Who Won the Big Game’s Ad Battle?

who won

Let’s be honest. At this point the Super Bowl is has become a vehicle for ads, kind of like chips are a vehicle for dip. The commercials between action have grown into a force of their own, creating a simultaneous competition running alongside the teams on the field. Hundreds of thousands of viewers who could care less about sports tune in every year just to see the newest over-the-top, heartwarming, and bizarre corporate agency offerings. Will there be dancing babies? Clydesdales? Celebrity cameos? The only thing we know for sure is that there will be many and they’ll be creatively unexpected.

So why not embrace it? Why not rate the dueling car ads that took the field Sunday?

If that sounds impossible, given the subjective nature of viewer enjoyment, you’re not entirely wrong. While one person might have thoroughly enjoyed Audi’s e-Tron Cashew ad, another might have thought it lacked the comedy of Hyundai’s The Elevator. It’s hard to reach unanimous agreement.h

That said, some objective data allows a more precise picture to emerge regarding the ads’ efficacy, thanks to Edmunds. The online car shoppers’ guide tracked traffic to their site during the game as the ads ran and saw some noticeable spikes.

Looking at searches for brands, Edmunds saw the most significant traffic bump for the Audi Cashew mentioned above. Whether it was the promise to increase electric model offerings over the next few years, the tenderness of meeting one’s grandfather in the hereafter, or the humorous twist at the end, it was clear that the ad resonated with viewers at home. The brand saw a 116% lift after, making it a clear leader. Behind it was the Hyundai Elevator ad, with half as much traffic at 50%.

Brand runner-ups on the site included Mercedes-Benz with their Say the Word commercial. Their funny ad showing a man making things happen bumped their traffic up 38%. Slightly behind, with a 33% lift was Kia’s touching commercial about the everyman. In last (but still among the top five) came Toyota, up 25% during the game.

Edmunds also tracked traffic to specific models and the results were interesting. Though Toyota ranked fifth in brand traffic, it’s Wizard ad sparked interest, sending a 13,304% lift to their Supra model. That put it second, behind only the Audi e-Tron GT, which at 13,578% had the company dominating both charts. The Hyundai Palisade, though it came in an excellent second as a brand, was at the bottom of the model rankings, garnering a still tidy 654%. Kia’s Telluride, like the Supra, move up in the model category, placing third, beating out the Mercedes A-Class and the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.

While traffic results may vary from site to site, Edmunds’ data helps create a picture of what elements resonated with viewers. Dealers can probably expect the models and brands featured in the most popular ones to be in demand over the next few weeks. Which means everyone wins this Superbowl!