Now that the big game has come and gone, and the Green Bay Packers have won the Lombardi Trophy for 2011, Nielsen has released its data on viewers’ favorite commercials. 2011 was unlike past years, with auto manufacturers stealing lasting impressions away from beverage and snack food producers.
When looking at the ratings for the Super Bowl commercials, Nielsen sorts overall impressions into three different categories: most-watched, best-liked, and most-recalled. The most-watched category is dependent purely on the number of television viewers the ad has during its timeslot during the game. With the exception of one, all of the top-viewed commercials of 2011 all aired during the last quarter of the game, where viewership had increased in anticipation of the final score. Using a “likeability index,” Nielsen is able to rank commercials in order of how much they were enjoyed and the amount of post-game buzz they created. For the first time ever, more than one automotive advertisement cracked the top 10 list in likability and in fact they took over half of the list. Similar to the likeability index is a “recall index,” rating how easily an ad is fully remembered (both brand and content) after its airing.
Taking the number one spot as most watched commercial went to Chevrolet’s “Miss Evelyn” Camaro ad. The ad followed the daydreaming narration of two guys, making up their dream Camaro commercial. A beautiful woman drives her way through a hair-raising chase scene in what turns out to actually be her commute to work as a school teacher.
The best-like award was picked up by another automaker, Volkswagen. Not only did its “Black Beetle” ad make it to the number six spot, “The Force” commercial with a little Darth Vader took the top ranking. The pint-sized Sith Lord out-liked all the other commercials last Sunday night with 15 more points on Nielsen’s “likeability index” than the number two commercial, Bridgestone’s beaver-centric “Carma” ad. Honorable mentions go to Chrysler’s “Born of Fire” two-minute ad starring Eminem (#8) and Audi’s “Release the Hounds” escape from old luxury (#10).
However, automakers did not have a full sweep of Nielsen’s top rankings: the most-recalled commercial came from Doritos. Its “Pug Attack” ad with the dog knocking down a glass door to get some chips was the number one most remembered commercial from the night, with two of its other ads ranking in at numbers three and seven, respectively. Super Bowl viewers liked their food, as all but two of the top 10 commercials ranked by Nielsen as most-recalled were from food and beverage makers.