So, Who Won The Super Bowl: Chrysler Or VW?

February 7, 2011
Eminem in Chrysler's Super Bowl XLV ad

Eminem in Chrysler's Super Bowl XLV ad

It's all anyone has talked about for at least two months: last night's knock-down, drag-out on the Fox network. With family, with friends, with strangers on the subway, we've debated who would win, who would lose, whose strategy would work, and whose would live in infamy. Hours later, we're still arguing -- and probably will be for weeks, until we know for certain who came out on top.

If we were only concerned with game itself, obviously, we'd have an answer. But everybody knows that the Super Bowl is about much more than football -- it's about the $6 million-per-minute commercials and judging which was best. The problem is, there are dozens of companies that analyze TV ads, and each has its own system of metrics, meaning that every research firm in the country will have a slightly different take on who won.

For example, the AdBowl puts VW's much-discussed "Darth Vader" spot at #1, followed by ads from Bridgestone and Doritos. The AdBowl keeps things democratic by allowing anyone with an internet connection to register and vote on its website.

Sports On Facebook works similarly, though folks need to have a Facebook account before they can participate. At the moment, the page's 2.1 million fans have put Fox TV shows House and Glee at the top of the heap -- though it should be said that voter turnout seems awfully low, and we can't find every commercial that ought to be eligible for the competition. Then again, voting doesn't officially end until Thursday (?!?), so maybe they'll catch up.

The Brand Bowl goes slightly more high-tech, using Twitter to track mentions and user sentiment across the web. According to the Twitterverse, Chrysler's spot for the 200, featuring lots of Detroit imagery and a cameo by Eminem, came in at #1, followed closely by VW (though since VW ran a couple of different spots, we're not sure which generated the best response on Twitter).

And finally we have USA Today, which employed a much more traditional system of metrics:

USA TODAY assembled 282 adult volunteers in Bakersfield, Calif., and McLean, Va., and electronically charted their second-by-second reactions to ads during the Super Bowl. Shugoll Research and Trotta Associates chose the volunteers, who used handheld meters to register how much they liked each ad. A computer continuously averaged the scores. Scores are the highest average for each ad.

According to those 282 volunteers, Bud Light, Doritos, and VW's "Darth Vader" spot clocked in at #1, #2, and #3, respectively.

Of course, there will be more analysis -- much more -- in the coming weeks, and we're particularly looking forward to what heavyweights like Nielsen have to say. But for now, we'll leave you with that Chrysler 200 spot, which happens to be one of our personal faves from last night:

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