Super Bowl TV Ad Winners – Part 2
07 February 2019 • tvsquared
Shona Maguire,
Product Marketing Manager

Every year, TVSquared analyzes the impact TV had on digital traffic for Super Bowl advertisers. While we’ve all been inundated with Super Bowl ad critiques, most are based on “gut feel” – they don’t tell you about the spots that actually performed best in the real world. TVSquared’s analysis is based on data and data alone to find the game-day ads that resulted in the most TV-driven response.

In Part 1 of our “Super Bowl TV Ad Winners” series, Meg discussed how humorous and unique spots dominated the night, and announced the category winners for Alcohol (Stella Artois), Auto (Mercedes Benz) and Film (Avengers: End Game). Today, let’s see the spots that won out for Personal Care, Food and Soft Drinks.

Personal Care

  • Winner: Olay
  • Runner Up: Colgate Total

New to the Super Bowl, Olay’s horror-themed “Killer Skin” spot, featuring Sarah Michelle Gellar, was the clear winner, seeing a 50% uplift above baseline traffic. Interestingly, Gellar spiked a whole five minutes before the spot aired due to the entire ad being leaked online in minutes before it went live.

Colgate Total also saw an uplift of 40% over baseline with its Luke Wilson “close talker” spot. In fact, interest for this ad was maintained throughout the game. My theory is that it has to do with people trying to pinpoint where exactly they knew Wilson from (but maybe that was only me!).


  • Winner: Burger King
  • Runner Up: Doritos

After a 13-year hiatus, Burger King ran a 45-second spot that featured world-famous artist, Andy Warhol, eating fast food. To some, it was awkward, uncomfortable and quiet, but it was also highly effective in driving online interest that lasted ~30 minutes.

In fact, throughout the rest of the game, Burger King’s baseline was lifted, never dropping back down to its original level.

Doritos was the runner up, with its ad featuring Chance the Rapper and the Backstreet Boys. While the spot gave it a considerable spike and continued interest, Doritos’ baseline dropped back to its original level before the game ended.

Soft Drinks

  • Winner: Coca-Cola
  • Runner Up: Pepsi

This was a close-call, but Coca-Cola beat out Pepsi in the latest battle of the Soda Wars by dominating TV-driven interest throughout the game. The two spots were considerably different, with Coca-Cola running a Warhol-inspired (there he is again!) animated ad that focused on diversity.

Pepsi, on the other hand, went with a celebrity-packed spot, featuring Cardi B, Lil’ Jon and Steve Carell, that tried to nix the perception as the “second-best” option. Mentioning competitors within a spot is risky. In the case of Pepsi (and even Bud Light’s “corn syrup” spot), the result seemed to be counterproductive, driving attention to Coca-Cola as well.

Join us tomorrow to find out which spot performed best across all categories – the one Super Bowl ad to rule them all! We’ll also see who, among the dozens of athletes, entertainers and celebrity spokespeople, created the most TV-driven online buzz on game day.