Now that Super Bowl 49 is history, it’s time to look at the winners and the losers out of the 61 ads that ran during the game. USA Today Ad Meter came out with their ranking of the spots based on a viewer poll. It was loud and clear that that consumers want to be engaged in ways that are meaningful to them.  The old price/feature way of selling to customers has proven unsuccessful, especially on advertising’s largest stage.

Storytelling played a big part in communicating emotionally with viewers.  Number one ranked Budweiser continued it tear jerker puppy/Clydesdale combination to take the top spot.  Other spots like Always’ “Like a Girl” and Microsoft’s “Braylon”addressed social issues that everyone can relate to and discuss frequently. Chrysler also continued on their successful theme by creating a 60 second spot “Wisdom” that leveraged their 100 years of history featuring centurions that spoke about life and “never forget where your come from”.  Other car manufacturers like Nissan and Toyota as well as Dove connected emotionally by telling stories of how Dads effect lives rather than selling product.  Even car company Ford which didn’t participate in the Super Bowl, realizes the impact of emotional connections through its story based creations featuring Mathew McConaughey in its Lincoln spots.

Losers can be found in the work done by flashy special effects spots by Lexus that made no attempt to connect with viewers and can in ranked 54 out of 61 spots. And what can I say about Jublia, who in their right mind wants to hear about toe nail fungus while eating there 7 layer dip!

These brand engagements also go far beyond the Super Bowl itself.  Because of its engagement capabilities, Budweiser’s spot had 2,168,530 Facebook shares and 197,800 Twiter mentions. Budweiser additionally had four war rooms creating realtime reactions to the game and discussions regarding its brand as well as other Super Bowl activities.

It all goes to show that consumers that feel a brand is listening to them rather than selling them, one that understands their challenges and can deliver a solution that improves their life will be compelled to talk about the brand on a variety of levels.  Brands that understand that engagement and emotional connection are what creates sales, are the ones that continue to have sustainability.