In a year that saw both teaser ads and full spot releases long before kickoff, as well as digital pre-game promotion and crowdsourcing efforts, Super Bowl XLVII may still be remembered mainly for its third quarter power outage. That's because many brands continue to miss the social engagement mark in their offerings for the big game, interactive marketing experts say.
But it's not all gloom and doom. Here's how -- and why -- they rank the winners and losers of Super Bowl advertising in 2013:
According to USA Today's Ad Meter, Budweiser's "Brotherhood" spot, which focuses on the bond a Clydesdale foal has with his trainer, was the top spot this year.
The heartwarming Budweiser ad also topped television/video analytics firm Ace Metrix's rankings of Super Bowl XLVII ads.
"Three things drive great ads -- emotion, humor and animals," says Ace Metrix CEO Peter Daboll. "Budweiser seemed to hit two of the three. The emotion scores put it in one of the top we've ever tested in terms of emotional connection, but it's not too sentimental, so it appealed to both beer drinkers and non-beer drinkers."
In fact, according to social video advertising firm Unruly's Viral Video Charts, Brotherhood is the #3 most shared Super Bowl commercial of all time with 1.8 million shares as of Monday afternoon.
Brotherhood narrowly beat Tide's "Miracle Stain," in Ad Meter rankings.
According to senior digital strategy advisor Augustine Fou, the Tide spot was one of the most effective this year.
"The lead-up didn't give away the ad itself -- [Stain Savers] was kind of a joke thing, trying to protect stains using a sticker, but it still had the value proposition of Tide in that it is effective in removing stains," Fou says. "The follow-up with the [Super Bowl] ad was really cool because it had Joe Montana in there for the 49ers and it had his wife wash [the Montana stain] out, so it built in the right two teams."
Another winner this year -- in large part because of the chance power outage -- is Oreo.
At 8:48pm, @Oreo tweeted, "Power out? No problem. pic.twitter.com/dnQ7pOgC," which went on to be retweeted more than 15,000 times.
According to Susan Burris, senior associate brand manager at Oreo parent Mondelez International, the Oreo team was watching the game with digital agency 360i in case there were opportunities to capitalize upon the brand's first Super Bowl spot -- and that's precisely what happened during the blackout when restless consumers could not watch the game.
"When the blackout happened, we thought, ‘Hey -- wait a minute -- [consumers] are not going to be watching the game right now -- they're going to reach for social media. How can Oreo help to continue that conversation?'" Burris says.
The resulting image, which was created Sunday night, helped Oreo gain about 8,000 followers.
"The great irony of this unique and riveting Super Bowl is most water cooler conversation tends to be talking about Oreo and their on-the-fly tweet -- not a $4 million ad," writes Simms Jenkins, CEO of BrightWave Marketing.
But while Oreo's Super Bowl spot, "Whisper Fight," may not have been the focus of conversations, it did contain a call to action at the end, which some say was sorely missing from other ads this year.
"I was looking for more social integration, but it seemed like it was worse than last year -- there was not much integration at all," Fou says. "There was no social call to action, [the ads] didn't tell people specifically to go to and continue to interact with social channels. It was literally traditional TV advertising."
Coca-Cola, which had a call to action, too -- it released a teaser, "Mirage," and asked for votes before releasing a final version after the game -- was among the losers of the night when CokeChase.com lost connectivity. Tweeted NetPlus Marketing CEO Robin Neifield, "Coke Chase spot was cool and I went to the site --- on my iPad where I got NOTHING. Same story on smart phone. Big fail coke."
Coca-Cola, which ranked just shy of USA Today Ad Meter's top ten, was #23 according to both Ace Metrix and Viral Video Charts, which said Mirage had about 25,000 shares overall.
Lincoln's #SteertheScript endeavor with Jimmy Fallon was also among the night's losers.
In fact, another Lincoln Super Bowl spot, "All New," which lacked star power and fan input and was just a regularly produced ad from an agency, scored much higher from Ace Metrix, Daboll says. The #SteertheScript spot was also near the bottom of USA Today's Ad Meter and Viral Video Charts' rankings.
Calvin Klein's "Concept" had the lowest score from Ace Metrix overall. It was also in the bottom five of USA Today's Ad Meter, along with several ads from Anheuser-Busch and GoDaddy.
"It was almost an exact repeat of the [David] Beckham ad from H&M [last year], which scored terribly," Daboll says of Calvin Klein. "People don't want to see men in underwear. It really comes back to: Have you tested against a broad demographic? Over 110 million people tested [Sunday night] and it probably offended or was not applicable to the vast majority of that group."
GoDaddy's "Perfect Match," featuring model Bar Refaeli, generated conversation -- social media intelligence agency Whispr Group says it yielded 290,000 tweets -- but it was not well-received overall. It finished at the bottom of the USA Today Ad Meter list and fared only slightly better with Ace Metrix at second to last.
Viral Video Charts ranked it at #8 with 109,000 shares.
But Whispr Group says GoDaddy had the lowest positive sentiment overall.
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Lisa Lacy is senior staff writer at ClickZ. In addition to ClickZ, her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Luxury Spot, LearnVest, MarthaStewart.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, amNewYork, and The Wall Street Journal. She's a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism.
December 12, 2013
1:00pm ET / 10:00am PT