Results are in: Super Bowl ads results show commercials drive demand

Woman relaxing at home in evening and watching TV

Had enough numbers for a while?  The most yards for a left-handed tight end in the second quarter when it was snowing? The youngest, the oldest, the most appearances, the highest spread, the highest ticket price….who cares? Maybe the left-handed tight end and his family. Numbers can be confusing, but if you have the right tools to understand them, they’re useful.

Did you watch the Super Bowl?  If you did, you’re part of 120 million estimated viewers. If you didn’t, you missed a great game, a good halftime show, and some good, and not-so-good commercials. 


It’s rumored advertisers paid an average of $7M for a 30-second ad in the Big Game.  There are thousands of ways to measure whether or not that was a good investment.  $7 million to reach 120 million?   Six cents per viewer doesn’t sound as scary.

You’ve probably already seen many rankings of Super Bowl commercials.  Viewers’ favorites. Come on, who doesn’t love Clydesdale?  Viewers’ least favorites.  The funniest. The most heart-warming.  The most what-just-happened?  There are polls and predictions and experts all weighing in. 

The “bottom line” is a business term.  It’s what’s left over when you take all the money a company makes and subtract all the money a company spends.  The bottom line is that advertising is a business.  Advertisers spent that $7M to make you buy something, not to entertain you or make you feel good.

Was it worth it?  Maybe.  This one for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups made CBS News’ Best Commercial list.  It’s only the second time in parent company Hershey’s 95-year history they’ve run in the Super Bowl. When Will Arnett announces, “Big changes are coming”, the initial reaction is “Nooooooooo!”  Luckily, it turns out that the change is adding a layer of caramel, and you can still buy the original version. The sales figures will ultimately tell if it was successful, but it’s a good bet that 120 million viewers gave it a huge boost in awareness.

For more about Hershey’s ad strategy for this brand, click here.

Here’s a commercial for a similar product.  It didn’t make any most popular lists – but the list it did make might be even better.  Our friends at @Accelerant Research are experts in measuring commercials.  Their panel has people all over the country with a dial in their hand in front of the TV.  They turn the dial up when they like part of a commercial, and down when they don’t.

Read about the real science behind turning peanut butter into actual diamonds here.

This commercial did extremely well in Accelerant’s list of Super Bowl ad test results.  How good?  Let’s use….oh no!  Not numbers. 

  • Nearly half of Super Bowl viewers (49%) found its content relevant
  • Nearly two-thirds (63%) of respondents preferred this commercial to other brands in similar categories
  • 67% would “Definitely/probably purchase” the product
  • 72% would recommend it to friends and family
  • And a whopping 97% remembered the ad was for M&Ms

Investment, ROI and Success

What about the bottom line? 

If one out of every 12 Super Bowl viewers bought one bag of peanut butter M&Ms for $4.79 at Big Lots, that ad would be paid for in one year.  But 97% of people remembered that ad.  Two-thirds would purchase it.  Those viewers are still going to be buying candy next year, and in the year after that, and the year after that.  What would that do to the bottom line and the ROI on advertising spending?

I know, they’re Mars Candy Company, a major international company with an obviously massive advertising budget.  What does that have to do with selling sandwiches or tires or anything in Albuquerque?  The principals are the same no matter what the scale.  You have products or services people want.  Potential buyers need to know what you’re selling.  You have to get the right message in front of enough people.  You know your business. We know how to craft your message and ensure it reaches the right people. We can suggest ways to measure your advertising campaign’s success.  Our “real science” doesn’t turn peanut butter into diamonds.  The real science we use turns business owners into smart marketers, and that goes right back to the bottom line.

Call Atomic Creative today at 505-803-1126 or email

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