Nick Jonas to Bruce Springsteen: Top-performing Super Bowl commercials

EDO CEO & President Kevin Krim joins the Yahoo Finance Live panel to discuss this year's Super Bowl ad performance.

Video Transcript

- (SINGING) It's like milk, but made for humans. It's like milk, but made for humans. Wow, wow, no cow. No, no, no. Wow, wow, no cow.

AKIKO FUJITA: That was Oatly CEO Tony Peterson in Oatly's first Super Bowl ad, I should add. 30 seconds there. Was it the best or the worst? It's creating a lot of buzz. Let's talk about what we saw last night in between the game. Of course, Super Bowl ads, certainly a lot of eyes on the products here. Kevin Krim is the CEO and President of EDO. And Kevin, I actually did not think it was that bad when I watched it. I thought it seemed a little on brand for Oatly. But what were some of the standouts for you?


KEVIN KRIM: Well, Akiko, last night's game was in a lot of ways very different than the past five Super Bowls that EDO has ranked. We saw an avoidance of controversy from a lot of brands. And at the same time, some of them faced right into it.

That Oatly ad that you just played, that made our top 20. But the number one ad was in a lot of ways exactly what you'd expect. It was Dexcom promoting their continuous glucose monitoring app. They had Nick Jonas as their spokesman. It's the perfect combination of, you're introducing a product that a lot of people need. There's 13% of the US population, according to CDC, has diabetes. So it touches a lot of people that are watching that game and a lot of people who are family members of people with diabetes.

And Nick Jonas has type 1 diabetes. So he's an authentic spokesperson. It had some flashiness with the special effects. Overall, very effective ad at driving engagement in the game.

That very flashy sort of inspiration for take a trip to space ad was number two. That's not surprising either. Chance to be one of the first civilians in space is going to be compelling to a lot of folks who are watching that game.

And then you had a really impactful spot from Jeep featuring Bruce Springsteen, the first time he's ever promoted any sort of brand on a commercial basis. And that really was a strong creative force, that ad. That came in number three.

And then you had, from Cadillac and General Motors, the Edgar Scissorhands spot with Timothee Chalamet and Winona Ryder, which, again, very effective The. Combination of celebrity and feature set of a new product that Cadillac's going to be rolling out over the next couple of years. That's a winning combination.

ZACK GUZMAN: It's interesting too. I mean, I like kind of the data driven approach here. And you guys obviously track search engagement around these ads as they're aired in real time. And it was interesting to see your data point too, kind of maybe perhaps people getting bored in the second half of the game because a lot of these top-ranked ads that saw big boosts were in the first quarter or in the first half as many people just lost interest. I mean, how much of that do you think is tied to specifically the messages and marketing that we saw in the ads versus just where they fell in the game?

KEVIN KRIM: That's right, Zack. It was a less competitive game in the second half than we've seen for most of the past five Super Bowls. And that does have a big effect, we've seen, over many different sporting events and other live events. The compellingness of the programming, the competitiveness of the game matters. And in this case, we saw a significant drop-off in engagement with the ads in the second half. And we do not normally see that. We've often seen quite the reverse.

So for brands that were betting on a really strong game, and they wanted to be in the second half of the game, they lost on that bet. But for those that were in the first half of the game, it was generally a winning formula. We saw 3/4 of our top 20 were in the first half of the game. So it was a big drop-off. And compared to last year, we saw over a 50% decline in the second half in terms of engagement rates with those ads. So it's a significant effect.

AKIKO FUJITA: Yeah, Kevin, one of the standouts for me was the shortest ad that we saw. It was a five-second spot from Reddit. It made me pause and go back to make sure it was in fact by Reddit. And instantly, you saw on Twitter people asking about that spot and going back and reading it. It wasn't polished in any way. But I wonder what the engagement was for something like that and whether that points to a different way of using this platform instead of putting all your money into what are very sort of highly produced ads.

KEVIN KRIM: Yeah. I mean, I say often to my clients and anyone who asks, authenticity matters a ton in all of your advertising and your creative strategies. And that was a very authentic strategy for Reddit.

Now, it was interesting. We saw that ad happen inside of a local break. And there's the national and local. And I don't want to bore everyone with the details of how broadcast TV's ad loads work. But that was actually an even more clever buy from Reddit, in that they didn't necessarily buy the whole country. They bought a number of coastal markets and some other large markets. And they were able to kind of sandwich their five-second buy into one of those breaks. So that was a clever move from them. And it was authentic.

ZACK GUZMAN: Yeah, and it actually added maybe a little bit of excitement around something that people might have missed, since the game didn't necessarily add that. I'll give one shout out to maybe one of my favorites just because it included shaggy, the Cheetos ad there.

But generally, when you step back and look at it, I don't know about you, but it seemed like-- and we had been discussing this kind of leading up to the Super Bowl-- that a lot of advertisers may have been skipping this go-around just because they weren't sure what it was going to deliver due to COVID, due to everything else. I mean, how does this maybe stack up when you compare it to other Super Bowls in the past around how many big name advertisers might have passed at all?

KEVIN KRIM: Zack, it's a great point. And I do want to come back to your favorite ad because there's some fun angles on it. But to the main point, we saw half the number of automotive ads this year that we saw compared to the average of the last five years. So automakers, who typically are a huge group in the Super Bowl, about half of them stood back and didn't advertise.

Entertainment was a very changed category as well, where you saw many fewer movie ads than you would normally see. You did see a number of streaming ads, especially from Paramount+, which is, of course, owned by Viacom CBS who was the broadcaster yesterday.

So you've got a big shift in those kinds of classic Super Bowl advertising categories. You saw a big rise in tech and e-commerce brands. There were 20 new advertisers that were advertising in the Super Bowl for the first time this year. That is an unprecedented number. We ranked 89 total ads. So for nearly a quarter of those to be new is unprecedented.



Just a general-- any time that Shaggy's included, I just have to always give it a shout out, Kevin. You know me. It's just a solid throwback. It delivered the feels. I enjoyed it. But I appreciate you coming on here to break it down.

KEVIN KRIM: It wasn't me. What's interesting was EDO also uses the same methodology to score, to rank the search impact of all the celebrities that were in the game. And that's a long list in a Super Bowl, where celebrities are often featured in almost every spot.

What we saw this year was really interesting. We saw the two couples that were featured in different ads. You had Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton in a T-Mobile spot. And you had Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis in that Cheetos spot. They were the top four, respectively, of the individual celebrities that were in the game, followed up by John Travolta and Bruce Springsteen and your very own Shaggy. So there was something going on around this year's thematic celebrities and who was really popping in the game.

ZACK GUZMAN: Yeah. I think it just adds to Shaggy's appeal there because obviously he was the third wheel in that spot. But very interesting stuff here as always. Appreciate you coming on, Kevin Krim, EDO CEO and President. Thanks again, man. Be well.