BrainJuicer, the System 1 research agency, tested every single ad live, in as close to real-time as possible, using ZappiStore's automated survey tool, and announced that not only did it have a very clear idea of trends but also of which ads had hit the emotional target.
It reported that Kia's "Hero's Journey" – starring Melissa McCarthy trying to do her bit for the planet with catastrophic and hilarious results – had topped its emotional rankings with a high 5-Star score.
And this ad also symbolised the two trends it noted in this year's efforts – the use of humour and of celebrities.
"There's a long tradition of comedy ads at the Super Bowl, but in recent years it's been the sentimental and inspirational spots which have grabbed headlines and won hearts," BrainJuicer's Tom Ewing noted in a Warc blog. "But not any more."
He added that hotly trailed commercials like Budweiser's "Born The Hard Way" could only manage a mediocre 2-Star score.
And ads telling real-life stories about real people – another big trend in recent years – were completely absent, he said, as were wannabe-viral candid camera "stuntvertising" efforts.
Marketing tech company Amobee took a different tack, analysing what people were discussing on social media and concluded that brand winners were primarily those with a social message and/or a positive message of social inclusiveness.
But the ad that generated by far the most real-time interest was that from OTT business Netflix promoting its original series Stranger Things. This generated 307,000 Tweets compared to the next nearest – mobile operator T-Mobile generated 91,700 Tweets around three minutes of ad time they bought which included four ads starring celebrities Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart, Justin Bieber, and Kristen Schaal.
Readers can get 9 insights on Super Bowl advertising, and find out how brands like Coca-Cola and Kimberly-Clark have made multicultural marketing a priority.
Data sourced from BrainJuicer, Amobee; additional content by Warc staff