This is Michael J. Wolfe’s fifth annual & comprehensive review of Super Bowl advertising effectiveness. Wolfe is CEO of Bottom-Line Analytics, an award-winning market mix modeling and advanced analytics expert who dives into every article he writes with a depth that provides deep learnings for all. Wolfe is a frequent contributor to the ABX Advisory and has given permission for this reprint of his recent article.

This is ABX and Bottom-Line Analytics fifth annual & comprehensive review of Super Bowl advertising effectiveness. In this report, we will address some specific questions:

  • What are the historical trends in Super Bowl ad effectiveness and audience size?
  • What are the trends in Super Bowl ad costs & what might this have to do with advertiser participation?
  • How engaged was the Super Bowl Audience?
  • For the 2022 Super Bowl advertisers, did these ads out-perform their branded ads from the prior year?
  • Across 63 copy tests of Super Bowl ads, what factors explain & differentiate the best from the weaker performing TV commercials?
  • Based on 2022 performance, what are the strengths & weaknesses of Super-Bowl advertising across audience demographics such as gender, age, income & ethnicity?
  • Is there a “halo effect” from Super-Bowl ads, which results in higher advertising effectiveness throughout the year?
  • Is there value in Super Bowl advertising? Under what conditions does it make sense and what conditions should it not be pursued?

Super Bowl Ad-Effectiveness Trends and Audience Size

The 2022 Super Bowl managed a decent improvement in audience size and a slight improvement in measured advertising effectiveness according to the ad-testing firm,  ABX Advertising Benchmark Index  and Nielsen.  As shown in Exhibit 1, the viewing audience of 94 million for the prior Super Bowl 2021 was the lowest in ten years. This was undoubtedly affected by Covid.   The 100.2 million audience in 2022 is still more than 10 million down from the high watermarks from 2013-2017.

Super Bowl Ad Costs are very much an issue (Exhibit 2)

In 2022, Super Bowl ad costs jumped to $6.5 million per 30 Second Spot. This 18% increase was the largest in 15 years. Despite the steep costs, more brands advertised on the 2022 Super Bowl than the prior year. Still, perennial advertisers such as Jeep, McDonald’s, Cadillac & State Farm were drop-outs.

How Engaged was this year’s Super Bowl Audience? (Exhibit 3)

While 100 million viewers tuned into the 2022 Super Bowl via traditional TV, another 50 million watched the game via other video channels such as online or through streaming services. These latter two channels have, in fact, been the primary source for viewership growth, as the audience from linear TV has struggled to show any growth for the past three years. Even with total viewers of 150 million, evidence shows only about 59% of this audience was totally or mostly engaged in this event.

What Stands Out and Differentiates Top Performing Super Bowl Ads in 2022? 

As you can see from Exhibit 4, we divide these diagnostics into those pertaining to the ads’ messaging & recall, as well as if or how the viewer was motivated or engaged by viewing the ad. What stands out for the top ads is likeability (this is associated with entertaining), improved brand reputation, high levels of ad-driven word-of-mouth and enough viewer interest to check out the brand online. 

On Exhibit 5, we plot the total creative effectiveness scores for the 63 tested Super-Bowl ads. Here, you will see that the weakest of these ads differed from the best performing ads because they scored poorly on “clear branding” and “understanding the ad message”. It should be noted that my firm has engaged in a number of media-mix modeling projects using ABX data with media GRPs. Our findings reveal ads with scores in the green zone as effective, and in the yellow zone as not showing any evidence of impacting short-term sales. This aligns with the finding that many viewers of these ads do not recall the brand or core message of the ad.

Are Super-Bowl Ads More Effective than ads at other times during the year?

Exhibit 6 looks at Super Bowl advertisers to see if their Super Bowl ads are better and more effective than ads these same advertisers run in the preceding year. The answer, here, is that there is not a significant difference in overall effectiveness, whatsoever; but there are some differences in the diagnostics. Super Bowl ads tend to be more likable (eg. entertaining), have a directionally more positive impact on “brand reputation” and drive more “word-of-mouth”.  Also, at least for this group of ads, there is a stronger level of purchase intent towards the advertised brand.

What are the trends, strengths and weaknesses of Super Bowl ads across audience demographic segments?

Exhibit 7 below shows overall ad effectiveness scores for the Super Bowl ads by year. This data suggests that engagement with Super Bowl ads is trending older, especially among the 35-49 Gen. X Group. There is no strong trend across income groups but slightly moving lower across higher incomes. While interest in Super Bowl ads have been strongly male, some significant gains were found among females.  Advertisers should be concerned about the broad declines by ethnic groups, especially among Caucasians and Hispanics.

Does Super Bowl Advertising Benefit or Halo onto advertising “after” the Super Bowl?

Many advertisers believe that Super Bowl advertising has a long-term benefit.  By improving the image of the advertised brand, this will improve how customers rate and respond to the brand’s future advertising.

In our 2021 Report, we investigated this issue by looking at advertising from the prior year’s Super Bowl (2020) and if the gains in ad effectiveness continued throughout the year. While we found some evidence of this, we could not conclude there was a positive “halo effect” from the Super-Bowl ads.

On Exhibit 8, we show results from tracking 2021 Super Bowl Ad Effectiveness. Evidence does not support the hypothesis that there is a long-term effect benefit to the advertised brands. In fact, overall ad effectiveness for these brands was slightly lower for the Super Bowl ads compared to the pre & post period.

Is there a way to view these Super Bowl ads?

Below shows the video links to each of ABX’s top 10 Super-Bowl Ads for 2022. Click on Hyperlinks to view the ads. 

1. Samsung Galaxy – 126

2. Verizon, Cable Guy – 125

3. Netflix, Movie Night– 124

4. Frito Lay, The Sloth – 123

5. Weathertech, Helicopters – 122

6. Gillette, Big Hair Guy – 121

7. Sam’s Club, Scan & Go -121

8. Kia, Robo Dog – 120

9. Cue Test, for Covid19 -120

10. Toyota, What’s Up Jones – 119

What did we learn from Super Bowl 2022 Advertising?

  • Coming off a ten-year low in 2021, Nielsen’s TV audience measures show a rebound to 100.2 million for Super Bowl 2022. While this was a good increase, audience size remains below the higher watermark levels of 110 million + from 2013-17. This downward trend could be a reflection of the decline in linear TV viewing. There has been substantial growth in viewership from online and streaming video services. In fact, when including these channels, it is estimated that total viewership of the 2022 Super Bowl was closer to 150 million.
  • In 2022, the cost of a 30-second Super Bowl TV spot increased to $6.5 million or 18%. This was the largest single-year increase in at least 15 years.  The cost of these ads has risen more than 2X the general inflation rate over the past 15 years. Considering the difficulty of proving ROI from Super Bowl ads and the evidence that positive ROI does not exist for many, if not most of them, cost is an ever-increasing deterrent to making decisions to continue with Super-Bowl ad campaigns.
  • Despite the atmospheric 150 million viewers the Super Bowl serves up, research indicates that only about 60% of the audience is reasonably engaged in the program. This could explain why about 1/3 of those viewed Super Bowl ads could not identify the brand being advertised or its core message. This means that spending on these brands was a complete waste.
  • For those who argue that Super Bowl advertising is a long-term payout, we see no evidence that their post Super Bowl advertising receives a positive halo. In other words, Super Bowl advertising does not appear to drive improvement in the advertisers’ overall ad effectiveness on a forward basis.
  • Super Bowl advertising has its own distinct qualities. More than other ads, they tend to benefit brand reputation and generate a lot of word-of-mouth for the advertisers.  They tend to do this by increasing the likeability of the ad, which means that they are valued for their entertainment value.  For the first time in 2022, Super Bowl ads also generated significantly higher “purchase intent” towards the advertised brand. That means that the likelihood of the ads generating positive ROI has improved!
  • We see that advertising effectiveness is trending away from younger demographics groups and high growth ethnic groups, such as Hispanics. To consider the long-term value of Super Bowl advertising, these are the groups that advertisers should be attracting.

Which brands should consider doing a Super Bowl ad campaign?

  • Brands which copy-test their ads prior to airing them. It is imperative that these ads have strong branding and are highly likable and entertaining. It is also important that the ads convey a positive brand image.
  • You are a food or beverage brand which is consumed during the Super Bowl. This includes fast food, food delivery services, snacks and beverages. These products mostly scored well on ad effectiveness.
  • Your brand is sports focused and spends a lot of its budget on sports sponsorships.  This is probably the primary motivation for long-time advertisers like Anheuser Busch.
  • You can measure & prove that your ad effectiveness is higher year-around when you advertise on the Super Bowl.
  • Your brand has large marketing budgets and spends year-round on media. This budget should be at least 10x the cost of your Super Bowl Campaign.
  • You are a new product or service who needs a big jolt of awareness to get your business off the ground.

Which brands should not consider a Super-Bowl Campaign:

  • You are an ROI-Driven marketer who must show break-even or positive returns to your ad spending. The risk of this not happening is large and the task of proving positive ROI will be difficult.
  • Your annual budget is small and a Super Bowl Campaign is going to consume a large portion of that budget (> 10%).
  • You are not fact-driven and willing to test your ad concepts prior to the Super Bowl. Gut feelings too often will not be right.
If you have questions about this article or how ABX can help your brand, contact us HERE.

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Jeff Schamel

Vice President, Operations

Jeff Schamel Directs Operations for ABX with Experience from IPSOS and P&G

Jeff has more than 25 years of market research experience including project management, client service, operations, production and sales.

Before joining the ABX Senior Management team, Jeff was a Senior Account Manager at Ipsos, working with Procter & Gamble and other client assignments. Prior to that, he was Senior Project Manager for Opinion One, where he was responsible for guiding the company’s online, mall and other initiatives for eight years.

Jeff began his market research career with Cooper Research while participating in the Professional Practice Program at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio. Upon graduating with his BS in Marketing and Management, Jeff led a team of data analysts as Group Manager at Matrixx Marketing Research (now Concentrix).

Jeff’s broad in-depth marketing research experiences enable him to bring a unique perspective to directing operations that creates effective and efficient environments to support a wide range of client activities.  Having come up in the industry alongside the advent and progression of online interviewing, he has a unique perspective on the benefits and challenges of conducting quality research resulting in meaningful results.

Jeff considers himself an amateur music historian and sports enthusiast, as well as a family man, who takes advantage of the many outdoor activities in his community including biking, hiking, kayaking and swimming.

Dr. Peter Moomaw

Co-Founder, Vice President, Development

Peter is the primary developer of operations technology and data analysis. As a chief visionary on the Research and Development team, Peter works to generate innovative ideas for the continued development of processes and protocols.

Peter brings 17+ years’ experience in software development in the market research industry. He was previously at Opinion One, where he was integral in the development of research software systems covering a number of areas.

Peter has a BA in Mathematics, a BS in Physics, and a PhD in Physics, all from the University Cincinnati.

Martin Geraghty
Martin Geraghty

Vice President, Client Services

Geraghty Brings Experience from Roper Starch, GfK, MRI and IPSOS to ABX

Martin has more than 20 years of experience in the market research space including business development, methodology, product design, operations, client service, analysis and sales. He is a member the ABX Management Group with both client-service and operational responsibilities. Before joining ABX, Martin held senior management positions at Roper Starch Worldwide, GfK, MRI (Mediamark Research) and Ipsos. At Ipsos, he managed client service covering all aspects of the research process including research design. He managed the development and implementation of several brand and advertising measurement programs across a broad range of business sectors, helping clients maximize marketing objectives and return on investment. Prior to joining Ipsos, Martin was Vice President at MRI and was involved in business development, day-to-day management and long-term planning and growth for syndicated and custom programs. He also developed and updated the organization’s operational infrastructure to bring new and improved measurements to the marketplace. Before joining MRI, Martin was a Vice President of Operations at GfK. He managed researchers developing programs to monitor and improve methodologies. He played a key role in overseeing profit responsibility of client programs. Prior to his role at GfK, he was Vice President of Research and Operations at Roper Starch Worldwide.
Michael Alf

Co-Founder Ocucom and ABX, Vice President, Software Development

Michael Alf Brings 12 Years’ Software Engineering in the Market Research Industry

Michael is one Founders of Ocucom, of which ABX is a division, and has over 12 years’ of software engineering experience in the market research industry. As a Lead Software Engineer with Ocucom, he brings a unique blend of a technological background along with hands-on market research experience. Michael specializes in providing custom software solutions utilizing Ocucom’s dynamic software platform to address unique client needs in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

Prior to starting with Ocucom, Michael was a senior software engineer at Opinion One in Cincinnati, where he was one of the principal architects of the OASIS 2 Survey Software Package. He also played a key role in developing a licensable solution to bring to the market place as well as handling the logistics of on-site training and support of end-client users.

Michael obtained his B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Cincinnati.

Greg Tunstill

Co-Founder, Chief Information Officer

Greg Tunstill Leads the Creation of ABX Communications Tools

Greg Tunstill, a founder of ABX, is the Chief Information Officer responsible for ABX’s technical infrastructure and maintenance. He also leads the design and development of ABX’s communications tools, a critical component of its technology services.

Prior to joining ABX, Greg was Director of Network Operations of Opinion One since its inception in 1992. He designed and developed the communications systems that were the core of its data collection networks and was responsible for continuing development and implementation of information technologies. Prior to his position at Opinion One, he designed inventory control and expert systems for BellSouth field offices and worked as a consultant and independent contractor. In 1991 he joined Americom Research as a systems engineer where he advanced to Director of Network Operations and met members of the team that formed Opinion One.

Greg is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University where he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science.

Julian Brown

Chief Technology Officer

Julian Brown is an ABX Founder and Chief Visionary for Strategic Planning

Julian brings 20+ years of software engineering and market research experience to ABX. As one of the Founders and in his position as Chief Technology Officer, Julian is the chief visionary responsible for strategic planning and development.

His primary day to day roles include management of software development, oversight of survey production, and lead architect for custom software development projects. As the principal technology architect, Julian adapts emerging technologies for use in market research. He is responsible for maintaining the “continuous development” philosophy.

Before becoming one of the Founders, Julian was Vice President, Software Engineering at Opinion One. In this capacity, he was responsible for the design and development of Opinion One’s core technology and licensing products.

Prior to Opinion One, Julian worked for Americom Research, starting as a Software Engineer and progressing to Director, Software Development. While at Americom Research, Julian pioneered the design and creation of one of the market research industry’s first fully interactive computer-aided interviewing suites.

Julian received his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Middle Tennessee State University.

Gary Getto


A Pioneer in Measuring Across all Media Types

Gary has an extensive background in product development, strategic planning, and sales/marketing. He is a frequent speaker to the advertising, marketing, and public relations communities.

Gary is a pioneer in efforts to measure and analyze the combined impact of news coverage, social media, and advertising communications on key business metrics, such as sales or product preferences, with ground-breaking work linking communications activity to business outcomes. He was also one of the first to apply artificial intelligence to better understand how communications impacts consumer behavior.

As part of these pioneering integrated measurements, the need to benchmark every ad and build a comprehensive database of advertising performance metrics for evaluating all advertising creative became clear. Gary has been part of the ABX management group that developed the methodology, technology, and criteria for measuring advertising performance globally, and at scale, in an affordable manner. 

Now Gary and all ABX partners work with communications leaders across a diverse set of industries to expand that understanding by incorporating the first-ever Gender Equality Index™, creative measurement solutions for ESG, Diversity & Inclusion, Ethnicities (in and out-of-country), Product Placement/Integration, Brand Fit™, Gaming, Audio and more.

Gary holds a B.S., in Mechanical Engineering from Lehigh University and a Masters in Management Science from Stevens Institute of Technology.

J. J. Klein​

Chairman & CEO

Developing Valid and Reliable Information through Syndicated and Custom Research

JJ Klein has devoted his entire career to developing more valid and reliable information through syndicated and custom longitudinal research programs for Fortune 500 companies. This extensive knowledge base enabled him to create and develop ABX, which now offers the most accurate normative database for advertising effectiveness measurement in the marketplace.

JJ brings more than 35 years of marketing, research, consulting, and technology experience in designing and developing methodologies and programs for long-term growth. He has exceptional strength in domestic and international new business development, strategic planning, and identifying and tracking consumer, retail, and industry trends.

Leadership in Top Global Research Firms

Early in his career, after attending City University in New York as a math and science major, JJ joined Simmons Market Research Bureau as a Project Director. Over time, he rose to Associate Executive Vice President. Among his accomplishments, JJ created the first online interactive data analysis and delivery system for agencies, media, institutions, client, and service companies.  

JJ and Bill Simmons then founded a new venture …Three Sigma Research Center. It was here that JJ, Chief Operating Officer, created the first major syndicated rating system for Newspapers in the U.S., which later became the Scarborough Report. Three Sigma Research was eventually sold back to Simmons; Simmons sold it to Scarborough; and then Scarborough was acquired by Nielsen.

Following the sale of Three Sigma, JJ joined Audits & Surveys Worldwide as a principal leading the sales tracking and market share audits for a broad range of retail and service establishments both domestically and internationally. Following the acquisition of Audits & Surveys by GfK, JJ joined Roper Starch as Executive Director, reporting directly to the Chairman.

Creation and Development of Ocucom™ and ABX™

In 2004, as he continued his industry visionary travels, all of JJ’s experience came together as he tackled new solutions for market research in the Internet age. He and four partners founded Ocucom™ and invented a research-proven, respondent-oriented Ocular™ approach to internet sampling and multi-modal interviewing methodology. For the first time, respondents could answer text-based questions within a visual communication world where the computer screen was the interviewer/communicator. Inventions continued such as Ocucom’s PreCast™, the first long-form video viewing solution in the industry.

Also, during this time, JJ’s early leadership in internet research methodology caught the eye of top-tier global research competitors. He ended up designing methodologies for their online survey capabilities.

Then, in early 2012, he formed ABX™ as an outgrowth of Ocucom. JJ had conceived the idea for ABX some 15 years prior but had to wait for internet maturation and online panel/sampling companies to evolve. ABX partners focused on JJ’s ABX concept and methodology by building an infrastructure and a 5-year formative database before opening to the market in 2018. The new company offered the first high-quality Ocular research system for all ads in all media types with detailed, never-before analytics; the first syndicated, all-media type ad effectiveness platform; results in 24-to-48 hours on dashboard, and significantly lower costs. At ABX, as at Ocucom, inventions have continued such as the expansion of the ABX syndicated program into the first-ever global solution, and the first Gender Equality Index™. Solutions have expanded to include creative measurement for ESG, Diversity & Inclusion, Ethnicities (in and out of country), Product Placement/Integration, Brand Fit, Gaming, Audio, and more.

A Career Devoted to Validity and Reliability in Market Research

JJ’s background brings together an extremely unique blend of extensive experience in designing and developing global and regional longitudinal research programs. His accomplishments include the design and initiation of programs and methods that produce more valid and reliable information. They also include contributions to the market research profession through association membership, speaking, writing, and presenting.

Like Nielsen for TV, Arbitron for Radio, and MRI for Magazine, JJ’s original design for the newspaper program continues as the Scarborough Report ratings standard for Newspaper.  Today, JJ leads ABX as a syndicated and custom research service for ad effectiveness and gender equality, which have quickly become the gold standards of their own.

Angela Jeffrey, APR

Vice President, Brand Management

National Award-Winning Veteran of Public Relations, Advertising and Marketing

Angela is an internationally known speaker and national award-winning veteran of public relations, advertising and marketing.  She has been a teacher and leader in the use of metrics to measure communications impact for over 20 years, especially at the intersection of PR and Advertising.

Angela is primarily responsible for all ABX marketing efforts, and for projects that involve PR or social media measurement. She is the primary driver of our collaboration with the prestigious Institute for Public Relations as we develop methods to measure the impact of PR and social media on advertising effectiveness.

Prior to joining ABX, Angela was Strategy Director at Salience Insight, (now CARMA), a global provider of PR effectiveness measurement. Previously, she was a Vice President at Surveillance Data, Inc., an international analytics powerhouse that specializes in predictive modeling. Angela continued as a key leader upon the sale of her division to VMS and helped develop Vantage, with Gary Getto, the first platform to measure the combined impact of PR and Advertising.

Angela graduated summa cum laude from Southern Methodist University with a BFA in Journalism and BBA in Marketing.



Diane Light Waight

Vice President, Business Development

Diane Light Waight handles Sales, Business Development, and Marketing for ABX

Diane has 20+ years of experience helping Marketing, Advertising, and PR decision-makers at global brands, media companies, and agencies increase their ROI by connecting and authentically engaging their target customers through Sales, Business Development. MarTech, AdTech, Big Data, Market Research, SaaS, eCommerce, and Integrated Marketing.

She is passionate about her family, entertainment, health & wellness, empowering women, and environmental sustainability.