2011 Crash the Super Bowl Ad Meter results!

Million Dollar Winner: Pug Attack

In the last six weeks I don’t think I’ve talked to a single filmmaker that entered the 2010/2011 Crash the Super Bowl contest that thought Doritos and Pepsi Max did a good job of picking their Top 10 finalists.  But the Super Bowl is over, the six winning commercials have aired and the Ad Meter results are in.  And it looks like the last laugh goes to Fritolay.  I totally did not see this coming but this was the most successful Crash the Super Bowl contest ever!  It was so successful that two filmmakers won bonus prizes and Fritolay came closer than ever before to taking all three top spots on the USA Today Ad Meter.  The two big winning commercials were Pug Attack which tied for first place on the Ad Meter with the Bud Light Dog Party ad and House Sitting which (sort of) came in third.  House Sitting was technically the 4th most-liked ad of the night but because of the first place tie you could argue that House Sitting scored the #3 spot on the ad meter.  And I guess someone did argue that because Doritos has decided to pay the director of House sitting the #3 spot’s bonus.  So Pug Attack wins an extra Million Dollars and House Sitting wins $400,000 making this year’s Crash the biggest video contest ever! Oh and let’s not forget that the director of Pug Attack also wins the chance to film a big budget commercial for Pepsi Max and Doritos later this year.

$400K winner: House Sitting

In total, Fritolay aired 3 Doritos commercials and 3 Pepsi Max commercials as promised.  But I was really surprised to see that 5 of the 6 CTSB winners aired during the first quarter.  The earlier an ad airs, the better chance it has of scoring well on the ad meter.  I’ve heard a lot of conspiracy theories this year from non-winning contestants and one was that Fritolay didn’t really want to have to pay out all that bonus money.  Well, I think we can put that theory to rest.  By placing the 5 strongest ads in the first quarter, Fritolay proved that they REALLY wanted to take all three spots on the Ad Meter.  And if they didn’t want to pay out too much in bonuses there’s no way they would have given the director of House Sitting the third place prize.  It’s awesome that they did but to be fair, House Sitting was not actually the the 3rd highest rated commercial of the game.  But like I said, good for doritos for being generous when they didn’t have to.  To recap, here’s a list of all of the ads that aired last night.  They are in the order they ran in and their “rank” is where they landed on the ad meter.  To see the winning and non-winning ads, head here.


1.  Pug Attack.  SCORE: 8.35.  RANK:  Tie for #1

2.  The Best Part.  SCORE:  7.27. RANK:  #14

3.  Love Hurts.  SCORE:  7.56. RANK:  #5

4.  House Sitting. SCORE:  7.68.  RANK:  #4

5. Torpedo Cooler. SCORE:  6.68. RANK:  #24

6. First Date.  SCORE:  7.52. RANK:  #7

You can see all the Ad Meter results here.  Last week I posted my predictions for which 6 ads would air during the big game and I managed to get 5 out of 6 right. ( The only one I missed was “First Date.”)  I gotta admit though, I was way off on most of my other predictions.  I never in a million years expected 4 CTSB finalist ads to air in the To 10.  And I really thought a few ads were totally going to tank on the ad meter.  I mean, First Date took 7th place!  Who could have seen that coming!?  I’m totally amazed at how well that spot did.  I always thought it was amusing and well written but I assumed its low production values would hurt it’s score.

So why did this year’s crop of CTSB winners do SO WELL in the Ad Meter polling?  There are a couple reasons I think:

1.  Timing. Focus groups are excited during the 1st quarter and jaded and tired by the 3rd.  So Fritolay was able to “buy” some success by cramming the first quarter full of ads. That forced other companies to air their big ads later on and that hurt their scores.  For example, if an ad like the Rosanne/Snickers commercial had aired in the first quarter instead of late in the 2nd, I bet it would have made the Top 5.

2.  Crappy Bud Light Ads. Prior to the Crash the Super Bowl contest, Bud Light scored the #1 spot on the ad meter for like 10 years in a row.  They tied for first this year but most of their 2011 commercials were pretty lame.  (that one with the cowboys singing “Tiny Dancer” was the suckiest of the bunch)  So one reason Pepsi Max and Doritos ads scored well is because Bud Light really tanked it this year.

3.  Few “funny” commercials. When you think of Super Bowl commercials, you think comedy.  But there were very few simple, funny 30 second ads this year.  There were tons of cool car commercials and movie trailers and two-minute long documentaries about the re-birth of Detroit but only funny commercials do well on the ad meter.

4.  Most companies don’t seem to care about the ad meter anymore. Doritos, Pepsi, Budweiser, careerbuilder and Snickers are some of the only companies that seem to actually try to make “the #1 Super Bowl commercial.”  I think other ad firms may have ceded ad meter victory to fritolay and focused on making ads with “viral” appeal.  In a way, viral views the week after the Super Bowl is the new “contest” for advertisers.

5.  The best CTSB ads wound up airing. Luckily for Fritolay, none of the ads that wouldn’t have done well on the ad meter made it to air.  Plus, the spots that did run held up really well on TV.  I really didn’t like some of the finalist choices but I gotta admit, when you see them play of TV it’s a totally different experience.  For example, I thought “The Best Part” might be too gross for the Super Bowl.  But when the ad actually aired yesterday it came off as being pretty awesome.  So ahem…maybe fritolay did a better job than a lot of us thought.

6.  The Snowglobe Effect. There’s not really an appropriate name for this theory so let’s call it “The SnowGlobe Effect” in honor of The Herbert Brother’s SnowGlobe-themed 2008 CTSB entry that wound up being the first consumer-created commercial to take the #1 spot on the ad meter.  I think one of the primary reasons this year’s crop of Crash the Super Bowl spots scored so well is BECAUSE they were part of the Crash the Super Bowl Contest.  The USA Today Ad Meter has become a huge part of the Crash.  Any person who actually gets into one of the USA Today’s focus groups has got to know what is at stake for the “average Joes” who made Doritos and Pepsi Max ads.  So, I think the focus groups were kinder to the CTSB entries because they wanted to see the “little guys” do well and maybe win a million bucks.

So…Fritolay came super close to nailing the Top 3 spots in the Ad Meter and if the contest happens again next year, they might actually be able to pull it off.  I’ve been thinking that this might be the last year the company ran the Crash.  But after last night’s amazing results I can’t see how they wouldn’t bring it back.  In fact, I think they’ll probably go balls to the wall next year and REALLY try to “take the top 3.”  You’ve only got 9 months until the traditional early November deadline so you better start planning for 2012.

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6 Responses to “2011 Crash the Super Bowl Ad Meter results!”

  1. Happy Director says:

    I’m already headed to the shelter to adopt my talent!

  2. CJ says:

    Blerg. It sucks that a plagerist wound up winnning a million bucks. Pug Attack was a 100% rip off of the the shock collar ad from last year. How could anyone not notice that?

  3. Shane Free says:

    CJ its not a 100% rip off, it has a dog and the concept of the dog getting the last laugh is not a new idea

  4. Beardy says:

    CJ and Shane,

    I agree with both of you about Pug Attack. Funny dog ads are a staple of the super bowl. Look at the ad pug attack tied with; it had dogs in it. But as I’ve mentioned before on the blog, I do think Pug Attack owes a lot to last year’s winner UnderDog. Both ads feature a jerk tempting a dog with a dorito and in both ads, if the dog actually tries to get the dorito it will get hurt. But the dog “outwits” the jerk, hurts him and gets the dortios after all.

    I think the two videos are similar enough that there’s no way Pug Attack wasn’t slightly inspired by Underdog. The maker of Pug Attack should probably send 50K of his million bucks to the guys who made Underdog.

  5. says:

    Great analysis Beardy, I still don’t get it, the fact that Doritos knew they had a winner when I didn’t think it would even make top 5 shows me that I have no idea what the hell is going on in the Ad world. Haha

    Oh well, guess I’ll get my dogs acting chops up for next year. Haha.

  6. says:

    I think that if Doritos or Pepsi would had picked an add with a cute kid in it, it would had done good on the add meter and would have gone viral just like the Darth Vader kid Volkswagen did or Save Tommy Chevrolet add, a friend mention to me this one add about Lasie, not sure were it aired but it was outstanding,does any one remember this one http://www.kewego.com/video/iLyROoaftIBK.html
    any way I think I will be visiting the local animal shelter to adopt a dog for CTSB 2012.

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