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The Top 5 Ads from Super Bowl 50

By Autumn Rivers – Contributing Writer, The Marketing Scope.

We all have our personal favorites when it comes to Super Bowl ads, but sometimes what you would consider an entertaining commercial actually ranks pretty poorly from a marketing standpoint. That’s why we have USA Today’s Ad Meter, which looks at how a focus group of 136 adults responded to each ad when it aired. This tool gives us a chance to see which marketing tactics really work on Super Bowl audience members. Here’s an explanation of the top 5 ads winners, as well as what viewers really thought of the weird but strangely endearing Puppymonkeybaby.

1.Hyundai – First Date

With an average rating of 6.9 out of 10, Hyundai’s ad was the star of the Super Bowl’s commercial breaks. The 1-minute ad was amusing, which is no surprise since it starred comedian Kevin Hart. Clearly, Super Bowl audiences appreciate both humor and celebrity appearances.

According to the Ad Meter’s data, that’s especially true of viewers who live in Alaska, are female, or are in the $75,000 to $100,000 income bracket. And younger viewers found it particularly amusing, considering that those under age 21 rated it higher than any other age group.

2.Heinz – Weiner Stampede

Ever wonder why so many Super Bowl ads feature animals doing cute, silly stuff? Because this tactic works, and this ad proved it once again, achieving a 6.63 rating from viewers. People like adorable animals, so find a clever way to associate them with your brand if you want to grab the attention of your audience. Bonus points if you dress them up and find a sentimental song to go along with whatever they’re doing in your ad.

This Heinz commercial did particularly well among viewers ages 50 to 64, along with viewers in Arkansas. It also scored the best among female viewers, as well as those in the $25,000 to $50,000 income bracket.

3.Doritos – Ultrasound

This Super Bowl 50 ad got a 6.6 rating from viewers and probably brought a smile to your face. You can’t go wrong with babies, chips, and proud fathers. This is definitely one of the ads people are still talking about, and most of the comments from viewers have been positive.

In particular, people in Hawaii seemed to love it, as this is where it got its highest rating. Viewers who are male, between ages 50 and 64, or make $75,000 to $100,000 rated this ad higher than most other viewers did.

4.Doritos – Doritos Dogs

This is another popular Super Bowl 50 ad that incorporates cute animals, so it’s definitely worth it to consider adding some clever dogs to your next commercial. It was rated 6.48 and was actually the winner of the Doritos Crash the Super Bowl contest.

The viewers who liked it most were in Nevada, in the $25,000 to $50,000 income bracket, or 65 and older. Slightly more females than males liked this ad. Looking at the ratings of this and the Weiner Stampede commercial, you might need some cute animals in your commercial if you want to grab the attention of older females who make between $25,000 and $50,000 per year.

5.Hyundai – Ryanville

Once again, Hyundai incorporated some star power into its ad by making it all about Ryan Reynolds, literally. The ad probably would have been fine if he had been featured once, but instead he was cast as every male character in the commercial. No wonder it got a rating of 6.27.

And while females certainly liked it a little more than males, the difference was slight, showing that a celebrity appearance is appreciated by most viewers. Another detail we know about the viewers who liked this ad the most are that they are age 21 or younger. They also live in Delaware and have an income of $75,000 to $100,000, though viewers who make $100,000 to $150,000 rated this ad very similarly.

The Bottom Line

As you can see, Doritos and Hyundai did very well with their Super Bowl ads this year. Hyundai’s other ad, The Chase, even placed 6th on the Ad Meter, which hints that the brand is doing something right with its commercials lately.

On the flipside, Jublia placed last on the Ad Meter. Then again, how many hearts are you going to win over when you’re marketing toenail fungus medicine? That’s a tough sell during the Super Bowl, when people don’t want to see anything too weird, gross, or depressing. Hence why Mountain Dew’s Puppymonkeybaby came in 55th place and has been referred to as nightmare fuel by many viewers.

Which Super Bowl 50 commercial most impressed you? Are you surprised by the top 5 ads on this list?

By Autumn Rivers – Contributing Writer, The Marketing Scope
Email:, Twitter: @AutumnEditing