Who Won the Super Bowl According to Lippe Taylor’s “Equilibrium Score”

Super Bowl Sunday has come and gone and we’ve seen winners declared from all corners of the internet. Jeep and its Groundhog Day revival won USA Today’s Ad Meter. The brand also took gold from iSpot.tv, which combines impressions across platforms. Snickers, somehow, won the Super Clio for their #SnickersFixtheWorld” ad, voted on by a panel of industry creatives. And of course, the Kansas City Chiefs and the great state of Kansas walked away winners ;).

But what you haven’t seen — is who’s won from the Lippe Taylor perspective. Here at Lippe Taylor, we care equally about art and science, reach and resonance, plus impressions served and emotions felt. And, most importantly, we know it is no longer enough to just put out a good commercial and call it a day. That’s why we devised the Equilibrium Score, which awards the campaigns that achieved balance across a wide range of factors in their execution. We measured social conversation and earned press coverage by volume for a period that covers pre-, during, and post-Super Bowl Sunday to determine performance grounded in analytics.

We balanced this by interviewing a panel of Lippe Taylor creatives and senior leaders who awarded points for overall creativity, execution, and brand pull-through. For the cherry on top, we awarded points to brands that had multiple digital touch points for consumers beyond the Super Bowl spot itself. In total, we had five scoring criteria weighted evenly for a maximum Equilibrium Score of 50. Spoiler alert — no brand earned a 50.

The brand that scored the highest on our Equilibrium Score was…

1. Doritos #CoolRanch Dance | 46

The spot drove high social conversation, including an award from Twitter as “The brand with the most RT’s on a single tweet from a brand’s handle” on Super Bowl Sunday. Our panel thought the creative was undeniably on-brand, well executed, and fun. The use of celebrity and a trending song drove earned press mentions and conversation. But most importantly, the commercial was just one touchpoint across the marketing mix — with extended cuts for social and teaser videos that told a deeper story of the Cool Ranch World. On Instagram and TikTok, #CoolRanchDance became a trending Hashtag Challenge, driving consumers across the Doritos key demographic to participate and engage with the brand in an activation that felt endemic to the campaign, brand, platform, and audience. The synergy between the song choice, talent choice, and unique platform executions is admirable and worthy of our highest marks.

2. #JeepGroundhogDay | 43

What could we say about the creativity in the Jeep Groundhog Day spot that hasn’t already been said? Whether viewers understood the movie references or not, the spot’s pacing, story arch, comedic timing, and undeniably cute mascot kept audiences wanting more. Jeep scored high in earned press coverage — aided by their USA Today Ad Meter win — and captured significant social conversation — with the help of the creative spot’s nostalgia and “meme-ability.” The newsjacking of the Super Bowl landing on Groundhog Day was clever, earned attention, and brilliant in its simplicity.

Jeep’s execution beyond the Super Bowl TVC was enough to register some points — but posting extended cuts and one behind-the-scenes video to Instagram should be tablestakes for Super Bowl advertisers. Jeep secured appreciation for meeting the minimum requirement, but lost to Doritos for delivering a TV-led campaign in 2020.

3. Google Loretta | 41

Google’s presence was a rose among the insincere and absurd. The tech company went for something incredibly heartfelt during the usually slapstick and comedic theme of Super Bowl ads — and it paid off. We not only commend the risk, but we applaud the achievement of garnering a desired emotional impact — an impressive feat accomplished by so few brands.

Moreover, Google made tech human. An accomplishment few in the category have obtained, and something we wish Microsoft Surface pushed for further. The creative risk and emotional storytelling drove Google to earn both high press volume and social conversation. Where Google missed the mark was its lack of a 360 campaign. With just one post on their Instagram feed, the beautiful story of Loretta is altogether too short-lived.

Somewhat Honorable Mention: Planters Mr. Peanut #Baby Nut | 36

Potentially the most anticipated brand spot of the night was Planters. By killing their mascot weeks before the Super Bowl — teasing a funeral, canceling said funeral, and then bringing it back again — the brand drove its own earned coverage and conversation. Even if most of it was due to utter confusion.

We liked the concept of the spot itself, but thought the execution was poor. Where the teaser campaign and general rollout strategy seemed promising, the spot itself felt hastily thrown together, and left a lot to be desired. However, post-Super Bowl Sunday, the brand activated influential meme accounts across Instagram and Twitter to post content featuring #BabyNut, earning them points for 360 execution. Not yet convinced? Get on the merch bandwagon: https://shopbabynut.com

Not so Honorable Mention: Olay #MakeSpaceForWomen | 19

Oh Olay, we so wanted this to be your year. We wanted to believe in the sentiment behind the campaign and the boldness of #MakeSpaceforWomen. When their teaser campaign leaked, we were hopeful. When Katie Couric tweeted her excitement of being in Olay’s commercial, ours certainly peaked. But the ad itself left many of us scratching our head and thinking “Did I miss something?”

Purpose-driven campaigns are certainly resonating with younger millennials, but only when a brand is all in (think Bombas or Warby Parker, where purpose is essential to the structure of the company). When a brand halfheartedly dips their toe in a purpose-driven campaign, consumers can feel it and won’t be duped. Instead of driving impact on what is an important and inspiring cause, Olay unintentionally created confusion and misdirection. They earned some points in our Equilibrium Score due to #MakeSpaceForWomen, which started getting traction prior to Super Bowl Sunday, and did drive an above average amount of conversation due to the fact that each Tweet including the hashtag resulted in a donation to Girls Who Code. But with such a rich topic for thought-provoking conversation, we couldn’t help but be saddened by the missed opportunity to be bold in their creative, and do more for women.

Some… Mentions

Mountain Dew (15) and Tide (19) scored abysmally low, disappointing us as these brands are traditionally dependable for a good showing — especially recently with Tide. What a fall from grace. While tapping into nostalgia has proved successful for brands, Mountain Dew missed the mark as their presence in their spot could be replaced by virtually anyone. Additionally, we felt their use of celeb talent was a “plug and play” into a spot with no creativity or synergy.

Snickers (23) did just good enough to not be at the bottom of our rankings. Their idea of literally feeding the world a Snickers was good — we can certainly imagine being excited by it in a conference room. We will be the first to admit (and score it high) for being bullseye on-brand, but it felt like a true re-do from Coke’s Hilltop spot, therefore not registering any significant press coverage, social chatter, or points for creativity.

Across all of the spots, we observed themes that will continue to drive creative executions in 2020: Nostalgia, collaboration (amongst brands), equality and diversity, and purpose-driven/social good campaigns. Throughout our analysis of TV’s biggest night, we are left with the reminder that successful Super Bowl ads have people in the room encouraging a 360 approach: Social media strategy, pre- and post-TVC extensions, and earned media tactics.

Lippe Taylor is New York’s most iconic digital pr and marketing agency.