Big Game Ad Effectiveness: Who Scored with Viewers?

At roughly $3 million a spot, this year’s crop of Big Game advertisers relied heavily on humor, feel-good messaging and timely promotions to stand out in this time of economic uncertainty. One measure of the cross-channel effectiveness of these advertisements is the degree to which they drove consumers to the brands’ websites on the day of the game. Here’s how Big Game advertisers ranked based on the change in Daily Reach on Big Game Sunday.


  • Denny’s Grand Slam breakfast giveaway scored with Big Game viewers. Traffic to soared 17 fold as consumers flocked to find details of the promotion and find directions to their nearest restaurant.
  • Pepsi came out ahead in the cola wars, at least online. While Coke’s feel-good ads were generally well received, these "branding" spots lacked any clear call to action. Pepsi, on the other hand included a plug for its newly launched social-media micro site,, which saw a 199% jump in visitors on the day of the game.
  • Anheuser-Busch, a Big Game staple on multiple levels, fared well, particularly Bud Light with its "Drinkability" campaign. Both and more than doubled their reach on Sunday, no doubt in part due to consumers looking to replay their favorite commercials.
  • Service-based advertisers such as Monster, CareerBuilder, and E-trade actually saw notable declines in site reach on the day of the game. Aside from branding, from a direct response respective these spots were targeted only at a subset of the viewing audience that is currently "in-market" for a new career, vehicle or investment account.

TNS Media has prepared a research brief on the impact of this year’s Big Game advertising, which is available for download here. The brief pulls together insights from Compete as well as TNS Cymfony, TNS Media Intelligence and TNS Media Research and includes both traditional and new media data sources.

About Matt Pace:
As VP of Millward Brown Digital’s financial services, retail and consumer products practices, Matt is responsible for vertical growth and strategy and the delivery of digital insights and best practice marketing consulting to leading Fortune 500 advertisers. Follow Matt on Twitter @mattpace.

Categories: Ad Impact

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