The Science of Sharing: Super Bowl 50 Study

July 15, 2016

Executive Summary

The Super Bowl. With a rate card cost for a :30 spot listed at a hefty $5 million in 2016, making the most of a brand's airtime could not be more crucial. Yet after testing this year's national Super Bowl ads (over 30 spots) Unruly found many brands failed to live up to the opportunity that the Super Bowl's semi-centennial offered, though it did see a number of advertisers kicking off a "heritage" trend.

Despite the historic milestone Super Bowl 50 offered, most of the ads hovered around the US national average for engagement, with only one video scoring significantly ahead of the norm. Many of the Big Game ads had very similar emotional profiles, which made it hard for individual ads to stand out from the crowd and be remembered. We can learn from the touchdowns and heed the ad personal fouls from Super Bowl 50.

Click the link to the right (or at the bottom of the screen on mobile) to download the full PDF.


"The Science of Sharing: Super Bowl 50 Study." Unruly, 2016.

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