The Advertising Benchmark Index tested Super Bowl commercials for various factors, including brand message and reputation.

Global ad effectiveness research firm, the Advertising Benchmark Index, conducted tests on the crowd-favorite Super Bowl ads to see if the spots’ performance would render it as first-string talent — or benchwarmers.

Even if the Super Bowl is of no interest, the general public are drawn to the commercials (and the increasingly lackluster half-time shows), since social media’s greatest “superpower” is creating accountability through the “fear of missing out.” This year, the ads to watch were propelled by star power and included celebrities such as Sarah Jessica Parker and Jeff Bridges in Stella Artois and Serena Williams in Bumble, among others.

ABX’s following criteria suggests lost opportunity in overall ad performance including reputation, purchase intent, recommendation intent, gender representation and brand message.

1. Skechers

In Skechers’ commercial, pro-football Hall of Famer Howie Long struggles to find his fit, be it vehicle or shoe, due to improper width.


“This ad was in the top five Super Bowl ads for its clear message and stimulated not only a high reputation score, but also greater action to research Skechers further,” said Angela Jeffrey, vice president of brand management at ABX.

ABX Index score: 119

2. Stella Artois

Sarah Jessica Parker and Jeff Bridges both cause a restaurant ruckus when they order Stella Artois instead of their usual drinks.

Stella Artois  Courtesy Image

Because of high hits in “reputation,” “likeability” and “intent to purchase,” Jeffrey claims it is a “successful use of celebrities, which isn’t always easy in commercials.”

ABX Index score: 112

3. Pepsi

In its commercial, Pepsi pokes fun at how restaurant servers always ask for clarification, “Is Pepsi, OK?”

Pepsi  Courtesy Image

Drawing in celebrity backing from Steve Carell, Lil Jon and Cardi B, at a score of 100, it is actually “below the norm” for a TV placement (which is typically 109, by ABX standards). “I’m surprised that the message score is so low; 94 when the whole ad is about how great Pepsi is. However, the intent to purchase [score] is a 135, which is what matters,” commented Jeffrey.

ABX Index score: 100

4. Olay

A killer enters the home of a couple, and in the plot, the woman’s face is unrecognizable. Except viewers notice her to be Sarah Michelle Gellar, posing as a woman with “killer skin,” completely transformed by Olay, which puts her in dire circumstances when she isn’t able to unlock her phone via facial recognition and call for help.

Olay  Courtesy Image

“It’s actually a great premise, just hard to communicate,” informed Jeffrey, “which is why the ABX Advertising Effectiveness Index is only an 88 (down from an average 109 for TV spots).” Product awareness and messaging was muddled, which indicates a lower reputation score, as well.

ABX Index score: 88

5. Bumble

In this ad by Bumble, Serena Williams shows the “ball is in her court.”

Bumble  Courtesy Image

Jeffrey noted this commercial as “one of the lowest-scoring ads of all.” The reason for low scores was due to poor product awareness by viewers. “Even with the greatest talent in the world, if no one knows what the product is or what the message means, it backfires and hurts reputation scores and intended action,” reiterated Jeffrey.

ABX Index score: 80

The real winners of Super Bowl 2019 weren’t the New England Patriots and their fans, but the advertisers who converted intent to product purchases.

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