Super Bowl 50 – Part 1: Best Spots for ROI

As a voting panelist of USA Today’s Ad Meter rating of Super Bowl commercials, I watch these spots with a unique perspective. The Ad Meter rating from USA Today is simply an index of the most entertaining spots. As you have heard me say before “I don’t care what your favorite Super Bowl commercial is!”

I’m looking for advertising gold, not the winner of a popularity contest. I want to know why it is your favorite? Why did it have an impact on you? How do you feel about the brand or product after you saw the spot?

Judging Criteria

When watching Super Bowl commercial, I judge spots based on this philosophy:

  1. Did the spot change my opinion for the better about a product or brand?
  2. Did it inform me of a new product or feature in a memorable way?
  3. Did the spot execute a strategy so well that it is worth repeating?

And the Winner for Best Spot for ROI is...

PayPal’s New Money In Town


PayPal’s New Money In Town spot is 45 seconds long but feels like 30. Its combination of visuals, text and music captures your attention and maintains it with a to-the-point story line. No voice over is used which means the spot can be viewed in a noisy environment (like a Super Bowl party) without losing any communication effectiveness.

In the US, 30% of eCommerce transactions use PayPal whose platform is much broader than just than online purchases. The Super Bowl audience is a direct connect to people who spend money online and at retail and, therefore, is a rich target with high potential ROI for PayPal.

The final reason that PayPal gets my Best Spot Award is because in 45 short seconds, it changed my opinion about PayPal and created a desire in me to set up an account.
That is advertising gold!

Honorable Mention for Best Spot for ROI is…

Michelob Ultra’s Breathe


The Breathe spot shows men and women working out and taking care of their bodies. All you hear is deep breathing. And, like the PayPal spot, no voice over is required to make the point. The simplicity of this storyline makes it powerful. These people work hard to take care of their bodies. Deep breathing is essential. The visuals are engaging. The payoff is the twisting off of the cap of a bottle of Ultra and you hear it breathe. Tagline: Brewed for those who go the extra mile. Followed by a series of short benefit statements: 95 CALS / 2.6 CARBS / Ultra Logo.


As someone who has been working out the last four months, I could relate to the visuals quite well. I train at Planet Fitness and have seen a major increase of members since the first of the year. That is a big market that will relate to this spot.

I also know the joy of a cold beer. For those that I have shared a brew with over the years, you know my preference is for dark beer. Frankly, I typically make fun of Michelob Ultra as a tasteless brew. After being inspired by watching the workouts in the spot, I was faced with the reality that my beer choice (dark) was likely undermining my success in the gym (as if I needed any help at that!). While I love my beer, this spot has presented the facts that I needed to hear and has caused me to rethink my beer selection. Don’t worry, I won’t go Ultra cold turkey. The point is that within 30 seconds, this spot changed my mind on something that I had strong opinions about. I’m sure that I am not the only one. That will be good ROI for Michelob Ultra.

Stand by for tomorrow’s Hot Marketing Tip…Super Bowl 50: Part 2 – Best Strategies! These strategies are so good, you will see them repeated throughout the year.

Best Regards,

Drew Dinkelacker



Drew Dinkelacker

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