Super Bowl ads are known for generating buzz—and viewers—but not all creatives are created equal. Nielsen reveals America’s most liked commercials over the past five years, and the NFL itself tops the list. Regardless of category, emotional appeals, humor, non-fatal violence, and animals bolster quality ads and strongly resonate with consumers when executed well.
Of the 144 brands that have advertised during the Super Bowl over the past five years, only a handful of companies have had a presence in every one. From 2007-2011, these seven have earn honorable mentions for being the most resilient Super Bowl advertisers—Budweiser, CareerBuilder, Coca-Cola, Doritos, E*Trade, GoDaddy.com, and the NFL—and five also hold the distinction of being among the ten best liked Super Bowl ads of the past five years.
Nielsen’s Top 10 Most Liked Super Bowl Ads, 2007-2011
- 12008 • Super Bowl XLII
NFL Chester Pitts walks onto the Houston Texans team (:60)
- 22008 • Super Bowl XLII
Budweiser A horse trains intensively to join the elite Clydesdales (:60)
- 32010 • Super Bowl XLIV
Snickers Betty White and Abe Vigoda are tackled (:30)
- 42009 • Super Bowl XLIII
Budweiser Clydesdale wants to play his version of fetch (:30)
- 52011 • Super Bowl XLV
Volkswagen Mini Darth Vader uses the Force to turn on a car (:30)
- 62008 • Super Bowl XLII
Coca-Cola Stewie, Wonder Dog, and Charlie Brown balloons compete for soda (:60)
- 72008 • Super Bowl XLI
Doritos Man faces consequences of snacking while driving (:30)
- 82008 • Super Bowl XLII
Bridgestone Forest animals scream as car nearly hits a squirrel (:30)
- 92008 •Super Bowl XLII
E*Trade Baby says he rented a clown with his extra money (:30)
- 102009 • Super Bowl XLIII
Doritos Man has magical powers when he crunches his snack chip (:30)
Only ad executions during Super Bowl airings from 2007-2011 considered. The Likeability Score is the percentage of TV viewers who report to like “a lot” an ad they were exposed to during the normal course of viewing TV (among those recalling the brand of the ad). These scores are then indexed against the mean score for all new ads during the period (Likeability Index). 100 equals average.
For example, with a Likeability index of 179 the top ranked NFL ad has proven to be 79 percent better-liked than the average Super Bowl commercial during the past four-week period.