Super Bowl Advertising

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Sorting the Winners From the Losers
The Smartest Brands Know the Big Game Is Won on YouTube, Not on TV

Americans love to keep score. On Feb. 1, Super Bowl Sunday, every advertiser, marketer and ad-minded consumer in America will go to bed elated (or maybe depressed), bellies full of too much nachos, wings and beer. The next day, they’ll wake up and log on to find out the winners of the USA Today Super Bowl Ad Meter, an annual survey of TV commercials conducted in a live poll during the Super Bowl broadcast.

Sadly, these inquisitive minds will get less than half the story.

When it comes to Super Bowl advertising, the data is clear: The smartest brands know the real game is won online, specifically on YouTube—not on TV. In fact, the best ads that kick proverbial USA Today Ad Meter butt are often not the same ads that do well online.

Let’s start with a seemingly simple example: Among last year’s Super Bowl commercials was a spot about a dad who kept saving his son from accidents. It showed that there comes a time in a boy’s life when dad simply can’t do what this brand’s automobile can do. It was a big consumer hit and a definite top 10 USA Today winner.

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