The Most Watched Moments of the Most Watched Telecast Ever

If you were ever concerned that your cable box is smarter than you, it is. TiVo boxes, and presumably the run-of-the-mill DVRs the cable companies give you, can track our every movement. They can tell the company when we pause, what commercials we forward through and, in the case of the Super Bowl, what spots we go back and watch the most. I'm pretty sure they can even track how long we pause a show for, theoretically tracking our bathroom habits. It's okay to be scared.

But, Big Brother aside, their tracking ability is rather useful, especially on a stage this grand. As reported earlier, the Super Bowl drew an average of 106.5 million viewers and peaked at more than 114 million with at least part of the game seen by 153.4 million.

⇥“This year TiVo was able to provide not just the most-viewed commercials, but rather information on the most engaging ads throughout the game,” said Todd Juenger, Vice President & General Manager, TiVo Audience Research and Measurement. “This year some brands returned to the well and scored big, yet other brands tried what worked in the past and didn’t receive as much fanfare. Through it all, it seems the common theme in this year’s list is yet again humor, as all of the ads that scored the highest make people laugh.”
TiVo reports that Tracy Porter's interception was the night's most-watched moment of the night, and data indicates that the more highly-rated commercials aired early in the game, which is the opposite of last year's ratings.
 
⇥⇥⇥⇥⇥⇥
⇥TiVo Highlights:⇥
⇥The top ten rated commercials of this year’s game were:⇥
⇥1. Doritos “House Rules”⇥
⇥2. Snickers “You're Not You When You're Hungry”⇥
⇥3. Focus on the Family “The Tebows Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life”⇥
⇥4. Doritos “Underdog”⇥
⇥5. 2010 Intel Core Processors “Jeoffrey the Robot Gets Hurt”⇥
⇥6. E*Trade Financial “Baby Love Triangle”⇥
⇥7. Bud Light “Observatory”⇥
⇥8. CareerBuilder “Casual Fridays”⇥
⇥9. TruTV's NFL Full Contact “Punxsutawney Polamalu”⇥
⇥10. Hyundai Sonata “Brett Favre MVP and Still Playing at 50”
Nine of the top 10 commercials would fall on the side of "humor" even if it's debatable how funny some of them really were. Also of note is the fact that three of the top ten ads featured active football players, which may have helped boost the ratings. In the case of the Tebow ad, obviously the speculation leading up to the ad likely led to a "wait, that's it? Rewind" moment in many households. I'm also a bit surprised that the Google ad didn't land in the top ten, what with all the reading involved.

Much to my chagrin, the babies still played well with TiVo viewers, but the American public and I are in agreement on Go Daddy. Juenger mentioned the Go Daddy ads, and thinks that maybe it's time for the online domain service cut out the useless tease ads.

⇥“You can question the taste or the effectiveness of the Go Daddy ads, but what’s interesting is they were No. 1 on our list last year. Last year we were measuring things a little differently – just the most viewers. It was at the two-minute warning in the fourth quarter during the most exciting part of a very exciting game. It hugely benefited from its placement. But either way, it’s markedly different this year. The Go Daddy ads, neither one, did well at all this year. That whole campaign maybe has jumped the shark. Skin or a little bit of nudity still made our list, but in a very different way with the CareerBuilder ad at the top of the list. Maybe what worked is a real world look at things rather than a glamorized version.”
The more you think about it, the more an ad in the Super Bowl seems like a fiscally responsible way to get your product some publicity. Would you rather spend 2.5 million dollars to have over 100 million people see your ad, plus get the residual benefit of having a Super Bowl ad – which includes millions of additional hits online and countless water cooler conversations the days following the game – or spend $25,000 a pop to advertise on target-specific programming and hope to cobble together close to the audience you'll get from the Super Bowl? There are merits to both models, but if you have an ad that plays well with the audience, the bigger that audience the better.↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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