These 14 ads were all winners at the Super Bowl. Here's why.

Hard data, from biometric monitoring to real-time surveys, tells us that these are the most successful ads of Super Bowl LVI

The author(s)

  • Pedr Howard SVP, Creative Excellence
  • Rachel Rodgers Senior Vice President, Creative Excellence
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For many of us, the commercials are the highlight of the Super Bowl: Brands bring their A game – and their A++ budgets. Appealing though it may be to single out a "winner," more sophisticated and rigorous research shows how little sense that makes.

Ipsos leveraged its depth and breadth to analyze the ads through both traditional and cutting-edge methods – from live biometrics to surveys to social listening. This combination of approaches provides a more robust and nuanced picture of Super Bowl success.

Ipsos combined four different data sources to provide a fast, agile and accurate look at the holistic performance of Super Bowl commercials:

  • Live biometrics: Ipsos, IVP Research Labs, Schlesinger Group and Shimmer Research partnered to provide live biometric monitoring and analysis of this year’s Super Bowl. They used Shimmer Research’s NeuroLynQ biometric technology to measure fans’ emotional responses.
  • Creative|Spark: 17 Super Bowl ads & trailers selected for robust evaluation. Sample: 150 general population respondents per ad. Creative|Spark fuels the creative process by helping advertisers and agencies quickly learn, evaluate and optimize creative to power brand growth.
  • Fast Facts: After the game, Ipsos surveyed 1,000 adults on its Ipsos Digital platform. Fast Facts lets you create your survey questions and get fast answers from our quality sample. View results in an interactive dashboard, export charts in PowerPoint or tables in Excel.
  • Synthesio+SIA: The Ipsos Social Intelligence Analytics team used the Synthesio platform to track and analyze 2.8 million Super Bowl-related social mentions. 

This year we saw a return to the more light-hearted Super Bowl advertising of years gone by, coupled with strong nostalgia references and of course a ton of celebrities. Here are our awards for the top performers.

The Happy CFO Award: Kia

For automakers this year, the electric vehicle was the star of the Super Bowl. We saw a variety of brands trying different messaging angles in this relatively nascent category. Kia focused on range, celebrating living life fully-charged with an adorable robot dog. This ad told viewers something new. The result: High short-term and long-term sales and equity effects for the brand, according to Creative|Spark, predicting strong ROI.


Best Tearjerker: Toyota

Toyota does it again! A repeat winner in this category, the car brand smartly crosses over its Paralympics sponsorship to the Super Bowl. Data from our live GSR monitoring showed this ad achieving some of the highest emotional response. It was also the most recalled auto brand spot. The inspiring story of Paralympic winners, the McKeever brothers, with its powerful message of resilience and brotherhood, resonated with many viewers.


Misfit Award: Coinbase

This ad deliberately set out to bore us for a full minute. In the Super Bowl gladiatorial arena, this is pretty gutsy. Coinbase gets our award for the counter-conventional approach, essentially a $15 promotion rooted in the assumption we would all have a phone in-hand. While every other crypto ad played up category benefits of "the next big thing in investing," Coinbase did their own thing. The approach garnered the highest number of mentions on social media, as well as an overload of responses that crashed the site.


Best Use of Celebs: Lay’s

Frito-Lay went all out with the recruitment of A-list celebrities, but importantly, they accrued the value to their brand. The integration of Lay’s chips into the hilarious friendship memories of Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd pays off with strong brand linkage, resulting in an ad that will work hard for the brand (high predicted sales effect). The ad also was judged highly entertaining and built engagement as it progressed (as measured by biometric response at our live event.).


Best Use of Nostalgia: Chevrolet

Super Bowl commercials often bring back old favorites. Chevy’s ad for Silverado EV stood out this year via positive sentiment across social media comments with its homage to the opening sequence of "The Sopranos." This wasn’t just a case of spinning the nostalgia wheel to grab attention. It harnesses imagery rich in American authenticity and meaning, true to the brand, to message about a contemporary electric truck. A lesson for established brands on how to move with the times. 


Best Brand Expansion: Uber Eats

Viewers ate up what Uber Eats delivered. The ad highlighted Uber’s business line extension by showing celebrities nibbling on a variety of non-food household items delivered in an Uber Eats bag. People clearly understood that the service now goes beyond just delivering food, according to our data. The ad showed strong social potential which was borne out when Gwyneth Paltrow set Twitter aflame. 


Most Inclusive: Google Pixel 6

Super Bowl LVI saw a renewed focus on entertainment in the ads, but almost 40% of viewers thought brands brought more diversity and inclusion too. The standout here was Google, for its Pixel 6 phone and new Real Tone camera technology. This ad evidenced a move to integrate inclusive thinking into product design, as well as marketing. The spot was notable for its authenticity in execution, too. 


Brand Hijack Award: Rocket Homes/Mortgage

Leaning into affection for the Barbie Dream House helped Rocket to stand out. This ad was memorable and had high social power, according to Creative|Spark. Through a humorous story blending childhood toy figures with Anna Kendrick and present-day homebuying woes, Rocket succeeded in building positive connection to its own brand.



Often overlooked in any review is that TV and movie trailers are paying just the same rates as brands (unless you are the host network.) Here are our awards for the top performers in the entertainment category.

Biggest Entertainment Splash: 'Jurassic World Dominion'

Technically airing pre-game, the final installment in the "Jurassic Park" franchise received the most organic recall and interest of all the trailers. Universal took full advantage of the nearly 2 min spot to showcase the film’s full range of exhilarating and comedic elements and the fusion of its old and new cast all underscored by a gentle, yet dramatic rendition of the iconic ‘Journey to the Island’ theme song.


Best Entertainment Tease: 'The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power'

After a number of teasers, Prime Video released the first look at the highly anticipated series. Heavy build-up to this moment created hype among the franchise’s fans as they were fully tuned into the spot and eager to know more about the prequel. This teaser trailer highlighted the scale of the series, along with new and returning characters.  While social chatter was high, it revealed many questions remain around how the series will be brought to life.


Best Entertainment Use of Nostalgia: 'Bel-Air'

A consistent theme for all Super Bowl ads this year, nostalgia was also central to streamers and studios showcasing upcoming titles, many either as reboots or a reimagining of beloved IP. No trailer used nostalgia to its benefit more than Peacock’s "Bel-Air," which featured the star of the original series, Will Smith, introducing a new generation of fans to "Bel-Air" through a remix of the song used during the opening credits of the original series.


G(OAT) Entertainment Platform: Disney+

An unconventional take on a brand spot, Disney+ put literal goats at the forefront of their variety message to serve as an adorable, yet clever metaphor for their second to none catalog of content. The use of a single setting and narrator is a departure from the standard "streamer sizzle" and serves as a nice reprieve on viewers' cognitive load, resulting in high positive emotional response and solid branded attention. 


Best Entertainment Range: Peacock

Peacock showed all their colors by highlighting their depth of original and live content throughout the big game. With spots for "Bel-Air," the Olympic Games, "Joe vs. Carole," "Marry Me" and "WrestleMania," Peacock was omnipresent – and it worked. Peacock was the most recalled streaming service among those surveyed after the big game. 


Two Birds with One Stone: Netflix

Leveraging its weekly movie releases for the year in the first half and featuring "The Adam Project" in the second, this spot maximized its 60-second window to drive strong interest in both the platform and the film itself.

 

The author(s)

  • Pedr Howard SVP, Creative Excellence
  • Rachel Rodgers Senior Vice President, Creative Excellence

Media & Brand Communication