On February 7, 2016, the Wharton Future of Advertising Program held its Sixth Annual Tweet Meet during the Super Bowl 50. We invited WFoA Global Advisory Board Members, advertising and media executives, students, and journalists to tweet their reactions to Super Bowl ads with #whartonfoa, using the RAVES criteria. With a total of 111.9 million Super Bowl TV viewers, a hefty price tag of $166,666 per second for a Super Bowl ad and heavy social media attention, the stakes are high for the companies to create exceptional and valuable ads. This year, over 1,200 tweets with the hashtag #whartonfoa were posted, commenting on the best and worst ads in the game.
At the Super Bowl 50, car commercials continued to make a strong showing, with Audi drawing on the emotional side with its “Commander” ad, and Hyundai calling on the star power of Ryan Reynolds (many times) for its “Ryanville” ad. Dogs also remain a popular motif, making an appearance in ads for Heinz, Doritos, Subaru, Honda, and Mountain Dew (well, at least one third of it). Pharmaceutical companies delivered a surprising twist, with ads for opiod-induced constipation, diarrhea relief, and toe fungus prescription products that #whartonfoa viewers unanimously rated negatively.
Several companies chose to tune down its product placement for P.S.A. ads, with NFL sponsoring a powerful anti-domestic violence ad, Budweiser teaming up with Helen Mirren to combat drunk driving, and Colgate debuting its water conservation ad.
Besides the Broncos, one of the biggest winners that night was Budweiser, who got an estimated $3.2 million (according to Apex Analytics) in advertising value – for free. During post-game interviews, Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning name-dropped Budweiser twice; company reps said that they did not pay him to do so.
Read the reactions of our esteemed panel here, featuring insights from professors, executives, as well as millennials:
A big thank you from WFoA to all our panelists and participates who contributed to the conversation with the #whartonfoa hashtag. See you in 2017!
Report & Graphics By:
WFoA Research Assistant
University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2016