2013 Super Bowl ads: Scoring the brands

In 2012, Experian Marketing Services looked at a new way of the scoring the value of Super Bowl ads in order to determine whether it makes sense for a brand to spend upwards of $4 million on a 30-second spot. We developed our own methodology for determining a brand’s lift in likelihood of a customer purchasing their product – it’s called the Experian Ad Relevancy score.

“We analyze to what degree ads run during the Super Bowl reach the audience most likely to be a buyer of the advertised brand. Putting that into direct marketing terms, we determine how much lift in ‘likelihood to purchase’ a brand’s product is delivered when targeting Super Bowl viewers. The term ‘targeting’ is used loosely, given that the Super Bowl is viewed by more than 100 million people,” said Bill Tancer, general manager of global research, Experian Marketing Services.

Beer, cars, stocks and snacks
Based on a combination of brand purchasing behaviors, universe of brand users, and Super Bowl viewership statistics, Audi has the top Ad Relevancy score of 167. That means there is a hypothetical 67% lift in likelihood to purchase the brand when targeting the Super Bowl audience. When this methodology is applied to all of this year’s brand advertisers, the next three top scores are for Budweiser, Best Buy, and E*Trade.

Experian Marketing Services’ Ad Relevancy score


Top Scores





Best Buy












Pistachio Eaters




Source: Experian Marketing Services
[1] Note – the figures are based on Simmons data. The sample for Budweiser is based on users 21 and older while the rest of the results were based on users 18 and older. There was no data for the following advertisers: Century 21, Fiat, Gildan Activewear, GoDaddy.com, Mio, Paramount, SodaStream International, Universal and Walt Disney.

“In theory, brands with high scores will get the biggest bang for their buck out of their Super Bowl advertising. With any marketing effort though, the content and delivery style of the message play a very important role in determining an ad’s overall effectiveness,” added Tancer.

Based on the high price tag for a 30-second commercial this year, Audi is spending the most money per likely buyer by advertising during the Super Bowl because the market size of potential Audi buyers is relatively small compared to other brands like Coke and Doritos. By rescaling the Ad Relevancy score to take into consideration the number of likely buyers, the picture changes. Now we’re looking at the cost of the ad per thousand likely buyers reached. Assuming that each advertiser runs a single 30-second spot, the top three brands (according to the revised scale that indicates lowest cost per likely buyer) are milk, followed by Coke and Tide


Experian Marketing Services’ ad cost per thousand of likely buyers reached









Mercedes Benz




Source: Experian Marketing Services


The bottom three brands (highest cost per likely buyer) are Audi, E*Trade and Lincoln. However, it’s important to take into consideration the low price point for a can of Coke or a bag of Doritos versus the starting price for an Audi or Lincoln vehicle.

“This year all of the brands, except for one, are expected to see a positive lift from targeting Super Bowl viewers based on this year’s scores. The only brand below 100 was Lincoln, with a score of 98 – nearly flat. The score indicates the brand could possibly achieve better lift by targeting non-Super Bowl viewers. It should be noted that this is Lincoln’s first Super Bowl ad and they’re featuring late night talk show host Jimmy Fallon reaching out to fans to share their road trip stories – the best of which will be used in the Super Bowl spot. Lincoln has embraced social media to guide their foray into the big game,” said Tancer.

Which ads are you looking forward to seeing during the game? Tell us via Twitter @ExperianMkt.

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