Super Bowl 2015 Moments: These Brands Had Truly Memorable Ads

In addi­tion to the New Eng­land Patri­ots, brands like Fiat, Always, McDonald’s, Toy­ota and Bud Light were Super Bowl win­ners in their own ways.

Lisa Lacy By Lisa Lacy. Join the discussion » 0 comments

Super Bowl XLIX is offi­cial­ly in the record books. As the ad indus­try breathes a col­lec­tive sigh of relief and slow­ly emerges from its social media war rooms to con­front the rest of the year, Momen­tol­ogy has sur­veyed the inspi­ra­tion-filled, dad-packed, shock­ing, depress­ing, dis­ap­point­ing, dou­ble-take-caus­ing 2015 Super Bowl ad land­scape to dis­sect which brands pro­vid­ed the most mem­o­rable moments to mil­lions of cap­tive view­ers. Here’s our take on which brands stood out – and why.

Biggest Surprise: Fiat and Supercell

Elec­tron­ics retail­er Radio Shack had a sur­prise hit on its hands last year with its homage to the ’80s that left every­one buzzing. This year, there were two dark hors­es.

Ital­ian automak­er Fiat cer­tain­ly had a sur­prise win­ner on its hands with its slight­ly risqué spot The Fiat Blue Pill. The ad was ranked third over­all, with an aver­age rat­ing of 6.9 out of 10, per USA Today’s Ad Meter, in which 7,000 con­sumer pan­elists rat­ed each of the 61 Super Bowl XLIX com­mer­cials on a scale of 1 to 10.

The 60-sec­ond spot, which could per­haps even be con­sid­ered a cross-pro­mo­tion­al effort for the lit­tle blue pill it fea­tures, takes a humor­ous look at how the new 500X crossover mod­el got so pow­er­ful. The YouTube video has 360,000 views and the hash­tag #500X gen­er­at­ed about 1,100 tweets in 24 hours, per social search and ana­lyt­ics firm Top­sy.

Anoth­er unex­pect­ed hit came from game devel­op­er Super­cell, which is the com­pa­ny behind the game Clash of Clans. It enlist­ed the help of action star Liam Nee­son in its Revenge spot and not only does the YouTube video have 8.6 mil­lion views and count­ing, it also ranked 17th among Super Bowl ads over­all with an Ad Meter rat­ing of 6.1.

Best Repurposed Content: Always

Proc­ter and Gam­ble fem­i­nine hygiene brand Always had a viral hit on its hands when it first released its #LikeA­Girl video in June 2014 to “[kick] off an epic bat­tle to make sure that girls every­where keep their con­fi­dence through­out puber­ty and beyond, and [make] a start by show­ing them that doing it #LikeA­Girl is an awe­some thing.”

The orig­i­nal spot has 54.5 mil­lion views.

The brand cut down the 3‑minute spot for Super Bowl XLIX and had anoth­er win­ner. The abbre­vi­at­ed ver­sion was ranked the num­ber two ad over­all by Ad Meter and had an aver­age score of 7.1.

In addi­tion, the hash­tag #likea­girl gen­er­at­ed 272,000 men­tions in 24 hours, per Top­sy.

In addi­tion, Twit­ter says Always was the sec­ond most talked about brand on the net­work dur­ing the game with 455,695 men­tions.

Best of the Inspirational Content: Microsoft and McDonald’s

Of the many brands that embraced inspi­ra­tional mes­sag­ing in 2015, a few stood out.

Microsoft’s Bray­lon spot, which is part of the brand’s #empow­er­ing video series that “[cel­e­brates] empow­er­ing sto­ries of peo­ple who achieve their goals, helped in part by Microsoft tech­nol­o­gy,” was rat­ed the fourth ad over­all with a score of 6.7, per Ad Meter. Fur­ther, the hash­tag #empow­er­ing gen­er­at­ed 13,000 tweets in 24 hours, accord­ing to Top­sy.

McDonald’s, too, struck a chord with its Pay with Lovin’ spot, which ranked 10th with a score of 6.5 from Ad Meter. It also has 2.9 mil­lion views as of Feb­ru­ary 2.

What’s more, TV adver­tis­ing ana­lyt­ics firm Ace Metrix gave the McDonald’s spot an Ace Score, or a met­ric that exam­ines per­sua­sion and watch­a­bil­i­ty, of 704 and tweet­ed, “We’re think­ing @McDonalds’ ad will be the one to beat.”

And, per Twit­ter, McDonald’s was the most talked about brand this year with 634,310 men­tions dur­ing the live win­dow of the game.

It is also notable that Coca-Cola was no slouch in the inspi­ra­tion depart­ment with its anti-web-bul­ly­ing #MakeI­tHap­py spot, which Ad Meter rat­ed eighth over­all with a score of 6.5. The YouTube ver­sion has 2.6 mil­lion views and the hash­tag spurred 102,000 men­tions in 24 hours, accord­ing to Top­sy.

Best of Dadvertising: Toyota

Of all the dad ads, Toy­ota’s My Bold Dad ranked high­est per Ad Meter, com­ing in at sev­enth over­all with a rat­ing of 6.6. On YouTube itself, the ad has about 100,000 views and the hash­tag #OneBold­Choice, which was asso­ci­at­ed with Toyota’s broad­er cam­paign, had about 5,600 men­tions in 24 hours, per Top­sy.

Nis­san’s 90-sec­ond #with­dad spot was close behind at ninth on Ad Meter’s list with a score of 6.5. It has 1.4 mil­lion views and the hash­tag has about 22,000 men­tions.

Dove Men+Care, which also went to the dad well in its #Real­Strength spot, was ranked 13th over­all by Ad Meter.

Best of the Typical Fare: Bud Light

Bud Light also scored big with its Coin spot fea­tur­ing “a real-life game of Pac­Man [for] one Bud Light fan who was #UpFor­What­ev­er.” It ranked 16th over­all, accord­ing to Ad Meter, and has 14.2 mil­lion views.

Per YouTube, this Super Bowl spot was the platform’s sec­ond most pop­u­lar this year, behind only Budweiser’s Lost Dog.

And, accord­ing to Viral Video Charts, the spot had a true reach of near­ly 5 mil­lion as of Jan­u­ary 30.

Best at Bumming Out Viewers: Nationwide

After teas­ing a quirky and fun spot with writer/actress Mindy Kaling and the hash­tag #Invis­i­ble­Mindy, Nation­wide deliv­ered a pay­off in the form of spokesman Matt Damon in Invis­i­ble, which Ad Meter ranked 21st over­all with a score of 5.9.

Fur­ther, Kaling her­self tweet­ed a pho­to of the self­ie she took with Damon from her own Twit­ter account in a post that gen­er­at­ed 14,000 retweets and 33,000 favorites.

From there, how­ev­er, the insur­ance brand took a decid­ed­ly dark­er turn in its Make Safe Hap­pen spot, which focused on pre­ventable acci­dents as the lead­ing cause of child­hood deaths. It has about 1.5 mil­lion views and the #make­safe­hap­pen hash­tag spurred 5400 men­tions, but the heavy theme didn’t go over well with foot­ball-watch­ing con­sumers, who ranked it 46th on Ad Meter with an aver­age score of 4.8.

Best Surprise Cameo: Esurance

Poor Lind­say Lohan. She just can’t win.

Lohan’s spot for insur­ance brand Esurance was a humor­ous but for­get­table one, while actor Bryan Cranston’s sur­prise re-appear­ance as meth king­pin Wal­ter White in the brand’s sec­ond spot, Say My Name, was third on Ad Meter’s list of the Most Under­rat­ed Super Bowl com­mer­cials of 2015 and was ranked 24th over­all with score of 5.7.

Inter­est­ing­ly, Cranston’s for­mer co-star, Aaron Paul, did voiceover work for Weight Watch­ers’ first Super Bowl com­mer­cial, which includ­ed per­haps a more sub­tle nod to the role that rock­et­ed him to fame along­side Cranston. Ad Meter ranked it 41st.

Best “Real-Time” Campaign: Chevy

Amer­i­can auto brand Chevy fooled a lot of view­ers into think­ing their TVs had gone out in a spot meant to ham­mer home a point about built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi in its Col­orado mod­el. Ad Meter rat­ed it 39th over­all with a score of 5.1.

Biggest Carbon Copies: Budweiser and Jeep

Bud­weis­er had anoth­er big win­ner in recy­cling the pup­py theme from its huge 2014 hit, Pup­py Love, in 2015’s #Best­Buds, which was Ad Meter’s top ad over­all this year and received an aver­age rat­ing of 8.1. That gives Bud­weis­er the best over­all ad for the third year in a row, Ad Meter says.

It seems con­sumers haven’t tired of the con­tent as the sec­ond spot has an impres­sive 21 mil­lion views to date and count­ing. And, per Twit­ter, with near­ly 372,000 men­tions dur­ing the live game win­dow, Bud­weis­er was the third most-talked-about brand on Twit­ter on Feb­ru­ary 1. In addi­tion, Jeep’s 90-sec­ond Beau­ti­ful Lands spot was sim­i­lar to Coke’s #Amer­i­cathe­Beau­ti­ful ad last year and The North Face’s Your Land spot. But it still res­onat­ed with Super Bowl view­ers, rank­ing 15th with a score of 6.1, Ad Meter says.

Biggest Super Bowl Ad Hangover: Jublia

Hop­ing to cap­ture the atten­tion of the 1 in 10 Amer­i­cans who suf­fer from toe­nail fun­gus, Jublia made a big play in the 2015 game with its Tack­le It spot, but it was ranked the sec­ond worst ad over­all by Ad Meter with a score of just 3.2 and only 3,700 views on YouTube.

In oth­er words, the Super Bowl’s first-ever toe­nail fun­gus spot came in 60th out of 61 ads and, in the clear light of day, Valeant exec­u­tives may well wish they had allo­cat­ed that $4.5 mil­lion dif­fer­ent­ly.

What do you think was most mem­o­rable about the Super Bowl ads this year?

Lisa Lacy

Written by Lisa Lacy

Lisa is a senior features writer for Inked. She also previously covered digital marketing for Incisive Media. Her background includes editorial positions at Dow Jones, the Financial Times, the Huffington Post, AOL, Amazon, Hearst, Martha Stewart Living and the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.

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