The Numbers: Super Bowl XVLI Commercials

Last week, we reported that the Feb. 5 Super Bowl pulled in 111.3 million users, but Madonna’s halftime show pulled in 117.7 sets of eyes. And 114 million were tuned in for the last half-hour, watching as the Giants came back to shut down the Patriots.

Aside from the small screen, there were also an additional 2.11 million viewers watching the game online via live-streaming hosted on NBC. And an estimated 98 million fans used an app on their mobile devices at some point or another to check on the game, reports USA Today. The same article states that users increasingly checked their phones during the first three quarters of the game, but then were more likely to watch the fourth quarter and halftime on their television sets. With so many people likely checking the score online or on their mobile device, those broadened the spectrum for advertisers to reach Super Bowl audiences without the millions of dollars necessary for a television commercial.

And the TV commercials themselves have garnered quite an interest online; in fact, for the second year in a row, Hulu has dedicated an entire channel to viewing the ads. Yes, people are actually logging online just to watch commercials. The art form has certainly come a long way. An estimated 73% of Super Bowl viewers today consider the commercials a part of the night’s entertainment, according to a BIGinsight survey. However, only 16.9% say they feel they come away from watching these pieces with expanded brand awareness.

Then again, numbers can’t tell us everything. Although we mentioned last week that the Skechers ad was a critical favorite, USA Today article tells us that Flurry considers commercials the strongest where people looked up from their phones toward the TV: This happened primarily for the Elton John Diet Pepsi spot. But those rating commercials on Hulu have the Volkswagen ad eking by sheerly on terms of popularity. And the Hulu critic’s pick was an out-of-the-box baby-in-a-sling Doritos ad. (Neilsen reports have this as the most memorable ad days after the fact, as well.)

Which Super Bowl commercials were your favorite, and why?

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