Most Emotionally Engaging Super Bowl Ads

Innerscope Research has released the results of its biometric tests of the 2009 Super Bowl ads, and found that three of the top 5 ads seemed tied to the concerns people have about the current economy and financial security. The top scoring ads were:

1. — It’s Time
2. Cash4Gold — Heeere’s Money
3. Castrol Oil — Monkeys
4. — Shower
5. Bud Light — Meeting

The first two ads directly addressed financial concerns, and #5, Bud Light’s “Meeting,” involved a discussion of cost-cutting measures. According to Dr. Carl Marci, CEO and co-founder of Innerscope Research, “Your unconscious emotions reveal what your conscious thoughts cannot. The benefit of biometrics is that we can identify how people truly feel, and the economy is pervasive.”

Innerscope describes their methodology:

Innerscope’s study featured 46 culturally diverse participants ages 21-35, who were closely split among Steelers and Cardinals fans and balanced for men and women. Participants wore lightweight, wireless biometric vests that allow for a natural viewing experience. The biometric vests monitor four indicators that form the biological basis of emotion — heart rate, breathing, skin sweat and motion. Monitoring those participants throughout the game generated more than a half billion data points that were analyzed overnight.

Will we see some other neuromarketing-driven ad rankings? I’d note that my own “winner” pick, Hyundai, didn’t make the list of most emotionally engaging. I also found Innerscope’s #1 pick ( to be as annoying as nails-on-a-chalkboard due to the repetition, but many other people I know found it funny.


This post was written by:

— who has written 985 posts on Neuromarketing.

Roger Dooley writes and speaks about marketing, and in particular the use of neuroscience and behavioral research to make advertising, marketing, and products better. He is the primary author at Neuromarketing, and founder of Dooley Direct LLC, a marketing consultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

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2 responses to "Most Emotionally Engaging Super Bowl Ads" — Your Turn


Twitter: sn0wfl8ke
4. February 2009 at 5:08 pm

I’m interested to see what other findings they’ve got from that half billion data points! The methodology sounds pretty interesting, however, I’m wondering if participants’ reaction could be influenced by the game or the previous commercial or even heated discussions with friends?

I’m with you, the repetitiveness didn’t really get me LoL, but a lot of people enjoyed it ~


Vanessa 7. February 2009 at 11:11 am

Roger – hats off to you guys for consistently maintaining such an interesting source of information and discussion!

I think y* above raises an interesting point. Does anyone out there know how researchers go about managing factors like those methodologically?

I suppose in some senses it does make sense that current economic issues would resonate. After all our brains don’t exist in a vortex beyond the realms of human experience :)


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