SuperBowl LVII Illustration

Super Bowl LVII Ads Drove 16% More Audience Reactions Than Last Year

On Super Bowl Sunday, two unlikely partners (GM and Netflix) came together to share a Super Bowl spot with Will Ferrell. Cycling through various Netflix shows and several GM cars, Will Ferrell touted both companies' dedication to electric vehicles.  

It was a top-five commercial, praised for being  “fun to watch, and an effective brand-building exercise for both companies,” according to AdAge, and a “Decently entertaining commercial,” according to the Athletic. It was also a bottom-five commercial, thanks to random elements thrown into a pot to make for an entertaining commercial, but ultimately, it fell very flat, according to The Sporting News.  


    We studied 72 Super Bowl ads to see which ones produced the most audience reactions  

Reactions: Overall % of attention combined with emotional engagement measured throughout the viewing 



The Jack Harlow commercial for Doritos and Tubi Interface Interruption ad were other examples of creative that featured in both worst of and best of lists, demonstrating these lists are more tied to personal points of view than science.

Now that the pundits have weighed in, we wanted to add more rigor to the discussion. As we have in previous years, we studied nearly all of the Super Bowl ads (72 in total) to see which ones produced the most reactions, which Realeyes measures as the overall percentage of attention combined with emotional engagement measured throughout the viewing.   



Key Takeaways 

  • 2023's Super Bowl ads outperformed last year’s based on reactions by over 16%
  • M&M’s long-awaited Maya Rudolph ad, which was a stunt campaign announced before the Super Bowl, achieved 20% reactions.
  • Humorous moments produced all reaction percentages above 30% on a second-by-second basis 


What You Need to Know

  • Humor and recognition still dominate. This year’s ads returned to broad humor and recognized brands, and it showed with better results.  
  • Combining two unlikely components (like celebrities you wouldn’t expect to be together) is another way to increase reactions 
  • Introduce something new. People want to see something for the first time. Movie trailers and ads that had already been running performed worse than brand new ads.  

This year’s ads are slightly better than last year’s, with 21 ads drawing reactions over 16% compared to only 9 last year. Last year was famously the Crypto Bowl, with many ads from companies and products unfamiliar to many viewers, which may explain the increase in reactions. Many brands ran ads that felt like a back-to-basics approach in 2023.  


Annual Comparison

Year AVG Reactions
2023 14%
2022 12%

T-Mobile - Big Winner  

T-Mobile followed a familiar playbook - bring recognizable celebrities together and make them do unusual things. In one ad, they had a meta commercial with Bradley Cooper as a T-Mobile employee and his mother. The “ad” was them showing bloopers because the mother and son were having so much fun.

The other ad built upon the buddy comedy of last year’s spot featuring Scrubs actors Donald Faison and Zach Braff but introduced a left-field element; John Travolta joined the duo in singing the iconic song Summer Loving song from Grease. They had the two highest Reaction scores. Bradley ads received 23% reactions, and Summer Loving received 22%. 


Videos Producing Greatest Audience Response

Brand Creative Reactions
T-Mobile Bradley Cooper and his mom 23%
T-Mobile New year New neighbor 22%
NFL Run With It - 120s  21%
M&M's  Super Bowl 2023 20%
e.l.f. Cosmetics  eyes. lips. face. sticky 19%
Doritos  Jacks New Angle - 60s 19%
E TRADE  Baby Commercial – Wedding  18%
Downy Unstoppables Sniff It To Believe It  18%
Dunkin' Drive-Thru' Starring Ben - 30s  18%
Crown Royal  Thank You Canada - 60s 17%
Ram Premature Electrification - 60s  17%
Kia Binky Dad - 60s  17%
ULTRA Club New Members Day - 60s  17%
Blue Moon  The High Stakes Beer Ad - 30s 17%
Workday  Rock Star  17%
Jeep  Electric Boogie  17%
Tubi  Rabbit Hole - 60s  17%
Pepsi  Ben Stiller Great Acting or Great Taste  16%
Planter  The Roast Of Mr. Peanut - 30s  16%
Pepsi Steve Martin Great Acting or Great Taste  16%
Pringles Best of Us  16%


M&Ms’ Long Play Pays Off

Unless you’re completely offline, you may have heard about the controversy around the M&M's Spokescandies and Tucker Carlson. Mars announced leading up to the Super Bowl that they had purchased an ad, but were pausing on the spokescandies in favor of comedienne Maya Rudolph. 

Of course, that meant viewers were invested in seeing what the brand would do with its ad and Maya. It was a surrealist promo video for clam-coated candies, which revulsed the commercial actors. The gambit paid off as it produced a 20% reaction.  



The Beer Wars

InBev’s Anheuser-Busch relinquished its Super Bowl category exclusivity for the first time in more than three decades, opening the door for macro competitors MillerCoors, and Heineken, to compete with the brewers’ Busch Light, Michelob Ultra, and Bud Light commercials.  
The MillerCoors ad, which cleverly incorporated both Miller Lite and Coors Light before ultimately revealing it was a MillerCoors-owned Blue Moon ad, tied the Caddyshack-themed Michelob Ultra, with the most reactions in the category at 17%. The industry as a whole had an average reaction score of 16%, tied for six among all industries.  



Category AVG Reactions %
Personal Care  19%
Telecom & Internet Service Providers  18% 
Automotive  17% 
Food & Confectionery  16%
Business & Industries  16%
Beverages  15% 
Home & Garden  15%
Financial  14%
Delivery Services  14%
Entertainment  14% 
Home Supplies 13%
Style & Fashion  13%
Pharmaceutical 12% 
Events & Attractions  12% 
Restaurants   12% 
Sports  12% 
Retail Shopping  12% 
Airlines, Hotels and Travel  12% 
Movies  11%
Technology and Computing  11% 
Video Games  10% 
Average  14% 


Individual Reactions

The undeniable star of the Super Bowl commercials was Gloria Campano, otherwise known as Bradley Cooper’s mom. Telling her famous son he looked like a clam was the single moment that produced the most reaction of all the ads, and several of their interactions scored very high in response percentage. 




As for the polarizing ads mentioned above, the data shows the Jack Harlow Doritos ad among the best ads, but Tubi Interruption and Netflix - GM ad with Will Ferrell was in the middle of the pack.  

The Jack Harlow ad, like the other high-performing ads, introduced an odd premise (Harlow quitting rap to play the triangle) and an unlikely pairing - an Elton John cameo towards the end. Sometimes the classics work because they’re classic.  



Each creative was viewed an average of 179 times by a panel with the following criteria.  

  • 5 ads OR max 5min (300s) per test
  • Age: 18-99 (or 21-99 for tests containing alcohol ads) - 30% 18(21)-34/70% 35-99 
  • Gender: 50% F, 50% M 
    Reactions: Overall % of attention combined with emotional engagement measured throughout the viewing