The Big Game of Creativity

The Super Bowl is not only one of the world’s biggest sporting events, it is also one of the most important events in commercial advertising. Every year brands fight with elaborate spots for the viewer’s attention during the breaks of America’s most-watched TV broadcast. This creative spectacle became a game of its own.

We took part in this year’s big game of creativity and analyzed 50 spots with our Data Creativity Score (DCS). In 2016 we introduced this algorithm to measure the creative performance and impact of commercials – together with Horizont, Google, ADC, SevenOne Media, and brandwatch Germany:

Most creative ad in the DCS ranking is Hyundai’s “Operation better” with an overall score of 5.5. The 90-second ad ran in the slot right after the game ended and was a great example for effective real-time marketing. Hyundai brought soldiers serving overseas together with their families in a virtual reality Super Bowl party. The touching campaign scored high in involvement, with 31% online user interaction with regards to the spot’s content, and endorsement. 98% of the measured user response was positive.

While Hyundai won the audience over with an emotional, patriotic message, many other Super Bowl ads took the risk of tackling political issues – which could be interpreted as promoting a liberal Anti-Trump stance. Budweiser with a celebration of the contribution of foreign nationals, Airbnb with #WeAccept, 84 Lumber with a border wall, or Coca-Cola with a re-run of 2014’s “It’s beautiful” campaign, all scored low in endorsement, due to the strongly divided opinions of American consumers. Many online users left negative remarks on “political” spots, which lead to a lower overall score compared to “non-political” spots.

Second in the overall ranking was the teaser for Nintendo’s upcoming Switch console. The first-ever Super Bowl commercial from the Japanese video game company shows again, that product-related advertising achieves higher consumer activation than brand- or image-campaigns.

Mercedes-Benz came in third with a tribute to an almost 30 year old spot and an iconic role. The Coen brothers-directed ad features Peter Fonda as “Easy Driver” with the new AMG GT Roadster instead of a Harley.

You don’t always need a completely new idea to score in the Big Game of Creativity. Creative perception is influenced by many different factors – although famous directors and an attractive product may certainly help.

DCS Super Bowl - Matrix: Creative Perception and Activation
You can find the Top Ten Super Bowl commercials from 2017 with all scores on a special page. The full ranking of all 50 campaigns is available in German only on the DCS website. If you want to learn more about the DCS, just send us an email to

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