Bain & Company Uses AI To Find Out Which Brands Scored In Super Bowl Exposure
Posted on Feb 5, 2019 by Brad McCabe

A new Bain & Company report using AI-enabled analysis ranks the brands that earned the most exposure across commercials and sponsorships in TV advertising's landmark event

Bain Media Lab announced today rankings of the brands that received the most exposure at Sunday's Super Bowl. The rankings include both viewership of commercials and brand exposure through sponsorship placements and earned media. Using artificial intelligence-enabled computer vision technology, Bain measured the relative household viewership for each of the Super Bowl commercials as well as the cumulative quantity and quality of sponsorship placements during the game.

According to Bain Media Lab's next-day viewership analysis, the ten most viewed commercials in the 2019 Super Bowl were:
  1. Budweiser: Wind Never Felt Better
  2. Bubly: Michael Bublé vs Bubly
  3. ADT Security Services: Real Protection Launch
  4. Netflix: Our Planet
  5. Michelob Ultra: The Pure Experience
  6. Kia Telluride: Give It Everything
  7. Karlie Kloss
  8. Bud Light: Trojan Horse Occupants
  9. WeatherTech: CupFone
  10. Verizon: The Team That Wouldn't Be Here

Budweiser's "Wind Never Felt Better" commercial received the most live TV impressions of all ads during this year's Super Bowl, followed by PepsiCo's Bubly commercial featuring Michael Bublé. The remainder of the top 10 were all within 2 percentage points of the largest audience, including ads from ADT, Netflix and Michelob Ultra.

According to Bain Media Lab's measurement of sponsorship placements and earned media, the five brands with the most logo and product placements in the 2019 Super Bowl were:
  1. NIKE
  2. Bose
  3. Pepsi
  4. Toyota
  5. Mercedes-Benz

NIKE, the NFL's uniform and on-field apparel supplier, logged almost 40 minutes of cumulative Super Bowl screen time with swooshes visible on uniforms, cleats and other sideline apparel. Bose, the league's official headset provider, achieved the second most sponsorship visibility, tallying more than six and a half minutes of cumulative screen time from cameras focused on coaches. Rounding out the top five was Pepsi (which sponsored the game's halftime show), Toyota (which sponsored the halftime report) and Mercedes-Benz (which owns the naming rights to the host stadium). Among the top five, Pepsi achieved the highest average Brand Prominence Score for each second of sponsorship visibility, the result of large digital overlays featured in between plays and during parts of the halftime show.

Thirteen brands achieved more than 15 seconds of sponsorship visibility or earned media through logo and product placements embedded in the telecast; nine of those received cumulative screen time that equaled or exceeded the length of a full 30-second commercial spot.

Analytics enabled by artificial intelligence
The emergence of more advanced TV analytics solutions provides marketers and media companies with an improved ability to link consumers' TV advertisement and sponsorship exposure to their subsequent actions. Research from Bain Media Lab, in collaboration with Hive, measured the household viewership for each of yesterday's Super Bowl commercials as well as the cumulative quantity and quality of sponsorship placements during the game, accelerated by computer vision analysis and artificial intelligence. While business outcomes from this year's Super Bowl ads will take time to assess, we already know which brands received the most exposure from TV's biggest forum.

Sponsorship placements and earned media were measured using via Hive's proprietary content data set, using computer vision and artificial intelligence to place more than 1 billion tags of metadata on television content daily, identifying objects, including logos and product placements. To do this accurately, it is important to know not only how long a logo or product appears on screen but also how visible it is to the viewer. To that end, each logo or product placement also receives a Brand Prominence Score, reflecting the size, clarity and location on the screen, as well as the presence of other brands or objects on the screen.

No bad spots
Typically, the time of a commercial break and even the order in which an ad airs within that break affect the level of viewership an ad receives. This holds true for most NFL games, widely considered the most valuable live content on television. While the reach and ratings of NFL games are among the highest available, viewership levels throughout a regular season game tend to fluctuate. While some patterns are recurrent, such as a dip in viewership at the start of halftime, others are harder to predict ahead of kickoff. Audiences can grow over time, such as when viewers join late after the games they were watching on other networks end or when social media activity draws in more viewers to a competitive thriller. Conversely, viewership can also taper off in the back half of less competitive matchups, especially for early games when another game kicks off.

The Super Bowl tends to be less affected by these patterns, and this year was no exception. Viewership during this year's game steadily ramped up and stabilized throughout the game. Commercial viewership on TV peaked during the second half of this year's Super Bowl, including nine of the ten most exposed ads. Viewership remained high throughout the game, however, with half of all commercials within 5 percentage points of the peak audience. From the start of the second quarter through the end of the game, viewership of any individual commercial was within 10 percentage points of the most-viewed ad and roughly half of all commercials were within 5 percentage points of the most-viewed ad.

Note: Published Bain Media Lab research relies solely on third-party data sources and is independent of any data or input from clients of Bain & Company.

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