Plenty of websites and media firms rank Super Bowl ads -- in fact, we discussed several of them on Monday, the day after the big game. But when it comes to TV viewers and statistics, one authority carries more weight than nearly all of the others combined: Nielsen.
After the Super Bowl broadcast, Nielsen polled 6,750 Super Bowl watchers across the country, asking them two very different questions: which Super Bowl ads do you remember, and which Super Bowl ads did you like?
Doritos' humorous "Goat 4 Sale" clip took the #1 spot in both memorability and likability. Taco Bell's "Good Night, Mr. Goldblatt" also appeared on both lists, as did America's Milk Processors' "Got Milk" commercial featuring The Rock, Doritos' "Princess Fashion Show", and Tide's "Miracle Stain" (one of our faves of the comic bunch).
But despite a bevy of Super Bowl ads from automakers, the only one to appear on either list was the "God Made a Farmer" clip from Ram. In fact, it appeared on both lists: it ranked #6 in memorability and #9 in likability.
What's surprising about the Ram clip's performance is its utter simplicity. "God Made a Farmer" features archival audio from the late Paul Harvey, a series of stunning still images, and at the very end, a long look at a Ram pickup. There's no hard sell: it's all about branding, and it's done with sublime grace.
Of course, the ad's price tag wasn't so simple: at two minutes long, it could've cost Chrysler as much as $16 million to air.
What does the public's response to "God Made a Farmer" tell us? For starters, there's no substitute for creativity. And even in death, Paul Harvey still sells.