2014 Big Game Top-Line Analysis (Jan 19th – Feb 7th)

Super Bowl 2014

Image from: Big Game 2014 / Shutterstock

The 2014 Big Game is now sixteen days past, so it’s a great time to gauge the top-performing advertisers based not only on pre-week and Big Game Sunday performance, but also post-week lift.  As a result of the game’s vast reach, it has become a very attractive and expensive opportunity for companies to market their product(s). Based upon this significant investment (4 million dollars per 30 second in-game spot), and the importance of its return, Millward Brown Digital conducted a top-line analysis to measure the impact the advertising had on visitation to each company’s brand site.  This is the second annual installment of this analysis – for the 2013 results – click here.

To be included in the analysis, the company must have advertised during the game and must have a measurable online presence. For example, Subaru was not included because it did not advertise during the game on Fox (Subaru advertised during the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet) while Doritos was not included because of low visitation to its corporate site fritolay.com.

The following results are based on Online Daily Reach, a measure of how many Unique Visitors visit a website – as a percentage of all U.S. Internet Unique Visitors online, on a particular day.

Key Trends:

  • Based upon the last two year’s success of  advertisers pre-releasing ads (most notably, Honda’s 2012 CR-V and Toyota’s 2013 RAV4 ad), the majority of advertisers attempted to do the same this year
    • While some of these efforts had an  impact on Daily Reach (due to limited competitive interference), only Chevrolet was able to maintain elevated performance after the game
  • Unlike last year’s spikes by Ram and Jeep the Monday after – the greatest spikes in Daily Reach were realized the week before (e.g., Axe, Hyundai, SodaStream) and on Sunday (e.g., Maserati)

Top Performers:

  • Chevrolet – Super Bowl sponsor Chevrolet benefited from a lift beginning on January 29th with its ad pre-release, and maintained it through Tuesday (coincided with the #PurpleYourProfile campaign and World Cancer Day)
  • Hyundai – driven by the pre-release of both of its ads, Hyundai Daily Reach spiked significantly before the game and surpassed its 2012 performance when it had five ads
  • Maserati/Jaguar/Chrysler – Maserati.com and Jaguarusa.com Daily Reach spiked more than others on Super Bowl Sunday, while Chrysler.com Reach spiked the Monday after
  • SodaStream/Axe – each brand paced Non-Auto advertisers with significant spikes in Daily Reach from ad pre-releases the week before the game
  • TurboTax – benefited from a steady increase in Daily Reach coincided with its ad pre-release on January 21st, which it maintained until the week after the Super Bowl Sunday on February 2nd
  • Lastly, Esurance’s decision to advertise immediately after the game paid off with a 120% spike on Monday – driven by its #EsuranceSave30 sweepstakes

Online Daily Reach by Auto OEM Brand Advertisers

Online Daily Reach Change by Auto OEM Brand Advertisers

Online Daily Reach by NonAuto OEM Brand Advertisers


Online Daily Reach Change by NonAuto OEM Brand Advertisers

Looking Ahead:

As both advertised and non-advertised companies seek to calculate the ROI of Super Bowl advertising, they need to go beyond branded site visitation.  Areas of additional competitive investigation should be:

  • Social media impact (per referral volume)
  • Site engagement (per shopping tool usage)
  • Search effectiveness (per paid/unpaid capture rates of branded terms)
  • In-market shopper volume (per endemic site lower funnel activity)
  • Favorable opinion (per perceptions of respondents)

For a PDF copy of this research, download here!

About Tom Lucido:
Tom Lucido is the Director of Client Services at Millward Brown Digital. He is a graduate of the MA program at Wayne State University in Industrial Organizational Psychology. Connect with Tom on LinkedIn