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Doritos’ Sling Baby Emerges as Most-Remembered and Best-Liked Super Bowl Ad
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Doritos’ Sling Baby Emerges as Most-Remembered and Best-Liked Super Bowl Ad

The Super Bowl showdown taking place during the game’s commercial breaks emerged with a clear winner this year: Doritos. According to Nielsen, the “Sling Baby” ad earned the rare distinction of both the most memorable and best-liked ad, while “Man’s Best Friend” also had a very strong showing in the top one-third of both lists. M&M’s “Just my Shell,” featuring LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It” joined Doritos in rounding out the top three. However, Super Bowl ads are arguably all winners: on average, they are 34 percent more memorable and 42 percent better liked than commercials that aired in January 2012.

The commercials joining the ranks of the Nielsen Top 10 Most-Remembered and Best-Liked Ads came from familiar brands that also were able to generate a large share of Super Bowl advertising buzz before and during the game. According to NM Incite, a Nielsen/McKinsey company, Pepsi had the most buzz among Super Bowl advertisers on game day; Coca-Cola, M&M’s, and Doritos also followed with a significant share of social media discussion.

The most-liked ads spanned a variety of categories, including food and beverage, financial services, and auto. Excluding Chrysler’s ad featuring Clint Eastwood, which touched on pushing through tough economic times, all of the most liked ads included humor.

Nielsen Top 10 Most-Remembered 2012 Super Bowl Ads

Recall Rank Brand Ad Description Recall Index
1 Doritos Grandma slings baby across yard to snatch chips (:30) 177
2 M&M’s M&M shows his milk chocolate (:30) 175
3 Doritos Dog buries cat and bribes owner with snack chips (:30) 173
4 Skechers Gorun — Little dog moonwalks across the finish line (:30) 164
5 Coca-Cola Polar bear has trouble catching bottle of soda (:60) 163
6 Bud Light Dog fetches drinks when his name is called (:60) 161
7 Pepsi Melanie Amaro dumps Sir Elton John into the king’s dungeon (:60) 155
8 Budweiser People drink beer from end of Prohibition to present (:60) 150
9 GoDaddy.com GoDaddy.co — Danica Patrick and Jillian Michaels body paint a model (:30) 149
10 Budweiser Americans celebrate the end of Prohibition (:60) 145

Nielsen Top 10 Best-Liked 2012 Super Bowl Ads

Likeability Rank Brand Ad Description Likeability Index
1 Doritos Grandma slings baby across yard to snatch chips (:30) 190
2 Doritos Dog buries cat and bribes owner with snack chips (:30) 182
3 M&M’s M&M shows his milk chocolate (:30) 171
4 E*Trade Baby gives new dad financial advice (:30) 158
5 Coca-Cola Polar bear crosses everything for good luck (:30) 152
6 Bud Light Dog fetches drinks when his name is called (:60) 143
7 Audi Vampires combust from car headlights (:60) 139
8 Chrysler Clint Eastwood talks about Detroit’s resilience (:120) 137
9 Chevrolet New grad is ecstatic about the wrong graduation gift (:30) 130
10 Honda CR-V — Matthew Broderick plays sick…again (:60) 129

Source: Nielsen, 2/7/12

Nielsen Measures & Methodology:

The Recall score is the percentage of viewers who can Recall the brand of an ad they were exposed to during the normal course of viewing the Super Bowl. These scores are then indexed against the average score for all Super Bowl ads (Recall Index). 100 equals average. For example, with a Recall Index of 177, the Doritos “Sling Baby” ad was 77% better-recalled than the average Super Bowl spot.

The Likeability score is the percentage of viewers who report to like “a lot” an ad they were exposed to during the normal course of viewing the Super Bowl, among those recalling the brand of the ad. These scores are then indexed against the average score for all Super Bowl ads (Likeability Index). 100 equals average. For example, with a Likeability Index of 190, the Doritos “Sling Baby” ad was almost twice as liked compared to the average Super Bowl spot.

Notes: The Top 10 lists are based on 11,873 surveys of Super Bowl viewers; 62 unique national creative executions (excluding Movie spots) during Q1-4 and Halftime were considered for the list.