Super Bowl Ad XLII Testing Methodology
The two-phase research consisted of an initial qualitative phase in which a panel of experts viewed each commercial during the game. After viewing the commercials, they ranked the top 20 advertisements using various parameters, including breakthrough, emotion, memorability and involvement.
Each commercial was assigned a value based on the mean of the responses for each advertisement. The top 20 advertisements in phase one was inserted into a web survey and sent to a national representative sample of more than 2,000 participants. In this phase, responders answered questions regarding their perceptions of the ads and also utilized an automated response system to indicate their level of interest in half-second intervals as they watched a commercial.
The results were averaged for each half second and transformed into curves which indicated the portions of the commercial that generated high and low levels of interest.
The interest levels were also analyzed to determine which commercials had the highest sustained levels of interest. The curves were used as part of a metric that was calculated to rank the 20 advertisements and determine the winning 2008 Super Bowl XLII advertisement. The results of these measurements are listed as a rank, 1- 20, for each metric. The metric also includes a measurement for emotions, "Emotion Rank", and an index for the “word of mouth” impact of the ads, denoted as "Watercooler Rank".