Super Bowl ads that featured large numbers of celebrities generally failed to make a significant emotional impact among consumers, according to analysis from System1, the research firm.

System1’s testing methodology tracks the emotional response to ads by showing each spot to an online panel, yielding a prediction of long-term growth, used to rank its Super Bowl ads, and a short-term “spike” score.

And Karen Wolfe, System1’s chief commercial officer, told an event held by the company in New York that Super Bowl ads which were stuffed full of celebrities frequently registered a modest emotional impact.

“They didn’t test well. People wanted clarity about like, ‘Who is this person? Does it make sense what they’re messaging in the ad?’” she said. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: What the 2020 Super Bowl ads tell us about creative effectiveness.)

An example: Hyundai’s “Smaht Pahk” ad – with actors Chris Evans and John Krasinski, as well as comedy star Rachel Dratch and retired baseball player David Ortiz – logged 3.4 stars on System1’s five-star spectrum.

Hard Rock, the hotels, casinos and restaurant group, scored 2.4 stars with its spot featuring musicians Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull, DJ Khaleed and Steven Van Zandt, plus baseball star Alex Rodriguez.

Beauty brand Olay, owned by Procter & Gamble, delivered an ad with actors Busy Philipps and Taraji P. Henson, comedy star Lilly Singh, journalist Katie Couric and astronaut Nicole Stott – and received 2.1 stars

Another celebrity-packed spot from P&G – with actors Sofia Vergara, Rob Riggle and ex-NFL player Troy Polamalu, among others – logged a modest 2.5 stars.

By contrast, focusing on a smaller number of celebrities, especially in a familiar setting, resonated more deeply with audiences.

A Jeep commercial with actor Bill Murray that played off the classic movie “Groundhog Day”, for instance, claimed second spot in the System1 2020 Super Bowl rankings, on 5.2 stars.

Doritos’ third-placed ad, on 5.1 stars, featured rapper Lil Nas X and actor Sam Elliott, and contained several pop culture hooks, also made a significant impression on consumers.

Sourced from WARC