Super Bowl Commercials 2021: Interactive Report Card
by Infegy Research Team on February 8, 2021
How did global audiences react to this year’s Super Bowl commercials? Did the ads resonate with viewers enough for them to chime in online?
The answers are below. Not just any answers. Data-driven answers. These aren’t hot takes from some blogger who thinks they’re in the know. This isn’t a commercials review either (although we have our opinions).
This is the official breakdown of how millions upon millions of people discussed their thoughts and feelings in real time about the ads that aired during Super Bowl 55. While we all are still nursing a Super hangover, our social listening platform, Infegy Atlas, has been hard at work analyzing the data.
We measured the data and reveal how consumers responded to the commercials during Super Bowl LV by the following:
- Post Volume Share - percentage of online posts about this ad compared to other Super Bowl ads
- Sentiment - percentage of positive or negative online posts
- Emotions - percentage of online posts that expressed emotion
The 2021 Super Bowl Commercials Report Card
This is what you’re here for, right? We've put together the ultimate, interactive, data-driven report card, featuring social listening analysis of millions of online social posts about each brand’s Super Bowl commercials. Here's a preview:
You have instant access to the interactive report card so you can see how each brand's spots ranked by mentions, positivity, and emotionality. The list is sortable by metric and searchable by brand so you can easily find what you're looking for.
You’ve got the scorecard. Now, let’s dive into what these insights mean by quickly reviewing which brands came out on top.
Winners and Losers
Before we list the winners and losers from Super Bowl 55 commercials, we should define those terms.
Obviously, whether or not an ad campaign is a success is largely dependent on the brand’s individual goals. But if we wanted to judge by which commercials sparked the most buzz across the social media landscape, and which ads had the most positive reactions, we arrive at some pretty clear winners and not-so-winners:
Bud Light - "Legends"
Post Volume Share: 3.4% | Sentiment: 50% | Emotionality: 24%
The Bud Light Super Bowl commercial brought all of their legendary Super Bowl ads back for a reunion, and social listening analysis of online conversations show that viewers had a strong dose of nostalgia for this one. This commercial from ad agency Wieden + Kennedy had all the throwbacks we could ever ask for, including the "Real Man of Genius" guy!
M&Ms - "Come Together"
Post Volume Share: 2.5% | Sentiment: 69% | Emotionality: 14%
"I really shouldn't have done that" is something all of us should be saying lately. And M&Ms and agency BBDO New York nailed it according to consumers who mentioned this ad with high positivity, finding humor in the fact that we are a flawed society. Sorry if your name is Karen.
Toyota - "Upstream"
Post Volume Share: 2.66% | Sentiment: 60% | Emotionality: 31%
Toyota was one of the many groups that went for powerful and raw emotion. This ad featuring a mom who adopts a disabled child who grows up to be a competitive swimmer got that reaction from audiences who, overall, responded positively and expressed a high amount of emotions. 31% of all posts expressed an emotion. Count us as one who had tears in our eyes.
Doritos - "Flat Matthew McConaughey"
Post Volume Share: 6.3 | Sentiment: 82 | Emotionality: 8%
Doritos won big in sentiment analysis with this spot from agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. Garnering 82% positive feedback from online audiences, it was one of the most highly mentioned ads of the night. And there was flat Matthew McConaughey.
Robinhood - "Born Investor"
Post Volume Share: 1.6% | Sentiment: 17% | Emotionality: 20%
People appear to be onto Robinhood. The company tried to capitalize on their moment of virality and received poor sentiment from online audiences. Their 17% positivity rate was the lowest of the night and a high emotion percentage suggests there were a lot of negative emotions around the ad.
Oatly - "Wow"
Post Volume Share: 4.2% | Sentiment: 20% | Emotionality: 22%
Oatly accomplished something with its bizarre ad featuring its CEO singing and playing keys in the middle of an oat field: getting people talking. They took home a high amount of online conversations. Unfortunately, most of it was negative.
Nintendo Switch - "Switch and Play"
Post Volume Share: .15% | Sentiment: 23% | Emotionality: 7%
The author of this article kind of enjoyed Nintendo's goofy ad. But elsewhere online it was a blip on the radar, registering low volume, low sentiment and low emotionality. When it comes to online reaction, this one was a nothingburger.
Now, let’s look at how we analyzed the ads.
How We Analyzed Audience Reactions to the Brands’ Super Bowl Ads
Social listening allows you to understand if the commercials are resonating with the audience in a profound way. With it, you can analyze the massive universe of online conversation to pinpoint what people say about a chosen topic at any point in time and in real time.
So, to look at how audiences reacted to the Super Bowl commercials - and get a precise analysis and report card the following day - you can input a series of queries into our social listening tool related to the brands and ads that aired during the game. These queries can range from specific about the ad itself, or more general about conversations about the brand during the Super Bowl.
For example, if you want to analyze conversations about the Doritos Super Bowl commercial starring Matthew McConaughey, Jimmy Kimmel and Mindy Kaling, you can look at how audiences mention “Super Bowl”, “#SuperBowl” or “Super Bowl LV” along with these terms:
Doritos, #doritos, "Matthew McConaughey", "#Matthew McConaughey", "flat Matthew McConaughey", “Jimmy Kimmel”, #JimmyKimmel, “Mindy Kaling”, etc.
Then, the social listening tool does the heavy lifting for you, spitting out insights instantly to help you see how these audiences reacted.
For the Doritos commercial, it took a 6.3% share of the mentions and 82% percent of the conversations were positive in sentiment, suggesting that the ad was a winner.
But volume and sentiment don’t tell the full story. Did the ad register in a significant way for these audiences that may influence their behavior or interaction with this brand in some way? We analyzed emotions to see if people expressed emotions like love, joy, sadness, happiness, anger or trust for each of these ads. Go to the scorecard to see and sort the rankings by emotion.
Knowing this with an instant analysis of these social conversations provides vital clues as to how well the ad was received and whether or not people connected with the ad in a relevant way.
Leveraging social listening like this allows you to track and analyze the online response to your ad campaigns across social media, forums, and microblogs. Then you’ll instantaneously gauge how well your ad was received and see if there are any potential consumer behavioral changes influenced by your commercial.
This year’s Super Bowl commercials had tons of new and complex implications. With so many brands - many of them stalwarts of Super Bowl advertising - sitting out this year’s big game for one reason or another, there’s a long list of key questions that data can only begin to help answer:
- Does it make sense to advertise at big events during a pandemic?
- Did brands who never advertised during the Super Bowl succeed in their campaigns?
- Do Super Bowl ads resonate with consumers that turn them into customers or keep them loyal?
- In a post-2020 world, do audiences want heartfelt messages or do they want comic relief?
These, among many other questions, can find answers if you listen carefully to how audiences talk online.
Social listening platforms like Infegy Atlas can help your team plan and strategize your ad campaigns as well analyze their success after the fact. Further, it can provide actionable insight about consumer trends and allow you to make data-driven predictions about what’s next for your brand or within your industry.
This type of intuitive understanding of the consumer psyche, especially during bumpy waters and uncertain times, will provide you much-needed insight as you navigate the wild times in 2021 and beyond.
Reach out to our team to get a custom demo of our social listening platform or for a free walk-through of the data with our research team here.
Article Written By: Derek Franks
Lead Researcher: Nicole Yancy
Contributors: Kristin Haynes, Ali Nilsen, Hillary Campbell, Mark Calcote