The most successful advertisers of Super Bowl LV

Graeme BruceBusiness Data Journalist
February 10, 2021, 4:34 PM UTC

This year, Super Bowl advertisers faced two challenges – strike the right tone at a time of deep political strife in the United States, and do so under strict COVID-19 measures.  

Aside from relying on the usual ingredients, such as humor or patriotism, brands also tapped into American nostalgia, bringing in celebrities and characters from the past to help boost their messages. 

YouGov looked at each of the company’s Ad Awareness scores around Super Bowl LV to reveal which advertisers managed to rise above the others. YouGov’s Ad Awareness metric is based on responses to the question “Which of the following have you seen an advertisement for in the past two weeks?” 

These brands saw the highest increase in Ad Awareness among Americans around the time of the Super Bowl: 

Rocket Mortgage 

Comedian Tracy Morgan starred in two humorous spots for Rocket Mortgage that illustrated the difference between “pretty sure” and certain. The first included a cameo from actor and former wrestler Dave Bautista and actor Liza Koshy. The second ad had Los Angeles Chargers defensive lineman Joey Bosa lifting up a car. 

As is now standard practice, the marketing push included co-ordinating the company's social, digital, and public-relations campaigns around both its Super Bowl ads and Super Bowl Squares promotion. 

YouGov data shows the brand’s Ad Awareness score rose from its seven-day average of 24.9% the week prior to the Super Bowl to 29.6% between February 2 – 8, giving the brand the largest hike of any Super Bowl Sunday advertiser.  

Bud Light 

Perennial Super Bowl advertiser Bud Light also saw significant Ad Awareness lift around the big game. This year, the brand assembled its iconic characters from previous Super Bowl spots for its Bud Light Legends ad, including Post Malone and “The Bud Knight. 

The beer brand saw a 4.6-point week-over-week increase in Ad Awareness. 

Cheetos 

The Cheetos brand also reached into the past for its big game ad this year. The spot reunited former That 70s Show co-stars Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher in an ad that featured a remixed version of Shaggy’s 2000 hit “It Wasn’t Me.” And yes, the singer also made an appearance 

The trio of celebs helped vault Cheetos’ Ad Awareness score by 2.4 percentage points week-over-week. 

Jeep 

Jeep is the only car brand on our list, and the only brand on our list that took a serious tone, acknowledging the deep political divisions in America. 

The two-minute spot starred Bruce Springsteen and marked the first time the 71-year-old rocker has lent himself to a corporate ad. The spot urges unity in the middle between the left and right and ends with the tagline “To the ReUnited States of America.” 

The patriotic spot earned the brand a 2.6-point hike in Ad Awareness in the week leading up to and including the Super Bowl. 

Uber Eats 

Continuing this year’s trend of blasts from the past, Uber Eats enlisted Mike Myers and Dana Carvey a.k.a. Wayne and Garth of Wayne’s World fame – for its Super Bowl pitch. For good measure, rapper Cardi B also makes an appearance in the spot urging consumers to eat local. 

Uber Eats’ marketing translated into a 2.5-point increase in Ad Awareness 

Methodology: YouGov picked the five Super Bowl advertisers that had the highest week-over-week change in Ad Awareness score around the Super Bowl LV. YouGov only included brands that ran an ad between kickoff and the end of the game. YouGov asks “Which of the following brands have you seen advertisements for in the last two weeks?” Metric is delivered as a percentage. Sample sizes range from 402 to 697 US adults depending on brand.

Image: Rocket Mortgage