Pitch Perfect: Are Star-Studded Super Bowl Commercials on Key?

At $5 million for 30 seconds, brands want their Super Bowl commercials to capture attention, connect with viewers and drive sales. Spending big bucks on an A-list actor or popular musician can have its benefits, but does a celebrity guarantee success?

Nielsen analyzes the effectiveness of all advertisements from kick off through the final play of the Super Bowl each year as part of Nielsen’s Super Bowl 360 report. During the Super Bowl last year, five of the top 10 advertisements ranked by Blended Media Score featured celebrities.

The Blended Media Score is a holistic measurement of Super Bowl advertising effectiveness. It takes into account such factors as ad and brand memorability, appeal, emotive power, information power and social media conversation.

The study found that using a celebrity does not guarantee cross-platform success. From a TV resonance perspective, ads that used celebrities did not demonstrate a significant advantage based on their average TV media score. Ad memorability, a key metric incorporated into the TV media score, measures a viewer’s ability to recall an ad the day after seeing it on TV. A familiar face in the form of a celebrity was not always is enough to make an ad memorable.

Super Bowl 51 2017

The benefits of celebrities are more apparent within online/social media metrics. Celebrities are effective catalysts at driving social media chatter and generating online views. However, they can be polarizing, and many don’t appeal to a broad audience.

Nielsen Sports 2017 Super Bowl 51

Ads that experienced cross-platform success incorporated a number of creative best practices. For more on what makes a successful Super Bowl ad, our the comprehensive Super Bowl 360 report includes Advertising Effectiveness Measurement, Social Media Response and Sponsorship Exposure Analysis. The report is available for purchase now and will be delivered on Feb. 10, 2017. Questions? Contact us here.