Most Engaging Superbowl Ads on YouTube – Volkswagen Takes #1 Slot

The party is over, the hangovers have cleared, we’ve squirmed at that kiss, fallen in love with those horses and all tried out our own (really bad) Caribbean accent on our friends. Now that the dust has settled, there will be marketing managers across America are figuring out how much value their prestigious, and abominably expensive, Superbowl ad spot earned their brand. Similarly, some ad agencies will be nervously waiting for that call from the client to explain why no one is talking about their ad.

Using the Unmetric platform, I analyzed all 45 videos from 32 brands to discover which marketing managers and ad agencies will be congratulating themselves and which ones will be preparing hurried excuses to discuss in the review meeting. All numbers are correct up to morning time of 5th February.

In terms of raw views, Toyota stole the show with close to 15m views. Infact, the top 6 ads in terms of views were all uploaded at the end of January, giving the brand enough time to promote and build buzz around their Superbowl slot. Samsung uploaded their ad after the Superbowl, but they had a teaser video running in the build up to the game which helped set the tone for the main ad. Ram Trucks, with their powerful Farmer ad, also uploaded their video after the game and clearly it left an impact on people as it gained a huge amount of views in a short space of time. Doritos jumped the gun a little bit, they uploaded their Superbowl ads on 4th January but weren’t able to build as many views in that time.

Total views of Superbowl ads

Getting a huge number of views is one thing, but creating an impact on the viewer is another. In the chart below, I sorted the videos by the number of Likes and also looked at the number of Dislikes and Comments. It’s interesting to see that two ads that touched the emotional chords received the most number of Likes. The Budweiser and Ram ads didn’t try to be funny, brash or clever but they didn’t need to be because they both told great stories. The VW ad, which went all out to be funny quite clearly went down well with the viewers, attracting over 34,000 Likes.

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However, it was that Kiss that has the most significant engagement. It’s one of just two videos that scored more Dislikes than Likes, although GoDaddy have since announced that they have broken revenue records after the ad was aired, so regardless of the cringe value, it certainly helped GoDaddy! The Toyota ad, with the beautiful Penny (err, Kaley Cuoco) as a man-hating genie, didn’t quite capitalize on its huge number of views, with it earning a ‘meh’ on the viewer engagement rating.

Engagement with Superbowl ads

So were there any winners or losers of the Superbowl ads? Well, if you were to force me to answer, I’d say that Budweiser’s Brotherhood ad was the most successful at building brand value. The Volkswagen ad was obviously great to get so many views but whether it added to the VW brand, I don’t know. The other ad that seemed to do well, getting both the views and engagement was the Audi ad. Uploaded on the 25th January, it reached over 8m views and generated a significant number of Likes and positive sentiment in the comments.

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