but bidding and winning a 30 second spot is only the first step in the battle.
  5. The companies want to put all their chips into the commercials because they can either make or break your company’s success.

3 Key Points For a Memorable Commercial

Create a Story

While many ads want to get a quick laugh out of their viewer, the companies who go for the meaningful story route will stick in the mind of the buyer much longer. But here’s the tricky part – finding the middle ground between the two.

If a commercial is just a simple, easy joke then its going to make you laugh, but you probably won’t laugh at it the second time. On the other hand, if the commercial’s storyline is too dense then it will lose your attention before those 30 seconds are even over. The key is the find the balance between the two to ensure it sticks in the viewer’s mind.

Build Your Brand

The company’s brand needs to be tied into the story and by simply showing the logo at the end of the commercial on a black screen for the last 2 seconds. The story of the ad needs to be tied in with the brand’s image. If a story revolves around Clydesdale horses, 99% of the time the viewer will associate the ad with Budweiser without having the need to be reminded of the company’s logo throughout the commercial. The advertises should make sure the viewer not only remembers the storyline, but also the brand being represented.

Maintain Equity

“Super Bowl equity” is the idea that the more consistency a brand has of advertising in the Super Bowl, the more success they will have with viewers. Many dotcom companies are one-and-dones, so their influence won’t sit very heavily among the average viewer, while a consistent brand such as Doritos will have viewers glued to their seats to not miss any of the ad.

Every Super Bowl viewer looks forward to the Doritos commercial. Why is that? Because it has equity. It’s there every year and back with a new and improved story line and fierce brand image. It’s memorable and people are excited to see their newest commercial because the brand has built equity around its name.


Doritos (2007 Live The Flavor)

  • The first ever consumer created commercial.
  • Also helped Doritos to drop the costs of hiring an ad agency while simultaneously engaging its most loyal customers.
  • The consumer-made ad competition led to a 12% increase in sales of Doritos in January, 2007.

Budweiser (2014, puppy commercial)

  • Most popular commercial according to a study by Tivo.
  • This is the perfect example of the story, brand, and equity coming together for a perfect commercial. “Puppy Love” is a continuation of the previous year’s ad, “Brotherhood”, storyline, which is something very few brands have ever done.
  • Budweiser did a great job of reaching their target audiences. With the number of women viewers increasing every year, some ads have missed the mark on appealing to them, but Budweiser hit the nail on the head using emotional appeal.

Coke (1980, “Mean” Joe Greene)

  • Probably one of the most influential super bowl commercials to ever air.
  • Inspired an hour long NBC spot the following year with the story of “Mean” Joe Greene adopting a young boy called The Steeler and the Pittsburgh Kid.
  • Multiple versions were created, even international ones crossing other sport platforms.
  • This commercial struck the hearts of many viewers.

Losers (2007-2015)

  • Each time one of these commercials came on, they made everyone cringe and countdown the seconds until they were over.
  • They were on the same level of awkwardness as watching a kissing scene on a TV show with your parents in the room.
  • Every year, viewers couldn’t wait to see the new GoDaddy commercial but the second it came on, they immediately regretted watching it.
  • The streak of commercials stopped in 2016 because GoDaddy wanted to revamp their image away from scantily clad women and more to business owners needing a website domain.

Nationwide (2015, dead kid)

  • It’s all bad. No coming back from that one.
  • Nationwide immediately received negative criticism of the ad, and they admitting to completely missing the mark.
  • For the entire year, Nationwide was associated with a “dead kid” image.

Fiat 500X (2015, viagra car)

  • This commercial’s message left viewers lost in translation coming from Italy over to the United States. It ended up creeping out a lot of viewers.
  • From January to October of the year the commercial aired, Fiat sold 5,634 500X vehicles. With an average net profit of $850 each, the company made $4.8 million on them in the first 10 months of 2015. This was not even enough to cover the expense of the $5 million commercial.

What will Super Bowl LII bring in terms of commercial winners and losers?

Tune in to find out!

Teams: New England Patriots vs Philadelphia Eagles

Date: Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018 | Time: 6:30 p.m. ET

Location: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN

TV: NBC | Live streamNBC Sports LivefuboTV

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email
Scroll to Top