Ahh, who doesn’t love a good bit of commercials being interrupted by football every two minutes? HA! Kidding (kind of). The Superbowl has long been known for their ads, making it a “must watch” event for marketers.
So, everyone had to put out their best work, right? Eh. I was the nerd that spent two hours on Google Trends this afternoon to see who really stood out against the competition.
Audi vs. Porsche
Alright, first up – Audi. In case you didn’t catch the spot, let me recap for you: 1 minute of Maisie Williams singing “Let It Go” while navigating through traffic in a silver Audi.
Their competitor – Porshe. This spot shows a heist that starts within the Porsche Museum and follows a car chase (that includes many past models). The car being driven is a new electric model and the screen ends with the tagline “Finally, an electric car that steals you.”
If you look at the trend peaks alone, Audi beat Porsche by 2x. But upon further investigation, it seems that it was actually Maisie Williams who may have won.
All of the rising queries around the Audi commercial included the word “girl.” When you take this into consideration, it’s safe to assume more people were worried about the young girl driving than they were the car being marketed.
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Porsche, on the other hand, had many rising queries around “electric” or “e tron.” In other words, people were looking up the product that Porsche was marketing.
Winner – Porsche, “The Heist”
Up next, let’s look at everyone’s favorite… BEER!
Bud Light vs. Budweiser
Bud Light had a few cameos in the many Tide commercials that ran throughout the game and they had two spots featuring Post Malone. Both spots were fun and silly, very traditional Super Bowl ads in my opinion.
Budweiser had one spot that encouraged America to “look past the label.” The footage featured a super-diverse cast, all from different walks of life, doing good deeds. And while I personally liked it… It was easy to overlook by many.
Bud Light beat Budweiser by a great deal and with an even deeper look, you’ll see that the commercial was… forgettable 😳 The rising queries related to Budweiser were all asking whether or not they even ran an ad – not exactly the goal.
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So, while you can say “well Budweiser was pretty close for only having one ad!” You can’t really give their lift too much praise as everyone was unsure whether or not Budweiser was there.
An even deeper look will give insight as to where Budweiser went wrong. For many years Budweiser has featured beautiful Clydesdales in their tear-jerking spots, and the rising queries show that those Clydesdales may have been what people were looking for.
So, the winner – Bud Light!
Hummus vs. Avocado
I’m not going to go too deep into this one because the Sabra hummus blew Avocados from Mexico out of the water in the terms of searches… But I want to talk about a few things that happened with these ads.
The Sabra hummus spot was *full* of celebrity guest appearances, all of which dipped something different in their hummus and promoting a social campaign #howimmus. Simple enough.
Avocados from Mexico, on the other hand, had a complex infomercial style spot promoting the “Avo Network.” It was a minute of silly avocado inspired products that made everyone in the room giggle.
However, again, Sabra won the searches by far. And for good reason, it seems.
Both of the top searches around this commercial INCLUDED THE BRAND NAME! It’s a marketers dream!
When I look at the commercials side by side, the only difference I see is that Sabra used less busy backgrounds and showed their logo a few more times throughout. Both had an end screen that sported their logo for two seconds.
Either way – Sabra wins!
Pop-Tarts vs. Cheetos vs. Pringles
Now, this was an interesting one!
Pop-tarts ran an ad with Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness. The spot promoted the new pretzel flavor in a fun early 2000s type way.
Cheetos laughed at themselves by pointing out the orange dust issue and singing “Can’t Touch This” in their :30 spot.
Pringles used Rick and Morty characters trapped in a commercial to push pickle Pringles and Pringles flavor stacking.
Now, this was an interesting one to look at, so please forgive all of the screenshots, but I couldn’t get enough of this info!
So, looking at Pop-Tarts first, much like Porsche, the top searches were all around the SINGULAR PRODUCT they were pushing. If I was in the Pop-Tarts C-Suite I would be jumping up and down. It’s not every day that people look up your products by name, but the commercial was executed extremely well (even if it didn’t have the most searches).
This fun commercial had the most search lift, but when looking at the numbers a few things stick out. The first is that 4 of the top 5 searches say “commercial” or “super bowl,” and the other query was “hot cheetos.”
None of the top queries were actually about the product being pushed by the brand. The one query about product was “hot cheetos,” which was not what Cheetos was trying to sell. So, was it really a win? Eh.
Pringles came in juuuuusttt behind Pop-Tarts in search lift, but much like the Cheetos queries, many of the searches were about the commercial itself.
Most of the queries were around the main characters, Rick and Morty. While those characters may speak to the viewing audience, does it really speak to the target market? I honestly don’t know.
But just going off of the numbers alone Rick and Morty may have more new viewers than Pringles will have new chip eaters :/
What do you think?
Most people would just look at the trend line and completely miss the fact that many of these brands had lift because of confusion or unrelated stars. It’s important that we always try to get a full picture with the numbers.
But, while I may be referencing search numbers, I don’t have actual hard numbers. I can’t tell you how the bottom line was affected, and at the end of the day, that’s what matters.
I’m curious though, what were your favorite commercials? Who do you think pushed products the best?