Super Bowl Commercials: the Good, the Bad and the Innovative.

Date Posted: February 9, 2015 by Ashley Bailey


Super Bowl commercials might be short in duration, but viewers around the world certainly don’t spend a short amount of time “YouTubing” them. This year, as of the day after the game, we have spent 4 million hours watching Super Bowl ads! So is that a lot of time? Last year, we spent about 2.2 million hours watching these video ads; the numbers nearly doubled! That’s not the only rising Super Bowl statistic- the price is certainly increasing too. The cost of a 30 second slot during the 2015 Super Bowl was $4.5 million…that’s $150,000 PER SECOND! For reference, the first Super Bowl was held in 1967, and they priced the commercials at just $41,000. This brings up the questions, what makes the large cost of these spots valuable? Are they really worth the investment?

The number one commercial for the2015 Super Bowl was by Budweiser. On top of the millions of views from people watching the game (which was the largest viewing audience for the event in history), Budweiser also received 21 million views on YouTube! More than that, people are invested in these commercials, and even save their bathroom breaks for the game as to not miss any! For those of you who may not have been able to hold it, we’ve recapped the good, the bad, and the innovative ads from the 2015 Super Bowl.

The Good:

While The Super Bowl is primarily known for heartfelt or hilarious videos created by beer and candy companies, this year things changed. Some of the most memorable commercials included PSAs. The NFL has received a lot of negative media coverage over the last year in regard to incidents of domestic violence linking back to their players, so they created a very compelling commercial to try and regain some trust while generating awareness and support for Domestic Violence sufferers. The subtle 911 call audio combined with images of a house in conflict brought an eerie reality to the painful occurrence, while asking that we listen to people asking for help and take a stand together. Using a different approach to build the Always feminine hygiene brand, #Fightlikeagirl empowered viewers to be more aware of the way they understand, portray and in turn, value contributions from women because of the effect of the negative perceptions have on the development of individuals, and society as a whole. This ad was very relevant with larger exposure to the feminist movement, while also joining forces with a cause, therefore adding brand value.

The Bad:

GoDaddy, who is known for the racy and humorous commercials, was forced to take down their commercial and make a last minute switch which in turn reduced their number of views to a fraction of what they would’ve been. The pulled video played off of Budweiser’s heartfelt puppy appeal, showing a lost puppy’s journey back to the family farm, only to be greeted with delight on being able to sell the puppy on her new GoDaddy Website. What was created in jest caused enough unrest among early viewers that the brand made the decision to forego the exposure. Some would wonder if that outcome may have been to GoDaddy’s benefit, with the added exposure before the spot even aired on National TV.

The Innovative:

Doritos continued their “Crash the Super Bowl” campaign where they solicit customer commercial entries for a chance to be selected as an official Doritos Super Bowl ad. Millions of people view and vote on the video submissions, and Doritos chooses one or two of those commercials to actually air during their slots. Not only does this leverage customer prizes like trips to the Super Bowl, or $1 Million and a dream job at Universal Pictures, but by actively engaging the brand with customers, Doritos gets more exposure, benefits from customer innovation, and connects more directly with the customer values/mindset.

With our love of all thing marketing, some of us here at i76 Solutions guessed which brand commercials would be the most viewed. Here are the results:

1. Alexa – Budweiser (21 million views) #1 overall Super Bowl commercial!

2. Napoleon- T-Mobile & Kim Kardashian (13.1 million views) #3 overall Super Bowl commercial!

3. James – NFL Domestic Violence (5.7 million views) #8 overall Super Bowl commercial!

4. Michael – Skittles (1.2 million views)

5. Katie – Doritos (774,000 views)

6. Drew – GoDaddy (101,000 views)

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