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February 8th, 2016
From the cute and cuddly to the humorous and heartfelt, Super Bowl 50 hit many of the common advertising themes of previous years, maintaining an overall upbeat tone, while occasionally veering into the quirky and offbeat

CBS reports that the game was watched by an estimated average of 111.9 million viewers while the live stream drew 3.96 million unique viewers across devices, making it the third-most-watched program in television history and the most-streamed Super Bowl game to date.

As we previously noted, many brands continued the recent trend of pre-game releases to help extend reach, increasing by 25% over last year. YouTube also reports that Super Bowl ads and teasers have been watched over 330 million times and views expected to continue to increase post event. 

MEASURING SUCCESS

Post Super Bowl analysis offers a variety of public methods to define an ad's success through social sharing, online video views or the always popular "Top Ads" lists. According to Unruly Media, this year's top 10 ads have altogether generated a total of 2,889,156 shares online so far with Doritos 'Ultrasound’ topping the list with 893,465 total shares. Both T-Mobile 'Restricted Bling' and Heinz 'Wiener Stampede' make the list twice with appearances from the ads' extended cut and 30-second versions.

Hyuindai's 'The Chase' came out on top as the most-viewed ad on Facebook. While over on Twitter, Esurance dominated with over 835,000 mentions thanks to pre and post game ads paired with a social media campaign to promote the #Esurancesweepstakes giving away $1 million to Twitter users.

This year's USA Today's Ad Meter winner was Hyundai 'First Date', followed by Heinz 'Wiener Stampede' and Doritos 'Ultrasound'. Jeep 'Portraits' was crowned the industry darling by winning the coveted Super Clio award, while Snickers ‘Marilyn’ and NFL ‘Super Bowl Babies Choir’ made the short list of finalists. Other popular "top" ads include: Avocados from Mexico #AvosinSpace, Audi 'Commander', Bud Light 'The Bud Light Party',  Doritos 'Doritos Dogs' and 'Ultrasound', Heinz 'Wiener Stampede', Honda 'A New Truck to Love', Hyundai 'Ryanville' and Toyota 'The Longest Chase'.

Snickers ‘Marilyn'

TRENDS

Celebrity Appearances

Beyond the Beyoncé, Cold Play and Bruno Mars half-time show, popular musicians, actors, comedians and athletes filled this year's Super Bowl ads bringing in more star power than previous years. This year's celebrities included: Helen Mirren (Budweiser), Drake and Steve Harvey (T-Mobile), Kevin Hart and Ryan Reynolds (Hyundai), Willem Dafoe (Snickers), Amy Schumer, Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd and Michael Peña (Bud Light), Scott Baio (Avocados From Mexico), Seal (NFL), Arnold Schwarzenegger (Mobile Strike), Jeff Goldblum and Lil Wayne (Apartments.com), Alec Baldwin, Jason Schwartzman and Missy Elliott (Amazon), Christopher Walken (Kia), Anthony Hopkins (TurboTax), Key & Peele (Square Space), T.J. Miller (Shock Top), Liam Neeson (LG), Steven Tyler (Skittles), Janelle Monáe (Pepsi), Serena Williams, Tony Hawk and Abby Wambach (MINI)

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Bud Light 'The Bud Light Party'

Cinematic Mini-Blockbusters

Along with Hollywood star power, several ads struck a cinematic tone, featuring short and impactful narratives and dazzling visuals. Representing the small but powerful faction of this year's inspirational ads, Audi 'Commander' tells the story of a retired astronaut who rediscovers his lust for life. after getting behind the wheel of the new Audi R8 V10 plus, weaving in beautiful visuals from the past that reflect the golden age of space exploration. 

Mobile Strike 'Arnold's Fight' brought an elegant spin to the classic action flick to the Super Bowl with a bit of help from Arnold Schwarzenegger with an all-out battle and explosive effects, beautifully shot by director Henry Hobson of Furlined.

Reminiscent of a mini Hollywood blockbuster with the added comic touch of a mundane bathroom setting, Schick 'Hydro Robot' brought the epic duel of razors to the Big Game using a range of visual techniques. 


Cute, Cuddly and Weird 

While last year's Budweiser 'Lost Puppy' will always remain in our hearts as one of the cutest ads of all time, Heinz easily tops the list as this year's most adorable Super Bowl ad. Not only is there a stampede of wiener dogs dressed as hot dogs, but they're shown charging full force into the arms of a family of Heinz condiments, complete with an adorable two-year-old ketchup “packet”.

Heinzweinerpacket

Honda 'A New Truck to Love' featured a flock of sheep singing a rousing rendition of Queen's "Somebody to Love", while NFL 'Super Bowl Babies Choir' includes a range of tiny football fans. Mountain Dew's #puppymonkeybaby brought together several popular "creatures" from previous years into an eye-catching mashup, polarizing viewers online with people either loving or hating it.  

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Take a look at The Mill's Super Bowl 50 collection to see more ads from this year's big game.